Published On: Thu, Mar 14th, 2013

Kondody Autocraft

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Kerala as a state is a melting pot of many unique characteristics. From being the most educated state of the country to the state that holds the record for most number of “days off due to strikes and lockouts” in any given year, we have many things we can call our own, some which we are proud of and some, not so much. The fact that the government does not take the lion’s share of everything in Public transportation is one such thing. We can be happy about the fact that 70% of Buses plying on our roads are privately owned, but the flipside to that is of course, that we have one of the most ill behaved drivers and probably one of the worst traffic cultures in the country. It all comes down to one thing- every bus driver is on a mad race to score maximum number of passengers within a toll period. In the city of Ernakulum, when one speaks of “red devils”, they aren’t really talking about Manchester United. They are speaking of the Privately owned buses ruling the roads of this city with utter disregard to any form of traffic order that (should) exist. So what we have is a state full of educated people who are getting used to a pre-historic barbarian attitude from people who are supposed to serve you with a smile. Before we bow down in shame and bury ourselves in self-pity, let’s talk some good news. It happens so that there is a Private bus transport provider you should get acquainted with. They call themselves Kondodi Motors. What makes them so special you ask? Everything. Ask passengers who take the Kottayam- Kumali bus route about Kondodi Motors and you’ll know what we are on about. This company isn’t on a mad run to market themselves as a company that does better “customer service” gimmick. They are trying to bring about, a state of mental revolution. They are trying to bring about a ground breaking change in the way bus owners look at paying customers altogether. They are trying to bring about a cultural change- by making bus riding a pleasurable experience for its respectable customers and educating their counterparts, a great deal about mutual respect. Established in 1972 by Mr. Tom Jose, Kondody has taken to new heights. Almost immediately after the establishment of this service, he started feeling the pressure of hurdles from all directions. As a result, “Kondody Autocraft” was born. Initially established to cater to their own needs on building bus bodies, this company now serves a clientele on their own. The founder identified potential in Bus services for many different reasons. For one, Kerala is a state where demand is yet to meet supply on the public transportation front. Besides the buses that do exist haven’t really won over the confidence of its customers, owing to misbehavior of workers and alarmingly high number of accidents that occur every single day on our roads. However, every single employee of Kondody is handpicked to suit a profile of respectable behavior. They are also required to be educated. From its inception, they believed in serving their customers better and not in engaging in petty races with others on the road. Another interesting gap they identified was the buses’ ruthless attitude toward school kids who travel on a concession. Students are either refused service or not allowed to travel sitting at all. Kondody decided to start a service exclusively for students. Such was the attention they paid toward making Bus ride a heart warming experience.




Kondody Autocraft

Kondody autocraft, the bus-bodybuilding facility was surfaced with a view to build bodies for Kondody’s own fleet. A requirement like that did not demand extensive space, therefore they made one for themselves in the Town of Kottayam. However, given their exceptional workmanship added to the fact that there wasn’t any other takers , they started identifying demand among other bus owners to get their body works done from Kondody. As a result, they shifted their facility from the congested town to the village expanse in Ayarkkunam. This happened in 2008. Kondody has a decent fleet of about 40 buses plying in Kottayam area. It comes as no surprise that a business enterprise with such a keen eye for opportunities always kept themselves up to date with technology related to their trade as well. Kondody Autocraft’s new facility makes use of the most efficient and affordable systems for body production. Most of the techniques used are home grown. Traditionally, buses are made out of a composite of iron and wood. Kondody’s bodies are made out of Galvanized Iron (GI). No wood is used for the fact that it allows limited durability and buses could catch fire easily. Over and above all these factors, GI is heavier; hence it’d provide better stability and safety to the chassis. In the beginning, they could make deliveries at the rate of just one body a month, but nowadays, they are in a position to make one delivery a day. Such is the astounding progress they have made.


Cost for a bus

A bus chassis would cost about Rs. 12 Lakh to own. To get a body work done at Kondody Autocraft, you’d have to shell out another Rs. 5 Lakh. Although they try to satisfy the owners’ needs to an extent, there is no room for awful lot of customizations. It isn’t because it’d be impossible for Kondody to meet all these needs, but spending too much time on one work would cost the progress of other work pending. Hence, they try to keep their work as standardized and lean as possible. However, when it comes to interior work, such as preferred spec of seats, window type etc, Kondody makes note of client preferences. They are also adamant on using only top quality materials for building. Kondody charges a 13.5% VAT from Bus owners .

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