“Yaantra’s Vision Is Committed To Brace Indians For The Digital Revolution”

By: DT News Network
January, 30, 2019

India is one of the biggest market for smartphones players. All major brands are focused on taping this huge opportunity.  But grabbing best quality phone at an affordable price could be major challenge for majority of customers in India. Even getting best service support for any issue post warranty remains key challenge for consumers. These factors have helped refurbished phone market to grow and we have seen consumers are considering these options as well.  To know more about this market, DT further spoke with Jayant Jha, Co-founder & CEO, Yaantra, one of the leading player of refurbished phones. He spoke about the current market scenario and their support to customers while buying refurbished phones.

DT: How did you get the idea of starting Yaantra? What is your vision with this business? 

Mr. Jayant: It all started from a personal experience on getting my Blackberry repaired in 2012. The entire process of going to the service center, waiting for 1-2 hours for just to share my issues with the handset, knowing that it would take 40-50 days for the getting the repaired mobile for which I have to revisit the service center; it was all troublesome. Simultaneously, the smartphones were entering the market. I and my colleague, Ankit analysed the huge growth potential of smartphones in India and could foresee the huge service gap which might slow down the progression. We started visiting various places in Delhi where mobile repairs were done, studied the whole repair process and came out with key learning & loopholes. We knew that servicing is the division which needs focus and a futuristic planning. 

We started Gadgetwood in 2013 as a smartphone repair entity with an idea of offering users with dependable technical support and quality repair services in consumer electronics i.e. mobile, tablets, smartphones, iPod's and I-Pads. It was rebranded as ‘Yaantra’, symbolizing gadget in Hindi, in 2016 with a much broader portfolio. The core function areas of Yaantra are categorized under two sections – Refurbished and Repair. 

Yaantra’s vision is committed to brace Indians for the digital revolution by making branded smartphones affordable to the common man. 

DT: How do you see the coming opportunities in this domain?  

Mr. Jayant: The refurbished market, mostly dominated by the unorganised sector and small regional players, is pegged between 8-10 billion dollars as of now and is expected to grow at a whooping rate of 27% for the next 3-5 years. The used smartphone market will continue to grow exponentially as second-life devices grow more poised to take a larger market share over the course of the next five years. 

The Indian smartphone market is one of the biggest markets for mobile phone manufacturing companies. Disruptions led by several telcos and OEMs have led to unprecedented demand for smartphones. The recent TRAI report says that there are over 800 million mobile phone users out of which there are just 350 million smartphone users. Which means that over 450 million people in India are still using basic phones making them a potential upgrades to smartphones. There is a growing opportunity in the bottom-of-the-pyramid combined with an increasing demand for refurbished or second-hand smartphones. It completely satisfies the aspirational desires of the emerging middle-class which has created favorable tailwinds for the growth of the refurb market. 

Yaantra, being the leader in the refurbished category is prominently positioned in meeting the affordability factor and aspirational requirements of the common man. In addition to this, Yaantra is serving as an Exim bridge for export of refurbished phones to other emerging markets and import of used smartphones for refurbishment because of labour and cost arbitrage. 

DT: What kind of services you offer with the refurbished phones to your customer? 

Mr. Jayant: Yaantra specializes as sate wise leader in the said domain combining special knowledge, certified professionals, genuine spare parts and onsite servicing. Every section has a committed inventory that caters to diverse needs of their wide clientele, from varied demographic, geographic and linguistic identities. Yaantra’s customer centric approach makes us stand apart from the league. We believe in nurturing our association with every client through a customized methodology and best in class services. 

Delivering on our ‘as good as new’ operating philosophy, Yaantra gives the power of a trusted choice, complete peace of mind with no compromise on quality for the consumer with absolute standardization of doorstep services. Refurbished smartphones are the results of rigorous 36-point quality checks and come with 6-12 months doorstep warranty, like their OEM (new) counterparts. And all this is complemented by an ISO Certified refurbishment facility. 

Yaantra has been phenomenal in its ‘re-commerce’ concept. The sudden rise in demand for smartphones and simultaneously the drastic increase in ‘e-waste’ have to be fulfilled & resolved. Yaantra, with its unique and effective solutions in addition to the unmatched hassle-free services, has been remarkable in fulfilling these needs of the hour. 

DT: What challenges do you face in operating this business? 

Mr. Jayant: Indian refurbished smartphone market is largely unorganized, fragmented and predominantly offline. The grey markets are restricted to big cities hence nationwide accessibility is a challenge. Another barrier is in buying a used smartphone based on Quality, Trust and Pricing parameters. Very few trusted platforms are available and accessible for solving problems of accessibility, discoverability and transactions. There are a limited number of players who provide certified phones, rigorous quality checks and warranty assurance. 

However, the most important challenge is the lack of awareness amongst masses for the refurbished products. The term ‘refurbished’ is more often linked to a degraded & unworthy product. People in general have a misconception that all refurbs are used or secondhand. Refurbished not necessarily mean used ones, 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 consider refurbished goods are faulty products hastily pushed on to the next consumer. But in many cases refurbished smartphones are a great steal 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. 

Yaantra has been addressing all these challenges proactively and profusely. 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. 

DT: What will be your Go-To-Market plan starting this New Year? 

Mr. Jayant: The priority will be improving our tech infrastructure with greater capacity, setting-up new repair centers and enhancing our logistics division.  Expansion in existing territories, foraying in new market regions and getting more retail & channel partners aboard is going to be our next foot forward. Yaantra has been prominently working towards the re-commerce of smartphones and recently we got into wearables. We will continue to extend our portfolio by adding new products. 

Yaantra has been working towards Skill development and generating employment opportunities, we will continue to do the same with a more systematic and pragmatic approach by engaging other players like government bodies, institutions, NGOs etc. 

DT: Please brief about your distribution network across India. 

Mr. Jayant: Yaantra offers on demand doorstep repair services to consumers, SMBs, OEMS and sells refurbished smartphones. We have a team of 400+ certified technicians doing 36-point quality checks, servicing nearly 70,000 units per month. We have repair centers in 6 major cities including the 4 metros and 2 refurbish hubs in Delhi and Bengaluru. Today, we are present in 600+ cities through our retail network in the country across 14000+ pin codes with 35000+ registered retailers onboard and have reached out to over 6 Lac serviced customers and growing. With 1200+ new partners get aboard every month and 1500+ orders received daily; Yaantra is poised to make its mark globally. 

We have an App and our own ecommerce website both for end consumers and channel partners separately. Our registered retailer can place order and manage the inventory by login to his account. Additionally, we are present across all major online sales channels.

 

 

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