Empower Pragati collaborates with Castrol and Pravah to launch India’s first technical helpline for roadside mechanics

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As part of the Eklavya project, an upskilling programme implemented by us in collaboration with Pravah & Castrol to provide technical and life skills training to two-wheeler roadside mechanics, we have recently launched a technical helpline for the mechanics trained by us. With the launch of this service, mechanics can call on the helpline to resolve any issue they are facing with respect to their customers two wheeler(s) which they are not being able to solve on their own.

The background to Eklavya project

 India, which sells almost 50,000 two wheelers in a single day is home to the largest two wheeler market in the world. Though there is no statistic to support this but close to 70% of two wheeler owners still prefer to go the local Ustad who always has a quick and cheaper fix for the customer, besides being the only option available to repair the customers two wheeler (irrespective of the brand) in the rural most part of the country and thus is a key stakeholder in the new age young India for who two wheelers is the most preferred and affordable choice of vehicle.

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The Ustads ,majority of whom are school dropouts have honed their skills working on the job over the years. The transition from chotu the ‘desi apprentice’ to an ustad, from working at a shop to owning a shop is an eventful journey, one that is filled with many challenges and learnings along the way. Yet the fear of a complete technological transformation in the new ages bikes, from the 2 stroke and carburetor era to 4 stroke and FI system era is something that makes mechanics very insecure about their longevity in this profession due to a lack formal skill training.

The first phase of our partnership with Castrol and Pravah, under which we trained 2500 roadside mechanics in Delhi, witnessed a high influx of calls from mechanics to our trainers post training completion, to help them resolve any technical problem that they were facing with respect to their customers two wheeler vehicle. The trust in the trainers skills and knowledge, developed during the training sessions made the mechanics confident about the trainers ability to help them solve their problem and at the same time reassured them that they finally have somebody who they can count on. Be it ‘Bike race nahi de rahi hai’ or ‘Bike missing mar rahi hain’ our trainers would quickly help the mechanics with an instant solution.

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As the numbers of mechanics trained increased so did the number of calls received by our trainers. With the number of calls going up to 5-6 calls per day per trainer the need to have a structured system in place arose in order to ensure that no calls go unanswered and the queries were being resolved in a reasonable frame of time. Thus was born the Eklavya Helpline.

Mariya, an alumnus from our Ayanagar Retail training centre is a young and bright resource who manages the helpline. Once she receives a call from the mechanic, she very carefully records the details of the mechanic and the problem he is facing, in a set format and then routes the call to our technical expert who then calls the mechanic to provide a solution to his problem. Once the expert has completed the call, Mariya calls the mechanic again to capture his feedback about the helpline.

The helpline as part of Project Eklavya is an initiative that attempts to indefinitely prolong the mechanics survival in the industry by helping them become self- sustainable and self-reliant and in the process also improve their livelihood.

The mechanics are delighted with the helpline service that has been setup exclusively for them and excitedly remark saying ‘Yeh hum mechani bhaiyo ke liye phele aise service shuru hue hain and hum bahut khush hain’ when they first learn about the helpline service and especially when they find out that it is absolutely free of cost.

The overwhelming response received in just the first few months of launching the service is testimony to this fact. More than 100 mechanics have called on the helpline since its launch in February and more than 60% of the queries have been resolved by our experts over the phone.

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