21st September 2020, Kathmandu
Every business in Nepal is adapting to the new normal post-COVID-19. We have seen similar cases regarding the automobile industry as well. We got the opportunity to get into a conversation with Karuna Pudasaini, the Branding Head of Vespa and Aprilia Scooters in Nepal. She works with Dugar Brothers and Sons Pvt. Ltd. and has a very pleasant personality!
What are your thoughts regarding the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the automobile sector?
The entire world is suffering from this COVID 19 and most of the working sectors are facing some form of disruption. The automobile industry in Nepal is no exception. The automobile industry is one of the largest tax-paying industries. However, government support is very less.
As dealers of the automobile, it is getting hard to sustain in the market. We do not have sustainable banking and financial facilities.
How is Dugar Brothers and Sons Pvt Ltd performing during this tough time?
We do have sales but it is average sales. We are more focused on digital sales. If corona were not to happen, we would be having a tremendous amount of transactions.
Does the cancellation of NADA affect sales? And, are there any Dashain campaigns?
NADA Auto Expo is one of the biggest Auto events in Nepal. Its cancellation definitely affects our sales.
We were planning to launch our new product, Aprilia 160 in NADA. But now we are waiting for a better time to launch this beauty.
We aren’t doing any Dashain campaigns that attract a mass audience. We have to stay protected and avoid social gatherings for the time being. However, we will be providing Dashain offers and discount schemes. For Dashain, we have exchange offers, financing with 0% interest and special Dashain discounts.
How is your social media contributing during this time?
Nepal is moving into a digital arena. There is no doubt about it. We, as business people, should be ready to adapt to new changes instantly.
We are also very active with our social pages like Facebook and Instagram.
Most of our target audiences are youths, and they seem to be more active on Instagram. We have seen most of our conversions through Instagram. Similarly, we do have engagements on our Facebook page as well.
Also, we should realize that social platforms are serious and they do contribute not just to business but also to the community. With that in mind, we are performing various campaigns such as photo contests, sharing Vespa and Aprilia ride experience, etc.
What plans and strategy are you planning as a Brand Head in the long run?
Frankly, we need to focus more on paperless transactions, online selling, and digital branding. As a brand and marketing manager, it is crucial that we provide a better experience to our community and customers.
We are planning on a virtual showroom. It’s a new concept here in Nepal where you can visit the virtual showroom and have a virtual experience. Augmented reality can be a fun experience for everyone visiting our sites. Visitors will have 360-degree product visualization, and hear the original engine sounds as they rev virtually.
We are also aware that customers prefer to physically test the scooters before making a purchase decision. With our virtual showroom, we believe it will contribute to a better experience for the customers.
We are also hopeful that the 2 wheeler market will sustain after the pandemic. People who use Tootle, Pathao for ride-sharing, and local transport users may convert in 2 wheeler sales.
Likewise, we will also need to focus on investing in digital infrastructure because good content is very powerful.
We also came to know that Vespa and Aprilia Nepal have launched their new 2020 website.
The website looks crisp and youthful! Go ahead and have a look at the website that’s colorful, fresh, and energetic. Moreover, we loved the testimonial part of their website. You should have a look too!
We wish the best for the team and hope to see the Aprilia 160 sooner. Also, if you’re waiting for the Dashain offers, stay tuned to their official Facebook page!