Taran Kumar – founder of DT Automobile

Indonesian born Taran Kumar completed his Bachelors degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing and Curtin University in Perth before moving back to Indonesia to help his father run his business manufacturing undergarments for export throughout the US and other parts of Asia. With big clients around the world such as Walmart , JCPenny and other retail outlets, Taran gained a lot of business experience and knowledge of international markets.

The extrovert in me makes me talk to more and more people around the world and make sure not to leave until both of us have something in common”

After a few months his dad persuaded him to pursue a Masters degree in London. It was there that he started to learn more about the car exporting market and seized the opportunity to export luxury cars from the UK to Indonesia, selling them at a much cheaper price tag – DT Automobile was launched.

Since he kicked of the venture in April 2012 he has imported cars, from Range Rovers to Porsches, for private buyers, which allows him to keep costs low and turnover quick as buyers are ready at hand and he doesn’t need a showroom. Taran meets with suppliers from all over the UK and Europe to gain insights into the market and does all the purchasing and shipment processing personally to ensure that DT Automobile is a win-win situation for his clients and his company.

What are you working on right now? 

Right now I’m working hard to bring Holden to Indonesia and to make heads turn on the Aussie culture of Ute’s and making sure they get attracted to those V8 engines instead of thinking it as a utility vehicle to carry boxes.

I am also planning to expand not only in cars but maybe into other sorts of businesses, which may take place in 2013

How do you make ideas happen?

Ideas happen through:

  • Faith 
  • Determination
  • Observation
  • Research
  • Client focus 

The extrovert in me makes me talk to more and more people around the world and make sure not to leave until both of us have something in common and have potentials to build ideas and start sharing them with the world.

What does your typical day look like?

My days begin with getting up in the early morning and starting the day with thanking God for giving us our daily bread, then I head to the gym for an hour, off to the university to attend my seminars which normally I finish about mid-day. I then start meeting my suppliers around London and from time-time I travel around UK to meet my other specialized car suppliers like (Overfinch, project Kahn). I head off back to my apartment to relax after a long tiring day and spend time rationally doing work, research and replying to tons of email whilst enjoying a glass of red wine along with tapas and great company.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

In Australia, starting my own company was easy however, getting direct exports has been quite hard and difficult to figure out. Although I have exported cars for personal use from Australia this requires paying full road tax as well as GST –  being a personal luxury car importer, I aim to have the most efficient price to achieve customer satisfaction. Thus I personally am working very hard to get direct export cars from Australia 

What is one idea you are willing to give away for free?

Be my car supplier for Indonesia and lets boom the market together with Aussie muscle cars like Holden and HSV’s.

Another idea to be brought out is to import garments from Indonesia as they have very high quality, yes although it may be costly as compared to China, but seeing Australia as a vast market for brand provenance, there is a high chance for garment retailers to boom as a lot of people would pay for quality, and Australian consumers have a lot of spending power.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, in Australia at the moment? 

In Australia, the food and beverage market is booming intensely and people are willing to pay for a quality meal…”

In Australia, the food and beverage market is booming intensely and people are willing to pay for a quality meal, thus restaurants that have gourmet and rich tasting food would make money – also burger joints and breaksfast clubs such as Jus Burgers and Grill’d.

I think companies like Country Road, are quite cool as their clothing quality is fantastic.  Also  Crown company has made significant changes to Burswood entertainment complex and this has changed the image of Perth entertainment completely, with beautifully decorated bars, shows and the casino.

What about internationally?

Internationally, I would say that Apple and Microsoft are moving the game, especially Apple, as a company they are the only company ive seen so far , that make people crazy over their product with people waiting in lines every time they launch a new product. The Smartphone industry is doing pretty well, although it has a perfect competition, making it hard for consumers to decide what they want as almost all products and features are the same.

What role do you think Australian businesses can play in the growing Asian economy?

Furniture, culinary and also garments would be the best for Australian to play with in Asian countries.

Name 3 websites you would recommend to our readers?

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

Yes definitely, I’m open to help anytime, especially collaboration of ideas.

What’s your favourite bar/café/restaurant?

In Perth – Nobu, Rock pool, and Ciao Italia.

We thought it would be cool to crowdsource an annual prize to award to the interviewee’s choice (each person interviewed gets one vote) winner for the year’s best interview. Are you willing to kick in a prize?

Social media help and lunch date if I’m in Perth or a bottle of champagne/wine or maybe I could help in getting the best flight deals especially for business and first class users.

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