Chennai’s oldest auctioneer eyes new markets

Murray & Co, the city’s oldest auction house, is eyeing new markets and embracing online platforms, including Facebook.

“Our plans are to initially expand our work within South India and then more west and northwards. We are hoping to do that by next year. The intention is to provide our online auction services to the industrial segment,” said Hemant Srivatsa, partner, Murray & Co.

According to him, the industrial disposal market is extremely large.

“Our services have till now been limited to the southern States. On an average we conduct 10-15 sales every month; that is, around 120-180 sales a year,” he said.

Under the industrial auction segment, Murray handles the valuation and sale of plant and machinery, vehicles, unused spares and stock, and office equipment, among others, on behalf of industrial and commercial establishments, as well as public and private sector undertakings.

Online focus

The 91-year-old auctioneer has also started getting active on social media platforms like Facebook and has developed an online portal. “The online portal we have developed is uniquely designed, based on our domain knowledge of the sale processes. We launched the portal around a year back and are in the process of ironing out small issues. Once that is done, we will be well placed to offer better disposal solutions to our industrial clients,” Mr. Srivatsa said. He added that the portal has been designed to provide maximum transparency and effective support to anyone intending to sell in the B2B segment.

The firm continues with its popular weekend auctions where it sells antiques, consumer durables, home appliances and collectables among others.

“We conduct two auctions every week at our auction hall. In addition, there will probably be around 10-15 sales every month in the industrial segment. Every quarter will see a higher number of sales,” Mr. Srivatsa said.

Younger buyers

During an auction that happened in the last week of June, a young crowd was spotted at the auction house, which is now housed on the ground floor of Gemini Towers.

“Of late, I find a lot of youngsters attending auctions, compared to the early and mid 1990s. The internet provides substantial information at the click of a button and that has probably made the purchasers more informed than earlier,” Mr. Srivatsa said.

He also noted that the younger generation wanted to invest in quality products from yesteryear, instead of looking for gloss and sheen.

Source: Read Full Article