Service My Car Founder And CEO Ozair Puda On Disrupting The Middle East's Car Servicing Industry Ozair Puda founded Service My Car after witnessing significant inefficiencies in the non-agency car servicing and repair market in the UAE.
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"Every great leader must remember two main factors of a business: employees and customers," declares Ozair Puda, founder and CEO of Service My Car, as he gives his take on what makes for exceptional leadership. "Without these two factors, there is no business."
And that seems to be the paradigm that Puda has made use of at his own enterprise, which has certainly showcased outstanding growth since its launch in the UAE in 2019. Puda founded Service My Car after witnessing significant inefficiencies in the non-agency car servicing and repair market in the UAE.
Having been a tech and auto enthusiast from a young age, Puda knew there was definitely ways for things to be done better, especially given his experiences working in the automobile industry in the UK for several years before coming to the UAE. Service My Car thus came into being as an online car servicing and repair platform that provides car owners with a seamless digital journey for all their car needs -think servicing, repair, detailing, roadside assistance, and more- without ever having to leave one's home or office to get them done.
By making use of the Service My Car website or mobile app, or even simply by calling its customer care line, car owners can have their cars collected (and returned) at their preferred times and locations, whilst staying updated on their cars' progress throughout its repair process. The website and app can also generate free and instant quotes for a multitude of car repairs, and they also provide a plethora of service packages tailored to all types of cars. Besides partnering with the region's leading workshops and garages (which have been vetted by the team, of course), Service My Car also offers on-demand roadside assistance, although it's only available in the UAE at the moment.
Puda adds that a major source of revenue for the startup is through its growing parts supplier network. "We have an in-house parts acquisition team that establishes connections with the region's leading parts suppliers, to facilitate the distribution and utilization of all types of original equipment manufacturer and aftermarket car parts, based on customers' requirements," he says.
Source: Service My Car
Headquartered in Dubai, Service My Car operates across the UAE, Oman, and UK with a combined workforce of more than 180 employees. "Till date, we have serviced over 20,000 cars without owning a single workshop, and supplied over 100,000 spare parts without holding any inventory," Puda declares. In 2021, it raised a seed round of US$10 million led by Omani business group Bahwan, which fueled its expansion strategy to Oman and UK.
It's no wonder then that it has received a slew of accolades too, two of which were the Fastest Growth and CEO of the Year titles at Entrepreneur Middle East's E-Business Awards 2022. "The astounding validation of our product-market fit, as well as recognition within the startup ecosystem positions us well, as we continue our global expansion," Puda adds. Today, Puda and his team are gearing up to raise a pre-Series round to boost its expansion into Saudi Arabia and Qatar, with India and US on the list as well.
Looking back on his entrepreneurial trajectory, Puda says that he made sure to remind himself of his long-term vision at all stages of the journey. "My endgame is to disrupt the car servicing industry, which is currently underserved with tech innovations," he states. But that's not to say Puda didn't have to contend with any hurdles along the way. "There were many bumps on the road, from bootstrapping and access to capital all the way to balancing our personal and business lives," Puda reveals. "However, a disciplined approach with a never-say-die attitude is what kept us going. And we conquered one milestone after another. It just kept growing on us, and kept making us hungrier, and more ambitious."
But was there ever a time he felt actually discouraged in his entrepreneurial pursuit? "Well, to be honest, I have always been encouraged rather than discouraged, because I love the space we are in: automobiles," he replies. "The best thing about waking up every day as an entrepreneur is continuously witnessing how far we have come from where we started, and how far we'll go. I enjoy every bit of the journey, and I cannot contemplate anything bad or worse about being an entrepreneur."
Source: Service My Car
According to Puda, the MENA region, particularly the UAE, continues to offer a plethora of opportunities today, especially if you're keen to start a business. "The UAE is well poised to becoming the next Silicon Valley for tech startups," he says. "With recent government initiatives, procuring a business license in the UAE has become very easy and agile. I cannot recommend this region enough to anyone who has innovative and passionate ideas, and wants to channel such ideas through the form of an enterprise, whether it is related to automobiles or technology, or just about anything else."
In addition, Puda points out that the COVID-19 crisis has ignited a lot of opportunities for startups seeking to provide solutions to the need in the market for more convenient, at-home type of services. "And I am proud to admit that Service My Car was one such pioneer within our niche in that regard," Puda concludes.
TREP TALK: Service My Car founder and CEO Ozair Puda shares his tips for entrepreneurs
1. Keep your eye on the endgame "Have faith in your long-term vision. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
2. Try, try, and try again "Determination is the key to success. At each step, the universe will throw doubt your way."
3. Propagate your purpose "Make an impact, and build your brand. The business is as strong as its perception."
4. Face hurdles head-on "Don't be scared of the storm, you should be the storm- the sheer power of collective will, will sail you through the tough times."
5. Empower your people "Foster a culture of creativity, unified goals, and ownership throughout the different levels of the organization. Your workforce is the most important asset and critical success factor."