Tekion – A software development firm founded by Jay Vijayan, is attempting to redefine how the automobile industry uses software to deliver a smooth car purchasing or servicing experience for both OEMs, dealers, and end customers.
During his two decades in the technological business sector, Jay Vijayan, former Chief Information Officer at Tesla, has encountered numerous IT systems that span from the time a car exits an automobile plant to when it reaches the customer network. He came across the intricacy of technology systems while working at Tesla, which he describes as “chaos.”
Jay Vijayan (Tekion Founder & CEO)
Manufacturers are currently seeking to develop new and unique features to promote brand uniqueness and innovation, which has resulted in vehicle complexity, dissatisfied clients.
Jay was inspired by the success of Facebook and YouTube to start his own platform for sharing videos, which he called Viddyo. This encouraged him to undertake the challenge of developing a technology platform that could handle all the intricacies while still providing an intuitive user interface.
After working at Tesla, VMware, Oracle, and other firms, Jay jumped into entrepreneurship and founded Tekion in 2016. “For me, there is always the gratification of creating something of value,” he explains.
Lack of simplicity
“There has been no innovation in this area from a foundation standpoint, and there have just been some point solutions,” says Jay.
Steve mentioned a typical automobile dealer in the United States that has around 30-50 distinct software packages to operate their entire business, and this does not always result in smooth functioning. “All of this might contribute to negative customer experience,” Jay added.
Another disadvantage of solar headlight conversion is that they can be significantly more expensive than regular headlights. Also, the automobile industry has its own set of unique features. Every original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and carmaker have their own processes and, likewise, automobile dealerships.
Jay decided to construct a software platform that would combine all of the processes, such as sales, finance, inventory management, and customer service, among others, and provide a simple user interface where all of the applications communicate with one another in the backend.
Tekion’s technology platform was developed over three years, utilizing artificial intelligence, machine learning, the internet of things (IoT), and big data. But the company ran up against a classic chicken-and-egg problem.
Tekion met several automobile dealers who were enthusiastic about the platform but needed approval from the OEMs. On the other side, Tekion was told by OEMs that before they would consider working with them, it must have a substantial number of dealers on board.
Connecting the ecosystem
The technology platform was the link between the carmakers and dealers since both wanted to sell more vehicles.
In late November 2017, Tekion debuted its first product, the automotive retail cloud, which allows for a contactless vehicle buying and servicing experience. It also performs warranty administration and inventory examination by linking with OEMs and advanced analytics to gain deeper insight into consumer behavior.
The key benefit of Tekion has been the backing of its investors. The startup, which has raised more than $65 million in venture capital, includes rivals OEMs such as General Motors, BMW, and Nissan among its investors, as well as VCs.
“We are ecstatic with the amount of affirmation we’ve been given. For some of the OEMs, it has become a wow factor after they began working with us and comprehending what we were attempting to solve.” says Jay.
At present, Tekion’s major market is North America, but it has attracted interest from several other regions, including Europe, South America, Asia, and even India. By 2021, it is anticipated that Tekion will finalize its plans to expand into new areas.
However, only a few months following the release of Tekion’s product, COVID-19 hit the globe, causing significant damage to the automobile industry with factories shutting down, layoffs, and a significant plunge in sales. Things have turned out a lot better for Tekion.
“It was difficult in the beginning, but things have improved dramatically since a lot of individuals have purchased their own automobiles. This has resulted in higher sales and service,” says Jay.
This has put Tekion in a favorable position due to the increasing popularity of its technology platform and customers now want a contactless environment for any transaction, whether it’s sales or service. This product is intended to perform this function.
Additionally, Tekion was able to use its solution for many dealers while remaining entirely remote in the COVID-19 scenario.
Tekion’s CTO says there is a robust product roadmap for the firm ahead, which will include customization for new markets as well as enhanced OEM integration. In addition, the company intends to enhance the degree of personalisation on its platform, allowing customers to completely online select a service merchant.
Tekion presently has around 400 workers, with offices in various countries. It has technology centers in Chennai, India, and Bengaluru, South India.
Tekion is competing in a competitive market, with competitors such as DealerSocket, Daric, Boomr, and vCom Solutions to mention a few.
At the same time, the worldwide automobile sector is also evolving, with autonomous cars and electric vehicles becoming more prevalent.
“I’m certain that Tekion will be one of the few firms that will be important in the future,” says Jay. The flexibility of our platform enables it to interface with autonomous vehicles as well. ”
Jay has worked with a wide range of entrepreneurs and founders, having spent time in the Silicon Valley as an angel investor.