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Views of Sunil Gupta, CEO, Avis India

August 14, 2015
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Avis India is a leading player in the car rental space. The company has a pan-India footprint and offers services such as self driven and chauffeur driven cars; and provides for railway transfers and airport transfers for pickup and drop facilities. Sunil Gupta, chief executive officer, Avis India talks about the company’s telecom set-up and emerging technology trends in the transport segment.

Edited excerpts….

What is the organisation’s current telecom and information technology (IT) infrastructure? In what ways has telecom and IT helped company acquire and retain customers and enhance customer experience?

Avis is in the forefront of leveraging telecom and IT in the car rental space. The  IT-driven processes and safety features introduced by Avis India are unmatched internationally. Corporate guests desiring reliable, technology driven car rental services comprise the bulk of our customers.

The most recent development is the merger of our IT & telecom network and the creation of the electronic rent agreement (eRA). This GPS based e-Rental Agreement not only allows us to track a car during the entire course of the rental but also generates and records the time and kilometers automatically. This enables the entire process to become paperless and automated leading to a quantum improvement in user convenience. We continuously endeavor to improve the user experience through the use of IT and telecom. In the next phase we are empowering the user even further and the features currently available in the device placed in the car will be available on each user’s personal device. That will give a further boost to the overall customer experience.

Apart from this we constantly use regular features like video conferencing to interact with our Branches.

How has the usage of telecom and IT technologies helped ensure customer safety and security while on the move?

The company has introduced several security feature which are industry firsts internationally. Avis cars are provided with an easily accessible panic button which the guest can press in case the need arrives. Pressing this SOS button triggers an immediate response from our 24X7 Avis Secure Desk and this helps us in providing a great sense of security to our guests. The Avis Secure Desk consists of a team of dedicated executives working 24x7, specially trained for this purpose. Their role is not just to respond to the panic button calls but to track the usage of Avis cars by lady guests. They also call the women travelers both at the start and end of the rental to check if the traveler has any problems or is being inconvenienced in any way and if she has reached her destination safely.

We have also launched a cloud-based central chauffeur registry where each chauffeur’s biometric data as well as all the information on Avis chauffeurs countrywide including documents like residence proof, ID proof, police verification certificates, driving licence copies, commercial badge details and reference checks are stored online. Apart from this we have streamlined the process in such a manner that each region will have a compliance officer who will manage all necessary documentation regarding chauffeurs and keep a strict check to ensure non compliant chauffeurs are not in-fleeted in our system

What are the likely big trends in the technology space for travel players?

Mobile App for premium car rental firms that can also provide real-time tracking and reporting.

What are the company’s plans for upgrading its telecom and IT infrastructure?

We have already started the process of migrating to mobile applications for key functions at the organisation. This is the current trend in the Indian market and Avis is looking to establish itself in this space

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