Carmudi, changing the way consumers shop for cars

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Stefan_Haubold

Stefan_HauboldStefan Haubold, Co-Founder and Global Managing Director of Carmudi, has said that we are changing the way consumers shop for cars. Carmudi, one of Rocket’s car classified ads site, has raised $10 million to expand its operations in Asia. The site’s network currently operates in eleven countries, six of which are in Asia (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam. Carmudi is already the world’s largest online vehicle marketplace operating in Latin America, Africa and Asia.

Please tell us about your professional background?

Before entering into entrepreneurship, I worked at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Allianz. In 2012, I founded ePetWorld, an e-commerce business catering to the pet food segment, which grew significantly in Germany. Carmudi is more about replicating that success on a global level. My passion for entrepreneurship has allowed me to take bigger strides and make a notable impact.

Can you describe Carmudi and its basic business model?

In one line, Carmudi.pk is an online initiative that will revolutionize the way people buy and sell cars in Pakistan. Similar business models have worked very well in mature markets such as America and Germany. There is a growing demand for such platforms in a country like Pakistan that has so much potential when all factors are considered. Carmudi.pk is creating an online connection between buyers and sellers giving them a much more convenient online automotive market place. Our expansion into Pakistan was a very logical decision given its population size and the lack of such an enhanced service in the country.

How many employees are currently working at Carmudi?

Currently, we have 500 employees globally. In Pakistan, we are fortunate to have the brightest of people on board with sound academic backgrounds from institutions such as LUMS and LSE. All its operations in Pakistan are run by these employees and teams of young talented individuals who have brought Carmudi success in a short span of time. The employees are the driving force of a company.

How do you compare the Pakistani market with other regions where Carmudi is present?

In my opinion, it’s 20% about the idea and 80% about the team that can execute the idea. In Pakistan, we have a very robust team. Very different factors are at play in different countries. Pakistan with its population size and a relatively untapped market does present ideal circumstances. Although we are doing extremely well in Pakistan, Mexico and Nigeria, it is too early to compare all our markets as we are at different stages across continents. We are still a very young, but a fast-growing company. We have made it big in a span of 7 months since its operations started.

What potential do you see in Pakistan keeping in mind the number of broadband users?

Pakistan is a country with a very large population. Internet has almost completely integrated in our lives. In a digital age with the younger population deferring to it as a social norm, the potential in Pakistan is humongous. If we start talking numbers, the potential in Pakistan does stand out. Near the start of the millennium internet penetration was as low as 1.3% amongst a population of 145 million people. Today it stands at 16% amongst a population that has grown to over 185 million. This figure is only going to grow as the population grows and time goes on. Internet usage will eventually become the norm as it is in more developed nations. We hope to facilitate this through Carmudi.

What are the main issues you face in Pakistan and other countries?

Every country has its own issues when it comes to making an E-Commerce initiative successful. There are issues related to fraud and bogus listings. There is an issue of trust as well which is further aggravated by the lack of confidence people have with respect to the security and privacy of their personal information like credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers etc. All such issues are present in any country which you work in; we aim to counter these by increasing transparency on our website. We have taken very stringent measures to ensure that all listings are verified by our employees before they go on our website. This way we ensure the trust of our customers and keep the website free from any frauds. If we talk about changing awareness of an online marketplace, transparency and convenience are two key ingredients. We change the way people buy and sell cars.

Who are your competitors in Pakistan and how is Carmudi different from them?

In Pakistan, there are online websites dealing with selling cars but along with that they are catering to other things as well. You see a website as putting up a car classified along with selling a clothing item, electronics or different accessories etc. At, Carmudi, we only sell cars. In order to be the best at something it requires undivided attention. What sets Carmudi apart from others is that all we only cater to cars from its classifieds to all its information regarding car related products. Our focus remains on being the No.1 online car marketplace.

Apart from car sales/purchase, what other areas have potential in Pakistan’s ecommerce industry?

Rocket Internet and its affiliated companies are changing the face of e-commerce in Pakistan. We are a major driving force behind this sector. Carmudi is changing not just how people shop but when they do it too. Most of our traffic comes between 9pm and 1am in the evening. And let’s not forget that the potential stemming from 3G/4G which will allow people to browse the online marketplace as quickly and conveniently on the street as they can at home.

If you look at the past one year, Pakistan has seen a reach of over 30 million internet users. That’s phenomenal! This figure alone adds up to more than Venezuela’s entire population. It is estimated that the overall e-commerce spending is in the range of $4 billion annually in Pakistan. This is not just a passing fad. Online businesses are here to stay. In fact, it is projected that 80 percent of Pakistan’s online consumers plan to buy a new or used car in the next two years. This speaks volumes for the growth of online platforms such as Carmudi. In my opinion, at least 25% of traditional businesses in Pakistan will soon be converted into online businesses.

What are your future plans in Carmudi specifically for the local market?

The future plan is to become the No.1 player in Pakistan for everything related to vehicles. With our online app scheduled for launch next week, our aim is to create such a connection with anyone who wants to buy cars that they think of “Carmudi” every time they even say the word cars. We would like to engage with our customers more actively so that we can eventually become the one-stop shop for all car-related topics. Be it reviews, insurance queries or price comparisons, we would like to meet all the needs of our customers in. Carmudi.pk is already making a mark in the Pakistani market. With going from 1500 listings to almost 40,000 listings in a couple of months, the future is only bright for Carmudi in Pakistan.

