Competition drives car dealer to online platform

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Entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to the Internet to market and sell their products.

Fred Angalika, a vehicle salesman, set out to tap this trend early this year. “I have all along been in the tour van business but the online business is running well,” Mr Angalika said.

The company makes an average of Sh2 million per month from online car sales and tour bookings, he said. He manages the platforms — a second site deals in tour bookings — from his office off Ngong Road in Nairobi jointly with two directors. “In my team is John Gakobo who is the webmaster and data scientist. Terry Mukoko is the verification director who runs daily operations, overseeing all transactions including payments. Ali Omar runs our social media firm which does promotions for companies in Africa,” he said.

Mr Angalika is also the head of sales, social media and data.

“A customer logs into our portal, searches for a car and if they like one they can choose to talk to the owner directly or fill a form notifying us of what they want. We confirm details about the car such as ownership and condition and generate a comprehensive report within 24 hours. We oversee logbook transfers and ensure that customers concentrate on their core businesses. We ensure pre-purchase inspection and can guide a buyer further to ensure a safe transaction,” he said.

The 37-year-old said that starting the online car selling portal was a reaction to changing times.

“Over 80 per cent of buyers in Kenya buy Toyota cars. We studied buying behaviour of different customer segments and we noticed a trend that fits perfectly into this model,” Mr Angalika said.

“Car buyers waste time moving from one yard to another. We decide to have a large selection of cars on one platform where a buyer can quickly survey, verify details and conclude the transaction,” he said.

 

“Our expansion will be based on online innovations. We are testing several plug-ins that we hope will go live before close of the year.

“We are looking at same day transactions where a seller can come to us with a car and walk out with money,” he said. “We are also increasing the number of inspectors to cover the entire country. It is a lot of work because they are highly trained, tested and examined before being allowed to touch a client’s car,” he said.

Mr Angalika said that the company was also investing in the latest car diagnostics software.

“In order to win customers’ in this competitive business we strive to make it easy and cost effective to buy and sell cars,” he said.

 

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