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This company wants to 'OTO-mate' your two-wheeler purchase experience

This company wants to 'OTO-mate' your two-wheeler purchase experience

This company wants to 'OTO-mate' your two-wheeler purchase experience
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By Vijay Anand  Oct 21, 2022 9:50 PM IST (Published)

OTO is a one-stop commerce-enabled finance platform which manages a two-wheeler's lifecycle, from discovery to the day you want to get rid of it. It offers financing too through its partners. 

While the last six years or so have completely transformed the way we shop — taking everything digital — one thing that has not changed is the way we purchase vehicles, especially two-wheelers. We simply need to visit the showroom, actually get a feel for the vehicle before we either purchase it outright, or approach a partnered financier's desk in the showroom to process a loan.

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While there are websites right now dedicated to selling used cars and four-wheelers, there's none for two-wheelers — arguably the most used type of vehicle in India. Or so I thought.
Turns out there is a way we could buy a new/used two-wheeler online, with assurance of quality and also ease of financing. That's exactly what OTO — a company founded by IIT-Bombay alumnus Sumit Chhazed — is aiming at: two-wheeler financing plus purhcase platform. "Customers can research, schedule test drives at home, avail of innovative and flexible financing options, and complete the purchase via OTO," the website reads.
Chhazed says he got the idea when he wanted to purchase a second-hand motorcycle around 2013 and his options were limited and the process, broken. He visited the usual used-product marketplaces online and zeroed-in on a Pulsar, which turned out to be a lemon.
He did some research and quickly realised that there were no end-to-end service platforms for two-wheelers as there were for cars, such as Cars24. "Two-wheelers were the neglected child. It's not as if people are investing effort and time to solve it. So that's where I started," Chhazed explains.
Four-year-old OTO, which had a presence in four cities till July 2021, expanded to 10 cities by this July and is aiming for a presence in more than 20 cities by next year.
But the ride has not been easy for Chhazed — he first had to solve the financing problem. Not everyone will have easy access to financing and Chhazed wanted his customers to have a seamless end-to-end experience, be it selling two-wheelers, or purchasing a bike, including financing.
"When you want to buy a two-wheeler, you visit a brand showroom, then another, and then another. Once you know what model and brand you want, you then have to visit multiple showrooms to get the best deal and the least waiting period," Chhazed explains, adding, "Plus there is the question of finance. Banks have always treated two-wheeler loans as an unsecured category."
And this, he says, is where OTO comes in. All of the legwork is cut out — customers can simply browse for two-wheelers, select one they like, book a test ride, etc, all from the comfort of their home. OTO even offers financing option on its website. The website also offers electric vehicle purchase options.
According to the company, as of July 2022, OTO had more 4,100 monthly bookings with an annualised gross merchandise value of (GMV) of Rs 400 crore. The company has grown 7.5x annually, has disbursed Rs 200 crore in financing so far and is confident of disbursing Rs 600 crore by March 2023.
"Our aim is to enable 1.2 lakh customers have a 10x better experience to discover, buy and finance two-wheelers through OTO next year," he says.
As mentioned earlier, OTO is a platform not just for buyers, but for sellers too.
"Today, more than 60 percent of the customers who buy a two-wheeler are in the 21-35 age bracket. And today's customers change two-wheelers faster — used two-wheelers are just behind mobile phones in market value," Chhazed says.
Those looking to offload their used bikes for the best price, Chhazed says, prefer to have a hassle-free experience. And OTO facilitates that.
Further, OTO also offers customers to upgrade or switch their motorcycles or two-wheelers after two years. "For instance, a Honda Activa has a resale value of at least Rs 40,000 at the end of three years right now, and costs roughly Rs 1 lakh brand new. Our idea is, you pay us 60 percent of the Activa's value in three years, and then at the end of the period, choose to buy it outright for the remainder of the value, or choose to upgrade without paying the remainder," Chhazed explains. 
In a nutshell — and Chhazed's own words — OTO is a one-stop commerce-enabled finance platform which manages a vehicle's lifecycle, from discovery to the day you want to get rid of it. 
The process — and I've tried this out — appears to be simple: you sign up on the website using your mobile number, select your vehicle of choice, used or new, and will be presented with several financing options. Begin your application, and off you go on your ride to buying a two-wheeler.
"Let's say you opt for a four-year loan repayment plan and come back to us after three years. You will have two options — continue paying for the next 12 months or pay it in one shot, or, you surrender your vehicle as collateral, buy a new vehicle on a new loan," he explains. 
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