1. Repair services for gadgets: Start-up just like new vows transparency

Repair services for gadgets: Start-up just like new vows transparency

Modern gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, audio systems, et al, are ubiquitous in today’s world but have you ever had a phone or laptop hang up on you? It’s a harrowing experience because utter chaos prevails in the device services and repair industry, notwithstanding the fact that you are virtually crippled without your favourite device. The

By: | Published: November 23, 2016 6:33 AM
segment is highly unorganised and fragmented, with customers being forced to choose between expensive services at authorised centres and unreliable services from unorganised, mom-and-pop stores. The lack of transparency in pricing of repair services is also a concern. segment is highly unorganised and fragmented, with customers being forced to choose between expensive services at authorised centres and unreliable services from unorganised, mom-and-pop stores. The lack of transparency in pricing of repair services is also a concern.

Modern gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, tablets, audio systems, et al, are ubiquitous in today’s world but have you ever had a phone or laptop hang up on you? It’s a harrowing experience because utter chaos prevails in the device services and repair industry, notwithstanding the fact that you are virtually crippled without your favourite device. The

segment is highly unorganised and fragmented, with customers being forced to choose between expensive services at authorised centres and unreliable services from unorganised, mom-and-pop stores. The lack of transparency in pricing of repair services is also a concern.

Sensing a market opportunity, an enterprising start-up is doing its bit to bring some semblance of order in the device services and repair sector. JustLikeNew.in is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs—Ajit Panigrahi and Rahul Agarwal.

First, the genesis of the idea. The two founders were classmates at XLRI Jamshedpur and would spend most of their time discussing entrepreneurial ideas. They began pondering over the state of the device repair industry subsequent to the ordeal Panigrahi suffered in getting his phone repaired. This drove the idea for a transparent, tech-enabled platform that leveraged technology to deliver value-driven, high-quality repair and maintenance services for smartphones and tablets and led to the inception of JustLikeNew. The duo have since been committed to ensuring that smartphone users do not have to run from pillar to post for services that are required so regularly.

JustLikeNew has made considerable inroads in this niche sector through its differentiated approach and consumer-centric offerings. The service network is currently operational in Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Delhi-NCR, and the platform has a catalogue of 10,000 repair services, across several major brands. These service options are listed on the website along with the price, timelines and terms in order to ensure transparency. JustLikeNew is also a strong player in the B2B segment, as it has strategic partnerships with Uber, Ola, Swiggy and Qualcomm for smartphone servicing. In addition, the platform offers pan-India services through its partnership with 3PL.

Co-founder and COO Agarwal says JustLikeNew has witnessed 5x revenue growth between July 2015 and March 2016 owing to an average month-on-month growth rate of 25%. “The smartphone repair e-commerce platform has also recently raised funds worth $500,000 through LetsVenture.com,” he says. The investors include Krishnakumar Natarajan, executive chairman, Mindtree and Sandeep Mathur, former MD, Oracle India.

“JustLikeNew is committed to constant innovation and the funds raised will primarily be utilised to penetrate deeper into the existing target cities and to make improvements in the IT infrastructure,” he says.

Promising outlook

Agarwal, a B Tech in computer science with a masters in business administration from XLRI Jamshedpur, says that with the number of smartphone owners set to cross 702 million by 2020, the demand for reliable after-sales repair services is bound to grow exponentially.

The company aims to expand its service network’s physical presence to three more cities in the near future. “JustLikeNew will also diversify its services by venturing into buy back, insurance and refurbished sales, with the goal of becoming the largest after-sales service provider for all electronic goods in India,” he adds.

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