Even while he's talking, Kunal Patwa (27) has a hard time taking his eyes off the computer screen showing a test drive of the new Porsche Cayenne. A sales team leader at the Porsche showroom at Peddar Road, he admits he loves the fact that his job lets him talk cars all day.
What made you enter the automobile industry?
I’ve been into in cars ever since I read my first car magazine as a kid during a visit to my uncle’s house in Bhopal at the age of 13. After that, I used to save up my pocket money so I could buy those magazines and I never threw them away; I still have them. So after I did my BCom from Mumbai university, I automatically veered in this direction.
What exactly do you do?
There are four aspects to my job: Prospecting, test driving, customising the car on an online 3-D configurator and contract and delivery.
Essentially, the job is about making sure the customer gets what he wants. Because I work with a brand like Porsche, I don’t have to work on hard-selling the car. But the USP is customisation and I have to make sure the customer gets what he or she wants.
Other than this, we spend our time on data entry and in training, where we learn more about our own cars and those of the competition.
What is the most challenging part of your job? What is the most rewarding?
Understanding what the customer has in his head, his expectations from the car, and then turning those into actuals and helping him choose correctly is challenging. You have to translate concept into reality.
The most rewarding moment is when you make a delivery and you see the smile on the customer’s face. It’s the sort of thing that doesn’t fade away.
What are the skills required in this field?
You have to be a people’s person and be able to make customers tell you what they need. You also have to be able to relate to different sorts of customers, whether it is a suave professional or a businessman from Kolhapur.