IT firm enters mobile repair business

IT firm enters mobile repair business

New Delhi: When Soumitra Gupta approached a Nokia Corp. service centre to get his E90 mobile handset fixed a year ago, he found the service to be expensive.

But Gupta, chief executive of Noida-based Ltd, which manages after-sales services for information technology firms, wasn’t too keen on visiting roadside mobile repair shops either.

That day, a business idea was born. In the last few months, Gupta’s firm has rolled out 30 “re-Store" branded mobile repair outlets in cities such as Kolkata and Bangalore, signalling the arrival of a branded player in a largely unorganized sector. The outlets repair handsets less than five years old. Gupta’s firm plans to launch 500 re-Store outlets by the end of this year through franchisee route. With that, the firm would be tapping into India’s Rs1,000 crore mobile repair market.

Mobile handsets are already retailed through a host of branded chains, such as Spice Group’s HotSpot and Essar Group’s MobileStore. But most retailers are focused on selling handsets and accessories.

Access to spare parts is the biggest challenge facing the business. Gupta said his chain has already lined up 93% of components it needs from local vendors. It plans to source directly from vendors in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong in the future.