Dhruv Agarwal, a year-13 student at Wellington International School is a car enthusiast who spends his free time researching and learning about the automotive industry. Through his exploration, he discovered a longstanding issue in the car servicing market. ‘‘A large section of consumers (my parents included) didn’t know which garage to visit when they had a problem related to their vehicles,’’ he says. As someone who believes in the constructive use of technology, which can improve quality of life and have a positive impact on the community, he decided to find a solution. ‘‘I realized that there was a gap in knowledge between the consumer and service providers – thus the idea of Carcare was born.’’ After extensive research and almost eight months of coding, he developed an app that aims to fill this gap, which can already be downloaded from Google Play Store.
With a passion for computer science and economics, Dhruv has successfully completed their respective AP courses, along with a summer program at Yale, and online coding and economics courses at Harvard and MIT respectively. He has gone even further and completed an internship at Hitachi, and is currently undertaking another internship with NTU Singapore and HP.
Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us how and why you developed the Carcare app?
I remember an instance a few years back where I sat in the car with my parents, on a grueling 45-minute road trip just to get our car serviced. It took many hours to find the garage and we had to wait while they completed their diagnosis and gave us a quote. Eventually, it took the whole day just to give our car for servicing and it would be weeks before it was repaired.
It was after this experience that I began to wonder how I could do something to solve this. It was a long process from the incubation of the idea to beginning the process of coding the application. My first action was to take a survey of friends and family to get a clear understanding of the issue and whether they would use an app if it were available. I was extremely surprised by the reception of the idea received from teachers and family friends who strongly supported the idea. So I got to work, and thus Carcare was born
What were the challenges, if any, that you faced when developing it?
The biggest challenge came with the technical expertise and coding of the app. After the initial focus group survey and market research, I had a clear vision of what I wanted the final app to look like, but it was extremely difficult bringing this vision to reality.
It was also extremely challenging balancing the workload as I put in a few hours every day for a few months towards the app while also pursuing my studies in the IB programme and other extracurricular activities.
Support from school, online learning during covid times and the summer break of two months came to my rescue. Currently, I am working on taking the app to the next level.
What tips can you offer other students who may be planning to develop apps?
The most useful thing you can do is extensive research into the current market, into public opinion and the resources required to create the product you want. You should have a clear understanding and idea of exactly what is needed, and a detailed process for how you will achieve it. Without proper research, you always risk reinventing the wheel or wasting time and resources. You try 100 ways to solve a problem, with 99 of them being the wrong way.
What has been the response of users?
The app has been soft launched, and has received comments like “connecting all the touch points is a very good idea and I can see this has potential” as well as reviews like “this is extremely easy to understand and use, which is the most important thing for an app like this,” or “I found a garage close to me with ease and was able to book it within minutes!”
What are your career aspirations?
I want to continue my education in a university in the US or UK and become an investment banker or software engineer.
To learn more, visit haleeducation.com