The youth of today are sometimes criticized for being less industrious or less motivated than previous generations. Kailas Motiram, a class of 2021 Severna Park High graduate, proves this label does not apply to all.
In December 2020, Motiram was inspired to start a car detailing business, naming it That Car Detailing Guy. His entrepreneurial spirit kicked in when his dad asked him to detail his mom’s car. He discovered he was a decent detailer, he enjoyed doing the work and customers were willing to pay for his services.
Prior to starting his business, Motiram worked at Mr. Car Wash in Millersville. His manager at Mr. Car Wash, Leo Barley, became a mentor, teaching him car washing and detailing skills. More importantly, Barley showed Motiram how to treat and satisfy customers. Motiram learned the importance of listening to a customer’s concerns and responding with kindness.
“Leo taught me about professionalism and the importance of quality of work,” Motiram stated. “He said the most loyal and caring customers usually are the same people who had a problem [with your work] at first.”
Motiram also credits his parents and high school for shaping his entrepreneurial aspirations. His dad is a mechanic who instilled a passion for cars and hard work at an early age. At 18, Motiram’s dad emigrated from Trinidad with few resources to start his livelihood. Motiram’s mom is an economics teacher, and from her, Motiram developed an admiration for business and satisfaction from being the boss.
At Severna Park High, Motiram took classes in the Business, Innovation and Leadership Signature program and joined the SkillsUSA club. Both programs provide opportunities for students to collaborate with industry leaders to build workplace and technical skills and career knowledge. Motiram served as vice president of SPHS chapter of SkillsUSA.
“As an officer, Kailas was a great role model to the younger students,” said his advisor, Roxanne Angerer. “He brought creative and innovative ideas for projects and community service.”
Shortly after launching the business, Motiram reached out to Ethan Lane, a friend who has similar business interests and accounting experience. Lane assisted with financial analysis and marketing ideas.
Motiram described one of their first work sessions, saying, “We enjoyed ourselves. We had a good time even though we were doing work.”
Their financial analysis has provided insight into which detailing products provide the best value. Marketing tactics include leveraging local business message boards and networking with auto body shops. That Car Detailing Guy is also online, most predominantly on Instagram. Here, customers can find a favorite promotion strategy of before-and-after photos to highlight results.
This fall, Motiram is headed to the University of Ohio to earn his undergraduate and Master of Business Administration degrees in finance. Encouraged by That Car Detailing Guy’s success to date, Motiram is busy making plans to keep the business active while at school. Anyone can contact Motiram at 443-867-0155 or on Instagram or Facebook @thatcardetailingguy. Basic detailing services begin at $50 with more advanced packages costing up to $450.