When Covid-19 hit the world and India, one of the biggest markers of the new normal were the near-empty roads as a result of the nationwide lockdown last year. It's a situation that would have given automotive users a pause and made garage mechanics stop in their tracks wondering how things would pan out in the days to come.
On the other hand, a few mechanics went over and beyond their call of duty to ensure that their business adapted to the new normal with commendable efficiency. These mechanics have now been chosen as winners of Engine Ke Superstars - Season 2, a joint felicitation initiative by Total Oil India and Network 18 group.
As Syed Shakilur Rahman, CEO - Lubricants Division, Total Oil India said, "Engine Ke Superstars exemplifies the spirit of ingenuity among mechanics. We wanted to felicitate their efforts and put a spotlight on some of these aspiring stories that happened during the pandemic."
To do this, a survey was conducted across India to gather stories of growth among mechanics and how they adopted digital technology to not just help each other but also customers during one of the most challenging times the country has seen in recent years. "Technological challenges have accelerated during the pandemic. We had never imagined mechanics would use mobile phones so effectively. Through Engine Ke Superstars, we now wish to mobilise public gratitude towards mechanics and share their stories of resilience and ingenuity," Shakilur said.
Read on to learn more about the winners of Engine Ke Superstars - Season 2.
1 - Phanibhushan K, Vijayawada - SRI PURNA CAR WORKS
Phanibhushan K started his outlet in 2004 with his brothers and five others. He quickly expanded it in 2005 and had a staff of 10 people to look after when the lockdown hit. He recalls driving all the way to Hyderabad to fix a woman's car from his outlet in order to take on work and earn goodwill. He also credits changing to Total's synthetic oil that allows vehicles to run for 15,000 kms before an oil change is required instead of every 7000-8000 kms earlier.
2 Amit Faldu, Rajkot, Gujarat - P.M. SERVICE
Amit Faldu's problem-solving skills were put to the ultimate test when the pandemic-induced lockdown hit the country. From assisting vehicles of essential workers such as doctors and policemen to using video calls to help customers fix small issues and even creating WhatsApp groups to solve major issues, Faldu has done it all.
Not just that, he also ensured his workers' safety by setting up sanitisation spots and using an empty ground behind his outlet to service vehicles whilst allowing his workers to maintain social distancing and work without fear of getting infected. What a genius move that was!
3 G Raji Reddy, Secunderabad, Telangana - SRI RUDRA MOTORS
G Raji Reddy trained more people during the lockdown to help others as vehicles started breaking down and required an expert to fix them. From video calls to fix the problem to driving 150 to 170 kms to solve the problems in person, Reddy has done it all. To increase business prospects, he also started charging his customers lesser than before!
4 Vinay Mantri, Sehore, Madhya Pradesh - MANTRI CAR STUDIO
Vinay Mantri's team worked on vehicles of frontline staff such as policemen and hospital workers. They even provided food to people during the lockdown and stressed on sanitisation and masking up. Since transportation was difficult and procuring materials like engine oil, needed for servicing proved to be a challenge, Mantri sent his personal van to outstation cities like Bhopal and Indore to bring the materials to his outlet. As he says, the lockdown brought him new experiences, new learnings and new clients.
5 Sudhindra TS, Karnataka - GANA MOTORS
Sudhindra TS' team started working on pending vehicles during lockdown and began giving appointments post-lockdown for fixing vehicles. An advisor would inform customers what was the issue and the intended solution in a completely sanitised environment. He also trained his staff about Covid-19 and stressed the importance of using sanitiser every 30 minutes and sanitising the vehicle before starting to work on it among other precautions. In due time, his initiative and protocols led to an increase in turnover and helped him become an Engine Ke Superstar.
Reading about the backstory of how these mechanics faced challenges and overcame them is truly inspiring. From risking their own lives to helping essential workers to keep going, their contribution gets a worthy applause from the Engine Ke Superstars initiative.
You, too, can share stories of similar mechanics who have risen to the challenge and deserve to be known as Engine Ke Superstars. Simply visit the link here and help spread the word about your own mechanic's heroics.