At a time when business and shopping portals are fast emerging in the online marketplace to grab consumer attention, pakwheels.com is a prominent name for those whose life revolves around the automobile industry.
“This is not just a web portal where one can buy or sell a car. Our platform is trying to offer each and every solution to individuals and the industry as a whole,” said Muhammad Raza Saeed, Chief Executive Officer of Pak Wheels.com in an interview with The Express Tribune.
Initiated in 2003 from Karachi in a bid to provide a platform for interaction between owners of vintage and heavy vehicles, the website has evolved over the years with the addition of new features.
These include automotive reviews and news, automotive prices, solutions to different needs, breakdown of taxes on the import of a car, personal car maintenance, workshop recommendations and others.
The portal has focused on providing each and every solution for its visitors only a click away. “Our strength is our community which discusses its views and interacts online every day and this strength is growing day by day,” Saeed said.
Since this is one of the first portals in Pakistan, many auto lovers overseas, who wish to get connected to the country’s auto industry or want to exchange a car, visit this site regularly, according to Saeed. “Around 20% of our traffic consists of overseas visitors,” he said.
With the shift in technology and growing internet usage, Saeed believes more and more people will turn to online shopping. “As internet penetration increases, we want to be the answer to the automotive needs of every Pakistani,” he said.
At present, the web traffic is over 25 million visitors who view 250 million pages each year, according to Saeed. He did not share financial details of his web portal, but put revenue growth at more than 100% per annum. “Many luxurious brands and other companies prefer our site for advertising,” he added.
The portal management also focuses on highlighting the auto industry issues and arranging auto shows in order to provide an opportunity for website visitors to showcase their vintage and luxury cars.
The portal is trying to transform the mechanism for sale and purchase of used cars, but has faced resistance from traditional car dealers.
“Change is something that is not accepted easily. In the beginning, car dealers resisted this idea but later found it to be a much better and updated platform for doing business and saving time,” he said.
Currently, over 6,000 car dealers are registered and are working with the portal, according to Saeed.
The company also seeks to engage consumers a step before going to purchase a vehicle by providing them with research data of cars, bikes and other automotive needs. This research will include a host of tools to help the consumers make a right choice.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2014.