International Auto Expo event, perhaps, is the most prominent specialized exhibition that took place on February 6-9 in India. This expo, which is conducted once in two years, can be fairly called an ideal platform for automotive industry, where you can showcase the latest products to the large professional audience, learn technical info about the industry innovations, as well as promote your products on the Asian market.
Our partner Technoton Sensors, being one of the exhibitors and showcasing its products together with Wialon Hosting system, was very kind and shared all the details with us. I spoke to Technoton Sensors director Evgeny Shpakovskiy, who told me about his experience of participation in the event, and expressed his view on the telematics market of India:
Alexandra: Hello, Evgeny! Thank you for devoting your time and sharing the impressions about Auto Expo 2014. So, please, tell me, is it the first time when you take part as an exhibitor of the event?
Evgeny: No, Alexandra, it’s the second Expo for us.
First time we showcased our products and solutions in 2012, and since then we consider this event as a must-go.
(Note: The previous Expo 2012 gathered more than 1500 exhibitors from 25 countries of the world and 700 000 + guests)
А: Evgeny, what is your personal view on the event? What peculiar features have you noticed this year? What innovations, solutions and etc. have drawn your attention most?
Е: This year there were two different venues. The first one is a famous Auto Expo Motor Show, where you can get acquainted with cars and motorbikes for all the market segments — from local trucks to premium cars, as well as the most popular cheap local Hero Honda bikes. This part of the event attracts lots of viewers and is most popular among citizens.
The second part is called Components. And it’s easy to guess that this part is dedicated to all the components and accessories, used in cars, trucks, motorcycles, generators, etc., focused on the local market. I fell under the impression that we could even mount the whole truck, car or motorcycle there. Visitors of this part of the Expo are also different: they are mostly vehicle fleet owners, spare parts’ providers, GPS tracking hardware and software manufacturers, as well as multiple automakers of different level.
(Note: In view of increased popularity and interest towards the Expo from both, exhibitors and visitors, it was decided to divide the event on two parts: Auto Expo — Components Show 2014 in Pragati Maidan Centre, February 6-9, and Auto Expo — Motor Show 2014 in India Expo Mart, February 7-11).
If to speak particularly of our segment, this time there were nothing else besides Chinese fuel level sensors and trackers, fuel tracking solutions (also from China, but with local software) and trackers produced by Indian company MapMyIndia. Though in 2012 there were more companies dealing with vehicle tracking.
Е: With the view of increased fuel prices in India, we concentrated on fuel control in commercial sector, i.e. trucks, building machinery and generators. One of the most popular solutions today is Wialon Hosting software + digital fuel level sensor Technoton tracker (by Technoton), which was optimized for fuel tracking in trucks and generators. Furthermore, we are always working on new solutions, such as for example, fuel control solution for TATA Winger ambulance cars, implemented together with our local partner.
А: I’ve heard that your stand was always crowded and enjoyed huge popularity among the guests…Please, tell me your recipe for success:)
Е: Our stand had a very good location in the biggest pavilion near the main entrance to the exhibition, so there were always a lot of people circulating around us. During the last two days our specialists even couldn’t leave it in order to have lunch, because of so many people, interested in our products and solutions!
The greatest interest was raised by a complete fuel tracking solution (some people even didn’t know about the possibility to track fuel in general). We displayed Wialon Hosting, sensors, report templates, fuel draining and refueling charts with comments. Some people from large automobile companies asked different technical questions. They were very interested in the system working principles, sensors, and, of cause, prices, cause price is a defining factor on the Indian market.
A lot of questions were asked by people who are already involved in vehicle tracking. They were very interested in flowmeters, fuel level sensors, software and reports. For such people we offered our help with integration of their hardware with Wialon Hosting system.
Е: The results are very surprising! We haven’t expected such a huge interest to fuel tracking solutions. Some visitors came from different states in order to meet us in person. Certainly, our participation helped to convey the information to future end-users and make local integrators think of possible cooperation.
А: Evgeny, let me ask you one more question, what general industry development trends do you see today?
Е: Going back to 2012, I remember that there were no one with qualitative fuel tracking solution. Speaking about qualitative solution I mean a set of hardware and software, allowing to get data, process it and provide the customer with an accurate report. And what is even more important – it should work flawlessly, and it definitely requires professional technical support.
Recently, I’ve seen a lot of companies, offering fuel control solutions (as they call them), but in reality they offer only fuel indicating. Unfortunately, the development is suppressed by local mentality, which can be explained in three phrases: to find less pricey solution, to make quick money and install the system without any experience. The first statement is a crucial one and can’t be changed historically, but the last one needs a lot of work.
Everyone wants to create a fuel tracking system only with the help of programmers, without working «in the fields». On the one hand, we can’t make prices much higher — all the customers are looking for prices as that of Chinese trackers. But on the other hand we’re always trying to minimize the prices without changing the quality. Many think that it’s a wrong approach. But those who know the Indian market agree.
Let me add that the market is full of demand for cheap CAN interface solutions. Car transport is almost totally equipped with CAN interface, and freight transport is often a problem: the most popular handmade trucks and buses are left without CAN interface. Though, the market is full of more expensive models TATA, VOLVO, KAMAZ, MAN, SCANIA, AMW and etc, having the CAN interface. I can’t but mention the problem with electricity in India: it can be switched off several times a day, and sometimes last for the whole day. That’s why there is a really huge market of generators, with the same situation with fuel tracking. I want to thank Gurtam for launching a new Wialon product line, concerning this issue.
(Note: Gurtam will introduce its new solution for stationary units tracking called Sensolator during CeBIT 2014)
А: Evgeny, thank you for your answers! I’m sure that your professional view will be interesting for our numerous readers.
Е: Thank you.
P.S.: Initially, I planned to make a short item on the interesting exhibition in India. But thanks to Evgeny, we managed to make a rather extensive review. And it serves as a proof that promoting you products and solutions on Indian market can be very promising!