As the famous quote from Lawrence of Arabia goes - “Big things have small beginnings”. And our customer story in this edition is a strong testament to that.
Hailing from a small town in Tamil Nadu, Mr Chandrasekar did not have an ideal childhood. With limited resources and financial constraints, he managed to complete his SSLC and started working as a Cleaner for a local logistics company to support his family. Despite his humble roots, he had sky-high dreams, which he vowed to fulfil with his hard work and determination. Today, Sekar Travels is a flourishing transportation company, counted amongst leaders in the Ranipet region of Tamil Nadu.
Having completed his studies in the year 1996, Mr Chandrasekar worked odd jobs for over two years before he was struck with the idea of starting his own venture that offered affordable transport solutions to various industries. With no financial backing, starting a new business was never going to be a cakewalk, but that didn’t deter this man on a mission. Not the one to be laid low, Mr Chandrasekar bought a second-hand Mahindra maxi cab and that is how Sekar Travels was born in the year 1998.
The journey had started but was replete with challenges at every step. Limited financial resources meant that growing the business was not so easy. Add to it the woes of operating a ‘used vehicle’, that meant dealing with frequent breakdowns and maintenance issues. But with a long-term vision and a never-say-die attitude, the business started to take-off, making small yet significant strides forward.
Today, Sekar Travels boasts of a fleet of 118 vehicles that include 3Ws, LCVs, ICVs as well as MHCVs. That the company is on a sound growth trajectory is evident from the fact that in the year 2012, an additional logistics and transportation venture was established to meet the business needs more efficiently, under the name of Sivam Transport.
Having been through rough weather for a major part of his life, Mr Chandrasekar made it a point to structure his business in a way that would make it averse to market risks. This is evident from the fact that even during the time when the pandemic was at its peak, the company did not experience too many roadblocks. Both Sekar Travels and Sivam Transport cater to leading manufacturing insurers in Ranipet and Vellore, and there was sufficient demand for vehicles even during the toughest of times. In fact, most industries in the region are dependent on transportation and logistics to run smoothly. Though both his ventures witnessed a slight decline in profit margins during the pandemic times, with smart financial planning and support from financiers like TMF, Mr Chandrasekar was able to wade through and minimise the impact on business.
For any business to sustain in the longer run, it is imperative that it remains at par with technological advancements in the sector. This is what both Sekar Travels and Sivam Transport have also done, by embracing latest technology that makes their operations efficient while enabling clients to save costs as well. Mr Chandrasekar appreciates the fact that technology can pave the way for real-time situational awareness as well as transparency. Both his businesses have thus been smartly built to rise to the occasion, as and when needed.
Entering a new phase of growth, Mr Chandrasekar has recently purchased 35 new vehicles to cater to the growing demand, in line with the vision and targets set in the year 2020. Additionally, he has successfully established a Tata Authorised Service Center to maintain vehicles as per Tata standards, ensuring higher uptime for his fleet; a win-win for both him and his clients. With a steady income stream complemented by meticulous financial planning, Sekar Travels is geared up to add more vehicles to their fleet to address growing needs of their clients.
Having witnessed multiple crests and troughs in his journey of over 25 years, Mr Chandrasekar mentions one constant – Tata Motors Finance, who he credits for being his true partner in success and an all-weather friend since the year 2013. As he prepares to enter the next phase of his growth journey, we at TMF stand committed to supporting him at every step and shall do everything possible to help transform his dreams into reality.