“India is a bigger market for refurbished smartphones”
Refurbished smartphones are gaining huge traction in India, considering the affordability factor which customers keep in mind while buying a smartphone, and of course, there are some people having high aspirational requirements who prefer to change the device quite often. Delhi-based Yaantra is one recommerce platform which is leading the trend by offering repair, refurbishing and reselling services for smartphones. To discuss more about the trend and marketing preposition, Ramesh Kumar Raja caught up with Jayant Jha, Co-founder and CEO, Yaantra. Jha also talked about the other services Yaantra is offering and what one should consider before buying and selling a used phone. Excerpts:
Refurbished smartphones are gaining huge traction in the market nowadays. How do you look at this trend in India?
As per Refurbished Smartphone Tracker report by Counterpoint Research, India is leading in the second-hand smartphone segment as compared to the global market. India market grew 14% to almost 14 million refurbished devices last year, while the global market for refurbished smartphones slowed to 1% year-over-year growth in 2018, reaching close to 140 million units.
India is a bigger market for refurbished smartphones as compared to other markets because people take affordability into consideration before buying a new phone while some have high aspirational requirements and prefer to change the mobile phones quite often. Majority of our customers are from mid-income group, first time job seekers and are mostly in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.
How is Yaantra leveraging this development and what are your USPs in providing services?
We provide end-to-end solution to resolve all the issues related to smartphone and wearables. Through our industry-best technicians across India, we offer an option to avail up to 20 per cent discount on a part replacement. For repairs related to mobile overheating, water damage, signal issues, motherboard problem and battery issues, our centralized service centres are equipped to resolve all smartphone issues. We offer a 30-minute customer convenient doorstep phone repair services for all brands with a warranty, promise data protection and use only quality spare parts. We promise to deliver the smartphones within 48 hours once the problem is resolved.
Till date, we have over one million satisfied customers all over India, and have repaired and refurbished over 1.2 million smartphones in the last six years. We are trying to break the affordability barrier through certified refurbished smartphones with a strong network of 35,000 registered retailer base, spread across 600 towns + cities, delivery network across 14,000+ pin codes.
Delivering on its as good as a new operating philosophy, we give the power of a trusted choice, complete peace of mind with no compromise on quality for our consumers with absolute standardization of services. Refurbished smartphones are the result of rigorous 36-point quality checks and come with 6-12 months warranty. And all this is complemented by an ISO Certified refurbishment facility.
|“While buying a refurbished smartphone, a consumer should examine if the overall condition of the phone is good, which includes various attributes like battery life, speaker volume, LED flash, front and rear side camera etc. The best way to buy a used product is to buy from a platform, which ensures quality, affordability and warranty of at least six months”|
How has been the response so far in the recommerce segment?
Refurbished products solve the problem of affordability and aspiration and the customers acceptance for such products has increased manifold in last three years. The India market is currently at USD $4 billion and will further grow.
What are the parameters of buying and selling a used product? How do you ensure the quality of a refurbished device?
While buying a refurbished smartphone, a consumer should examine if the overall condition of the phone is good, which includes various attributes like battery life, speaker volume, LED flash, front and rear side camera etc. The best way to buy a used product is to buy from a platform, which ensures quality, affordability and warranty of at least six months.
While selling a second hand smartphone, it’s advisable to sell it at an online platform i.e. PhoneCash where you get the right value of the product with guaranteed data wipe assurance.
We ensure the quality of a refurbished device through rigorous 36-point quality checks via in-house developed proprietary technology, and all this is complemented by an ISO Certified 5S compliant refurbishment facility along with industry best technicians.
What are the other services and products you offer apart from repairing, refurbishing and reselling the devices?
Apart from repairing, refurbishing and reselling of devices, we also sell accessories and wearables on our platform. We also have plans to bring laptops in few months.
Besides having your own platform, are you also into partnership with other marketplaces to sell your products.
We have partnership with Amazon and 2gud.com to sell our refurbished products.
What are the challenges of selling a refurbished smartphone and how do you deal with them?
The major barrier, which we face in selling a refurbished smartphone, is the lack of awareness amongst consumer when it comes to buying refurbished products. In India, there are very few trusted platforms who provide certified phones, rigorous quality checks and warranty assurance.
Refurbished products are often perceived to be of low quality. People in general have a misconception that all refurbished products are used or secondhand. Refurbished doesn’t necessarily mean a used product, but they could be the products kept on display or used in demos and hence the package-box is opened. Once package is opened, it cannot be counted as brand new and hence has to be labeled as refurbished. Few people perceive refurbished goods as faulty products hastily pushed on to the next consumer. But in many cases refurbished smartphones are a great deal that cost much less and last nearly as long as their brand-new counterparts. The key to buying value-for-money refurbished smartphones is to know the right places where they are available.
We have been addressing all these challenges. We have been relentlessly working to address the quality related barriers with assured warranty and doorstep services as an additional layer to address trust related issues besides removing the affordability barrier.
Which are the brands that gain maximum traction at Yaantra?
Customers buy various smartphone brands from Yaantra, but Apple, Samsung and Xiaomi gain maximum traction.
Do you think refurbished smartphones have a long future in the market, especially in context of falling prices of a fresh arrival?
Refurbished smartphones have a great scope in Indian market considering the affordability factor, which customers keep in mind while buying a smartphone, and high aspirations of consumers with increase in purchasing power. Customers in India buy refurbished smartphones of established brands ranging from Rs 4,000 to Rs 35,000 through Yaantra. As per reports, Indian market is likely to grow by 27% in the coming few years with the market size expected to reach $10 billion by 2022.
What’s your approach to re-cycling of e-waste?
E-waste is going to be a verybig problem, what’s important is that the products are used to their end of life and after which they go for recycling. Yaantra plays a major role in reducing e-waste by adding life to the products, for EOL products we work with recyclers.
Do you have any business expansion plan to make Yaantra large?
We will foray into new regions to tap 1000+ cities and towns engaging over 100,000 retailers for expanding our sales operations to support the expansion and enhance the technical expertise. We will also set up company-owned and franchisee-run repair centres in major towns and cities in three years.
Currently, we employ over 1,000 people across our offices in 10 cities covering 14,000+ pin codes. With over 10 lakh customers served, the company receives 1,500+ fresh orders daily and over 400 unique customers every day for repair.