while adding about 50 such stores across top 10 cities in the next 10-12 months. The recently-opened Noida outlet is the third lounge for the company after the ones in Pune and Delhi.
Ratnesh Sinha, a 20-something college-goer from the capital city who’s planning his first cellphone upgrade, visits The MobileStore Lounge in Noida. With a plethora of options in front of him, he’s confused about choosing a model that will suit both his usage patterns as well as his budget. So, he approaches a ‘tech buddy’ who takes him on a guided tour of the store and lets him try out the ‘live’ phone models (not dummies, as seen in traditional stores) on display.
Sinha does not have to look around for what goes best with his new possession because there are complementing accessories placed just below the phones. What’s a smartphone without apps? So, Sinha moves on to the ‘Android zone’ to download some. However, being a little pressed for time, Sinha buys Google Play cards to download the relevant stuff later at home. He finally transfers data from his old handset to the new with the ‘phone OS agnostic data transfer dock’ facility that is on offer free of cost. All this in a relaxed atmosphere and in the cool confines of a lounge area that is an integral part of the store.
Launched in 2006, The MobileStore, formerly known as Essar Telecom Retail, currently has over 850 stores across India, spread across 100 cities. For Chakrawarti, the CEO of the company, the idea to come up with lounges struck in 2011 when smartphones started to capture the market trend in India. He saw that very few were able to operate and utilise the features of smartphones to the best of their capabilities. “We decided to capture the smartphone market because we felt that mobility has become a key thing for consumers today,” says Chakrawarti.
Sky is the limit
Mobility has, in fact, added an endless world of possibilities for the consumer. Chakrawarti elaborates: “Nokia’s Lumia series, for instance, has a feature called City Lens, through which