Udayavni Special

CarDekho Group plans to expand across SE Asia in 2 years

PTI, Apr 25, 2021, 11:30 AM IST

New Delhi: Automotive platform CarDekho Group is pressing ahead with its international expansion plans with an aim to be present across Southeast Asia in the next two years, according to a top company official.

The company, which is currently in the process of deploying USD 25 million for the expansion programme, will enter Malaysia this year followed by Thailand and Vietnam next year.

“The idea very clearly is that we will be a pan Southeast Asia (player) and all other major markets with our new auto business within the next two years. On the auto finance side, we will probably see enter about three-odd markets,” CarDekho Group cofounder & President Umang Kumar said.

Kumar, who heads the group’s international business operations, further said, “Right now we are looking at Malaysia, next year we will look at Thailand and Vietnam. We are already the number one auto site in both Indonesia and the Philippines.”

For the Southeast Asian market, he said the company would follow a similar strategy that it had adopted successfully in India.

“(In) long term the focus is very clear, the way we have gone about building business in India. We first tackled new auto and then we tackled auto finances, and then we went after used car transactions. That is a very similar strategy that we will adopt in those countries,” Kumar added.

In India, the CarDekho Group operates auto portals such as CarDekho.com, Gaadi.com, ZigWheels.com, BikeDekho.com and PowerDrift.com. Besides, it offers customers avenues for selling and buying used cars and provides financing facilities.

When asked about investments for the international expansion, Kumar said the group has earmarked a total investment of USD 25 million for Southeast Asia, which has been already largely deployed.

“It started three years back. We initially started with a deployment of USD 9 million, then we doubled down further a couple of years ago. What essentially happens is that every year we re-evaluate if more capital is required or not. So, cumulatively until March 2022, we would have deployed about USD 25 million in our South East Asia business,” he added.

Further investments will be a function of how the business is growing and whether the company wants to put in more capital on used car transactions in that part of the world, Kumar said.

Bullish on the international expansion, he said in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot more OEMs are “focussing on how to do digital, what is the right strategy to adopt and so they are having a lot more conversations with us how to enable digital and move forward.”

In 2016 CarDekho entered Indonesia under the brand name OTO.com. Later in 2019, the group forayed into the Philippines and acquired Carmudi.

In its international business, CarDekho will focus on new auto, media sales and solutions, used auto, finance, auctions and B2C retail.

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