Imagine that the battery of your iPhone suddenly conks off. Imagine this happens in a remote city like Vellore. Finding an Apple repair shop in most non-metro cities is a challenge in itself. So towns like Vellore are obviously out of the picture. In such a scenario, instead of running to ten different shops and having to sweat it out to get your beloved device running, it would be a lot easier if, in this age, we could submit the mobile to be repaired with all specifications, to a standardised store. How is this not obvious?
Fortunately, people have begun to wake up to this obvious problem. And suddenly, we’re seeing a bit of a boom in the organised mobile repair industry in India. Ajit Panigrahi and his XLRI batchmate Rahul were one of the early ones to the game – with JustLikeNew.in. Now, others like Quik-e and Cashify too have joined in bringing a standardised set of mobile repair services to India.
The startups are bringing a host of services to consumers which were hitherto a rarity. Genuine parts, accurate estimation of costs and repair time, and even limited warranty. Compare this to the unorganised sector – where spare authenticity is questionable, repair time estimations continue to prolong, and warranty is unheard of.
What’s worse – go in for fixing one issue, and you’re likely to discover a dozen new ones within a few months. There’s a lack of trust amongst consumers with the current arrangement, and so the organised repair industry is poised for multi-fold growth in the near future.
Ahmedabad based Quik-e catching up quickly. It offers to repair the device under its own brand, with multiple price points depending upon the extent of damage.
Cashify on the other hand, works more like an aggregator. Choose your device, your area, and the type of damage. Cashify will then list out multiple vendors, along with their service ratings and price for repair. Enter your details, and Cashify will even have the device picked up. There’s an attempt to completely eliminate all the stress that follows a damaged phone – even the trip to the repair center.
It is obviously difficult for an individual consumer to continue checking on their smartphone, trusting it in the hands of local repairmen who might not have all the skills necessary. Secondly, taking multiple trips to the same shop to get a tiny aspect of your mobile fixed seems a little cumbersome. This industry has just been waiting for some disruption.
The Road Ahead
Analysts expect the mobile repair industry to get a lot more crowded in the near future. Multiple startups have managed to raise money in the tens of millions of dollars already – a clear sign of investor confidence in the industry.
With tech literacy (and incomes) continuing to rise, expect consumers to be willing to shell out premiums for the added ease of organised mobile repair services, and lack of stress.