Tapping huge untapped repairs market
(13 Sep) Imagine the hassle if you buy a Rs 40 lakh car or an expensive gadget and have to wait for a month to get it repaired when the need arises. This is now a thing of the past, says Naveen Goyal founder of repaireasy.in. As the name suggests the platform is a one-stop place where gadgets are fixed, quality parts are used and the gadget returned in the shortest possible time. If a customer walks into their store with a gadget it is repaired in a few hours and if it is in Pune it is delivered the next day. For the rest of the country it would be a little longer, he says, as it depends on the pickups and drops by Fedex or Blue Dart. Spare parts are sourced from vendors who get Chinese products that are rigorously tested. "We only charge after the gadget is fixed and you get a lifetime warranty unlike others who give only a one-month warranty," says Mr Goyal. Speaking about how he came up with repaireasy he said, after he had done his engineering and MBA in finance, "I worked in the IT Industry for four years, then joined my family business. Having worked in the telecom sector particularly with Airtel where I met Rishi, I understood gadgets. So I thought how wonderful it would be if one could get one's gadgets repaired without having to wait for ages. I bounced the idea to Rishi Wahi who has 19 years experience in customer servicing and the startup was born." It became operational in December 2013. "There was nothing like it in India. We put in our savings of Rs 50 lakhs and in 2 years we had a scalable model. We got 20,000 customers within six to eight months and revenue of about Rs 15 lakhs a month growing 20 per cent per month. "The average life of a laptop is five years and that of a phone, three years and we not only increase the life of these instruments but at the rate that the road side repairer charges." The screen is the most expensive part of a gadget he explains. A new mobile for instance costs Rs 15,000 and the mobile repairers charge Rs 9,000 for repair and take a month to return it. "We changed the whole landscape for repairs, addressing all fears of the customers. We even have CCTV camera to check so that no original parts removed," he says proudly. The whole process is very simple. "You have to just make a call or an email request and the cost of repair will be given to you on the spot. "What is very special is that when the repaired gadget is returned it is wrapped in the original packaging in which you had bought it and this has never been done before." Repairing mobiles is a big business in India. With 900 million users the repair market is worth Rs 24,000 crore annually.