Phixman covers smaller cities where OEMs do not have service centres and there is a dearth of service options for devices which go out of warranty.
By Srinath Srinivasan
Phixman, started in 2014, has been using technology to collect, service and deliver electronic products—mobiles phones (and in addition, a few Mac devices and tablets as of now)—across 32 cities and over 75 stores in India today. “We are completely a cloud based business and offer end-to-end services to customers,” says Shaad Rehman, founder and CEO of Phixman.
The company uses a propreitary algorithm at the backend to enable sales and manage the volume of devices coming in. Interestingly, Phixman covers smaller cities such as Mangalore, Tirupathi, Madurai, Guwahati and Hisar to name a few. These are also the cities where OEMs do not have a chain of service centres and there is a dearth of service options for devices which go out of warranty.
“Being cloud based gives us secure access to customer data, which has helped us complete 2,00,000 orders as of September 2019, averaging at 1000 orders a day,” says Rehman. Technology is key to understanding when volumes would fluctuate at a particular location and eventually direct resources there as needed. It also helps keep the prices standard across the country, which is not the case with major after sales service centres run by OEMs or their franchisees.
Having brick and mortar stores helps Phixman to have footfalls along with e-commerce services like pickup and delivery at doorstep. “Our network is so strong today that we deliver 70 % of our orders within a day,” says Rehman, talking about the turnaround time. Customers are also notified with regular e-mails on the status of their order and the payments for the services are also enabled online.
“This is a billion dollar market in India today. We work on corporate contracts apart from individual orders. We have 20% margin per order on an average,” says Rehman.
Phixman is operationally profitable due to the volumes it services everyday. A bootstrapped startup, Phixman has a team of 12 techies in its Delhi office. As of September 2019, it had over Rs. 20 crore in annual revenue. It aims to expand its store base to 100 stores by end of December 2019. In the long run, Rehman wants his stores to also be centres of e-waste management, leveraging technology to manage it.
“If you bootstrap a company, there are a range of problems that come with it. Infrastructure and workforce management are the main challenges to scale and we are trying to improve our revenue model everyday,” shares Rehman, talking about the challenges faced in expanding his business.
Phixman is also set for diversification into an online marketplace. “Our primary idea is to cover the lifecylce of electronic items. We will soon launch an app which will work for all electronic items – to buy, sell and recycle them. It will no longer be for just mobile phones,” adds Rehman.