Issue: The 10 Most Intelligent Automotive CEOs to Watch in 2021

Elizabeth Kuruvilla: Retain Car Shine with Water-conserving Green auto Detailing

With the wave of water conservation and sustainability of scarce resources becoming an essential aspect to consider in each and every domain, Elizabeth Kuruvilla is leading UAE’s first Green Car Spa,   with an aim to limit water wastage on auto detailing. This company also proffers waterless and organic alternatives for their complete package of detailing services. Besides this, there are many Green Shine waterless spa packages that are provided on the customer’s doorstep to help customers maintain their car’s pristine glow in the best possible way.

Her inspiring efforts in this field are quite commendable. “While 1/3rd of the world reels without water for basic needs, I believe that wasting water on mundane activities is criminal. Hence, when I came across this concept of waterless cleaning/detailing of cars, I fell for it and gave up my lucrative corporate life to set it up here in this part of the world.” She shares.

Mission to A Water-Sustainable Tomorrow

Mainly all five pillars of Energy, Water, Food, Ecology & Waste need sustainability; however, water forms the basis of life and is an indispensable need for all human beings. As UAE has a popular water consumer base owing to the extensive wastage in the Auto Care industry, it is vital to ameliorate the water levels for future generations. With a highly inefficient pressure-based traditional water system, it becomes all the more important to save it to cater to future demands easily.

She states, “At a very nominal rate of 100 liters per wash and one wash per week, this works out to over a billion gallons of water that could otherwise be put to life-saving needs, being wasted annually.”

Green Shine’s comprehensive range of waterless and biodegradable Smart Liquids is blended in the UAE to help conserve energy in the best way. Hence, carbon footprint reduction, as compared to traditional methods of the car wash, enable in keeping surroundings cleaner and safer (no drainage issues), contributing to better city landscaping while also providing better working conditions for customers and staff.

There may be many stumbling blocks in the path, but perseverance is the key to cross every hurdle in the path of success. She shares, “Anybody who has set up a business knows that nothing ever goes ‘as per plan.’ You have to learn to be flexible enough to adapt to the setbacks/changes required.” While she was on the journey to build a strong business empire, she resorted to conducting proper business research at first and then waiting for the hard work to get desired results.

She had to fight many odds to even build a customer base in the first place. Starting from getting customers on-board to quit the largely used water method and rely on waterless techniques. However, with her consistent and adamant efforts of providing demos and proffering free services, her team was able to build trust and break all the barriers easily.

Currently, Green Shine works on a 3-tier service provision:

  1. Direct outlets for the consumer to avail of its waterless services
  2. Channels where it sells its products to mass consumers like OEM service stations, Franchise shops etc.
  3. Appointing franchisees to apply the same models in other GCC countries.

Standing out in the Highly-Competitive Market

Constant communication with all the customers is considered as the core to establishing long-lasting relationships. As time changes, the customer demands also evolve. Elizabeth emphasizes on the fact that all businesses should grow and meet customer expectations in the best way. In this way, the competitors will have to make more efforts to surpass your trust in the market.

She confidently adds, “Any business that rests on its past laurels will die eventually – you have to be on a constant path of evolution, adding to your product/ service portfolio and using the right platform to create awareness of these new offers among your target customer base.”

Elizabeth has already chosen the road less trodden. In such paths, feedbacks from loyal customers are considered the only medium to keep you motivated. According to her, “Feedback can be in different forms – not always verbal or in writing – which also we get and value. But I  have always valued a repeat customer as my best form of feedback. We have loyal customers who bring all their cars (4 or 5 in the family) year after year for detailing.” This is probably the best feedback she ever had.

Leading The Dream Life As An Entrepreneur

For Elizabeth, transforming her life from a stable Corporateur to a dream-life entrepreneur was quite arduous yet highly satisfying. With a noble aim to eradicate water scarcity in the near future, Elizabeth is on the mission to convert atleast 50% of car owners in UAE to waterless ways of cleaning/detailing. Due to her inspiring step, she has also been recognized and awarded many prizes, Some of them are shared below:

  1. November ’12 – One of the 5 finalists at the Emirates Woman Ambition Awards co-sponsored by INSEAD
  2. December ’13 – Won “Dow” Prize for Sustainability
  3. November ’14 – One of the top 3 ‘Green Businesses of the Year’ at SME Stars of Business Awards co-sponsored by Dubai Economic Council
  4. November ’15 – Won “Admirable Woman Entrepreneur” Award at SME Stars of Business Awards

However, she considers the best reward to be the growing awareness among people who previously vouched for water-based auto detailing. She feels happy to see all her customers who come back again for detailing.

As the company owner, she has a plethora of supervisors at different branches to administer all the services in the best way.

She adds, “My regular job which I enjoy is meeting customers at various outlets to get a feel of his requirements and the market, in general, I also regularly meet up with my staff who are the backbone of any organization – not just to ensure that they feel valued but also because through them I get to gauge the pulse of the market best.”

Green Shine’s Future Roadmap of Success

Elizabeth has a 5-year plan to expand the services to atleast 20% population of the UAE. She states, “Green Shine’s target customer is the one who spends time, money, and effort in keeping his car looking ‘as good as new.’ Applying the 20-80 ratio, it is this 20% of these targeted customers that will contribute to saving 80% of water wasted thru Auto care activities.”

Her aim to bring change affects each branch of her company. Even labor contributes to 30% of Green Shine’s costs, and different detailing products are being replaced with natural substitutes like banana wax instead of normal wax, etc. Green Shine being the only company with waterless auto detailing service, only uses 0.25L per car for cleaning which will continue to make it a great initiative over and over again.

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