 

Before entering into entrepreneurship, I worked at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants and Allianz. In 2012, I founded ePetWorld, an e-commerce business catering to the pet food segment, which grew significantly in Germany. Carmudi is more about replicating that success on a global level. My passion for entrepreneurship has allowed me to take bigger strides and make a notable impact.

Can you describe Carmudi and its basic business model?

In one line, Carmudi.pk is an online initiative that will revolutionize the way people buy and sell cars in Pakistan. Similar business models have worked very well in mature markets such as America and Germany. There is a growing demand for such platforms in a country like Pakistan that has so much potential when all factors are considered. Carmudi.pk is creating an online connection between buyers and sellers giving them a much more convenient online automotive market place. Our expansion into Pakistan was a very logical decision given its population size and the lack of such an enhanced service in the country.

How many employees are currently working at Carmudi?

Currently, we have 500 employees globally. In Pakistan, we are fortunate to have the brightest of people on board with sound academic backgrounds from institutions such as LUMS and LSE. All its operations in Pakistan are run by these employees and teams of young talented individuals who have brought Carmudi success in a short span of time. The employees are the driving force of a company.

How do you compare the Pakistani market with other regions where Carmudi is present?

In my opinion, it’s 20% about the idea and 80% about the team that can execute the idea. In Pakistan, we have a very robust team. Very different factors are at play in different countries. Pakistan with its population size and a relatively untapped market does present ideal circumstances. Although we are doing extremely well in Pakistan, Mexico and Nigeria, it is too early to compare all our markets as we are at different stages across continents. We are still a very young, but a fast-growing company. We have made it big in a span of 7 months since its operations started.

What potential do you see in Pakistan keeping in mind the number of broadband users?

Pakistan is a country with a very large population. Internet has almost completely integrated in our lives. In a digital age with the younger population deferring to it as a social norm, the potential in Pakistan is humongous. If we start talking numbers, the potential in Pakistan does stand out. Near the start of the millennium internet penetration was as low as 1.3% amongst a population of 145 million people. Today it stands at 16% amongst a population that has grown to over 185 million. This figure is only going to grow as the population grows and time goes on. Internet usage will eventually become the norm as it is in more developed nations. We hope to facilitate this through Carmudi.

What are the main issues you face in Pakistan and other countries?

Every country has its own issues when it comes to making an E-Commerce initiative successful. There are issues related to fraud and bogus listings. There is an issue of trust as well which is further aggravated by the lack of confidence people have with respect to the security and privacy of their personal information like credit cards, home addresses, phone numbers etc. All such issues are present in any country which you work in; we aim to counter these by increasing transparency on our website. We have taken very stringent measures to ensure that all listings are verified by our employees before they go on our website. This way we ensure the trust of our customers and keep the website free from any frauds. If we talk about changing awareness of an online marketplace, transparency and convenience are two key ingredients. We change the way people buy and sell cars.

Who are your competitors in Pakistan and how is Carmudi different from them?

In Pakistan, there are online websites dealing with selling cars but along with that they are catering to other things as well. You see a website as putting up a car classified along with selling a clothing item, electronics or different accessories etc. At, Carmudi, we only sell cars. In order to be the best at something it requires undivided attention. What sets Carmudi apart from others is that all we only cater to cars from its classifieds to all its information regarding car related products. Our focus remains on being the No.1 online car marketplace.

Apart from car sales/purchase, what other areas have potential in Pakistan’s e-commerce industry?

Rocket Internet and its affiliated companies are changing the face of e-commerce in Pakistan. We are a major driving force behind this sector. Carmudi is changing not just how people shop but when they do it too. Most of our traffic comes between 9pm and 1am in the evening. And let’s not forget that the potential stemming from 3G/4G which will allow people to browse the online marketplace as quickly and conveniently on the street as they can at home.

If you look at the past one year, Pakistan has seen a reach of over 30 million internet users. That’s phenomenal! This figure alone adds up to more than Venezuela’s entire population. It is estimated that the overall e-commerce spending is in the range of $4 billion annually in Pakistan. This is not just a passing fad. Online businesses are here to stay. In fact, it is projected that 80 percent of Pakistan’s online consumers plan to buy a new or used car in the next two years. This speaks volumes for the growth of online platforms such as Carmudi. In my opinion, at least 25% of traditional businesses in Pakistan will soon be converted into online businesses.

What are your future plans in Carmudi specifically for the local market?

The future plan is to become the No.1 player in Pakistan for everything related to vehicles. With our online app scheduled for launch next week, our aim is to create such a connection with anyone who wants to buy cars that they think of “Carmudi” every time they even say the word cars. We would like to engage with our customers more actively so that we can eventually become the one-stop shop for all car-related topics. Be it reviews, insurance queries or price comparisons, we would like to meet all the needs of our customers in. Carmudi.pk is already making a mark in the Pakistani market. With going from 1500 listings to almost 40,000 listings in a couple of months, the future is only bright for Carmudi in Pakistan.

 

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