“Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) is among our clients. In 2020 and 2021, two IPLs and a cricket world cup were hosted in the UAE. That time we arranged vehicles for BCCI there through local vendors and realised the huge potential that exists for us in the UAE. There are so many Indian companies, hotels (including four Taj and an Oberoi) and businesses there. In the next 2-3 months we will start rental services in Dubai under our brand name,” Ahluwalia, whose grandfather Desraj Singh started KTC and was known as Mr DLZ in government circles, said. While DLY used to be registration number for black and yellow taxis in Delhi till about the start of this Millennium, luxury rental cars bore DLZ numberplate here.
With Saudi Arabia keen to open up as a destination and seeing India as a big potential source market for beyond religious tourists, KTC has big plans to enter the country. Incidentally Saudi is gaining traction among Indian companies. Taj has two properties in the pipeline at Macca and Diriyah.
“In first half of next fiscal we will be present in Saudi Arabia. The overseas expansion will require an investment of about $5 million in each Dubai and Saudi,” said Ahluwalia who had rented about 30 luxury vans from Nepal to meet the requirement of the G20 summit hosted in Delhi last September.
Business is booming for companies like KTC as the car rental market has undergone a sea change post Covid. “Before 2020, the share of big companies in this industry was 30-40%. Smaller players belonging to the unorganised sector with 15-20 cars had a majority of the business. Post Covid we saw consolidation and now 5-7 big companies have a majority of this business,” he says.
Ahluwalia recalls how his company had provided cars for then US president Dwight D Eisenhower’s visit to Delhi in December 1959. In December 2018 it had arranged 1,000 luxury vehicles for a leading industrialist’s daughter’s destination wedding in Udaipur. And during G20, he said KTC had met over 60% of the 1,000 plus vehicle requirement seen during G20 in Delhi.