During Covid, tech used to change game to a new level

At the Dataquest Leadership Conclave held at New Delhi’s Hyatt Regency on June 8, Mayank Jain, CEO, CarDekho, and Pankaj Vermani, Founder and CEO, Clovia participated in a fireside chat was on “Disrupting tech to achieve valuation”.

Covid-19 was a disruption that led to further disruptions. Pankaj Vermani, Clovia, said that they used technology to change the game to a whole new level. We also saw the supply chain getting disrupted, which led to further innovation. Customers also went through behaviour change and went the digital way. Consumption started to change. Education is now required in our business. Post Covid-19, the business went up.

Mayank Jain, CarDekho, said that they rely on technology as a backbone. Behavioural changes during Covid-19 were marked. Owning a car is a convenience. There was a marked shift towards owning a car. People also wanted a contactless and faceless experience. Today, we can issue a used car loan through a digital journey. That was a revelation for a lot of customers.

Vermani, Clovia, said that we have to cater to customer needs. We need to hit the right cause. Jain, CarDekho, added that we have built the company around the customer. We added features that addressed what the customers wanted. We have kept the Indian customers at the core. We have been conscious about providing value to customers. By going paperless, we also impacted ESG goals. ESG is a responsibility for every organization. EVs are starting to come around. We are helping create India’s largest EV marketplace. Our business has been at the cusp of providing societal benefits.

Vermani, Clovia, noted that we can be satisfied with the innovation happening. Every great business makes for a good story. You will make a greater value creation. The entrepreneur is only part of the journey. Frenzy has a role to play for change. It is okay to be chaotic at times.

Jain, CarDekho, said the investment climate is always important. We can do well with sound product economics. You have to adapt with the times. We have also seen talent costs skyrocket. Cost of ads has skyrocketed, as well. It is important for companies to adapt.

Jain, CarDekho, said that we are in the 29th year of the DQ event. There have been enough cycles. Vermani, Clovia, added it is a froth that has been created. Let that settle down. It is about the right timing to get the right amount of capital. A lot of changes have happened. We are also catching up. India is, however, lacking in R&D.

Jain, CarDekho, added that we are looking at e-commerce. FinTech is a great example. Infrastructure in India is great at FinTech, than some other economies. There are areas such as auto business. When we look to go out of India, we look for similar parables. We have looked at emerging economies in Asia, such as Indonesia and the Philippines. We have a huge opportunity there.

Jain, CarDekho, said a lot of good work is happening in AI/ML and big data. As they start investing more, we can leverage more on AI/ML. Another is metaverse. There is a hype around that. It is coming of age now. There may be a lot of opportunities in the metaverse for the Indian firms.

Vermani, Clovia, said that AgriTech can provide a lot of opportunities. Also, D2C! This is the best time to be a product company. The Internet has disrupted the ecosystem. Lot of goodness will be leveraged in the various product categories.

The session was moderated by Shubhendu Parth, former editor, CyberMedia, Co-founder & Head–Content, Radius Think Tank. The theme of the conclave was Let’s Transform at Scale with NeXtGen Tech and featured the 29th ICT Business Awards show.

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