Cars have been the fantasy of every second man in the world. Modifying the pre-owned cars is even a better game. There are a few people who take their fantasy seriously and Jatin Ahuja is one such achiever. The Founder and CEO of The Big Boy Toyz, a luxury car company is in the market for 11 years now and here to make a mark. BBT makes sure that you get a car in the best condition and also involves in buybacks. BBT was launched in the year 2009 and currently has three stores in India and is headquartered at Gurgaon. I interacted with Jatin and here are a few excerpts.
What brought you into this line of business?
At the young age of 10 when I made my first sale of a pen, I knew very well that I wanted to own a business of mine someday. My love for cars since my teenage years and selling my first pre-owned refurbished car at 17 years made me realize that I wanted to curate something that gives a chance to create history in bringing around an organized touch to the unorganized segment of the used car industry. Now, with Big Boy Toyz in the market for a successful 11 years have very much proved that my passion for cars is never-ending and the learning never ends.
Why did you choose to go into second-hand cars rather than new car sales?
I have always been intrigued by unchartered waters and at the time when I started off my business people were still trying to grasp the concept of the pre-owned industry as the segment was pretty chaotic. I knew deep down I could bring a proper structure and an organized approach to the entire segment of pre-owned cars laying down certifications and rules and placing standards that the industry will have to live by. The used car industry was looking at normal utility vehicles but nobody was extensively looking at the luxury pre-owned cars & luxury utility cars. Having been blessed with good sense, an immense amount of hard work, and learning at every step I knew that the venture I was getting into would be a success if handled with expertise, intelligence & skill.
What are your thoughts on the market for cars in the current situation?
The pre-owned luxury car market is gradually getting back on track, but with a few interesting changes. The biggest, and most expected, is that consumers are down-trading. The crisis may have impacted our industry, but it has also enabled innovation and fuelled new initiatives to bring back lost business. Customers are now transitioning towards digital means as the fear of COVID is keeping them from going out to shop. However, due to the increased focus on personal mobility, the pre-owned industry and the used car industry have witnessed an increased demand, as people are making conscious purchasing and are opting for cars that give them the utmost value for money.
What are the changes in buying behavior you have noticed this year?
Consumers have shifted an increased focus on using the digital platform for purchasing even high-value products like cars. They are opting for personal mobility, rising above the taboo of purchasing used / pre-owned cars, and are actually looking for vehicles that are apt in quality and are giving them maximum value for money.
What are your thoughts on Electric Vehicles (EV)?
I personally feel that the automobile sector will be looking at Electric Vehicles very strongly. For the next 5 years, EVs will be very big in the automobile sector.
What do you feel is the outlook for electric vehicles in India?
The choice of Indian consumers is witnessing a gradual shift. However, comparatively the shift has been a little slow, with consumers shifting from diesel to petrol first, and then gradually making the shift to EVs. The Indian market will soon pick up this trend once they see the change affecting their choice on a positive light.
How should one decide whether to go for a new or pre-owned car?
While purchasing a car one should always assess the value for money they are getting back. Keeping this thought in mind, personal mobility and value for money have made consumers more inclined towards buying pre-owned cars (luxury and luxury utility) because in the price of a new car you get upgraded variant of pre-owned cars. Pre-owned vehicles are valued for a deal today.
Everyone wants to go for a fancy car on their budget. Yet the best car from them is not necessarily the same for all. How can you help people choose the best car for them?
Depending on the needs and the personality of the consumers we help them in choosing the cars. We also ensure to provide quality cars with low mileage driven cars where customers can enjoy maximum shelf life at affordable prices.
Being among the top 5 car dealers, what is your secret for success?
Quality product, excellent services, and extensive hard work and ensure that the focus is on experiential marketing wherein the needs of the consumers of the BBT family are kept in mind. In short, this is my mantra to success.
What is your advice to people looking to purchase a second-hand car?
Ensure you purchase it from a place that gives you quality and value for your money.
The BBT page on Instagram has over 1.4million followers. How does this help in second-hand car sales?
There’s been a significant shift in customer demand during this period, driven towards utility rather than a luxury. We have always had an online presence; 50% of our pre-COVID sales happened to be online. Customers would check website listings or look at the pictures and videos to make their decisions. However, in the past three months, this number has risen to 70% to 80%.
How did a young entrepreneur go from selling second-hand cars to winning the Dada Saheb Phalke award as a business leader?
Sheer determination, a lot of hard work, extreme passion for cars and my business, an excellent team at Big Boy Toyz, and last but not least a strong and lovely family to support me in my endeavors made it possible.
What was your experience with sponsoring Bollywood films? And how did it feel to star in the movie as well?
The whole experience helped in attracting more consumers and helped us tap the untapped market which helped in gaining exposure to both the national and international entertainment industry thus helping in an increase on the clientele base for Big Boy Toyz.
The pre-owned luxury market is projected to reach a market size of USD 75Billion by 2023. With a CAGR of 15.2%, what percentage of this would we see in India?
What were your favorite moments in car sales?
Every customer who walks out with a smiling face while driving his dream pre-owned car helps us strive to work harder and welcoming more such smiling faces on board with the BBT family.
With the constant rise in fuel prices and no relief in sight, has this affected the pre-owned car sales?
Not really that much, because customers buying pre-owned cars are focused on the saving down on the depreciation cost of the vehicle where they preferred buying an upgraded variant at less price.
Would you say that the influx of EVs or the rising fuel prices would be a bigger barrier to car pre-owned car sales?
In pre-owned cars, depreciation is the key. It’s never dependent on fuel as we deal in luxury cars where mileage and not the area to focus upon always, quality products at a good price in exotic cars will be made available.
What is your dream car?
Rolls Royce Phantom.
What are your children’s favorite cars?
Zaara, my daughter, loves sports cars bright colors like- Red Ferrari and Yellow Lamborghini.
Who has the most influence on the choice of car for your family?
It’s always a family decision.