Aiming to create an organised market place for Surplus Electronics in India, GOBOL is set to become a leading chain in the business segment. In an interview Alok Mathur, Director& CEO, GOBOL, a venture of Attero Recycling Pvt. Ltd shares brand’s expansion plans.
Rita G Chauhan (RGC): How was the idea of ‘GOBOL’ conceptualised? How has been the journey so far?
Alok Mathur (AM): GOBOL meaning ‘Go Big on Life’ is the retail initiative of Attero and it was launched in September 2012. Attero is India’s largest provider of asset management solutions including state of the art refurbishing facilities for various electronic products, an integrated end-to-end electronic waste (e-waste) recycling to the consumer durables, mobiles and IT industry, and retail solutions for surplus and refurbished electronics. The company is India’s only recycler with license from the Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment & Forests, Government of India to extract metals from electronic waste. Attero has a state of the art e-waste recycling plant at Roorkee spread over an area of more than 100,000 sq. ft. It has a pan-India reach in over 40 cities and picks up material from over 400 corporate clients.
Since its launch, GOBOL has grown at the rate of 500 per cent month on month, with a limited presence in Delhi/ NCR. We are now expanding our network across the country, starting with North India then to Mumbai and Bangalore.
RGC: What is the brand’s potential in Indian market?
AM: As per an estimate about 5 – 6 per cent of consumer durables, mobiles and IT industry production goes into various forms of surplus electronics, such as surplus stock, factory seconds pieces and carton-damaged material. This amounts to a whopping industry in itself worth US $ 1.5 Billion. Currently, there is no organised channel available in the country for selling such surplus electronics and the market is extremely fragmented and dominated by unorganised players who do not invest in building an exclusive sales channel for surplus electronics; neither in communicating the right message to the buyer nor in delivering quality customer experience.
RGC: What factors motivated you to opt for franchise route for expansion?
AM: We launched our own flagship store and an ecommerce website earlier this year. The phenomenal response we received from the consumers as well as the manufacturers and distributors motivated us to expand our footprint across India. We aim to create a market place where surplus electronics reach right into the homes of the consumer, deliver quality customer experience across the online and offline channel, be the first movers and capture the untapped potential of this market, and provide entrepreneur and employment opportunities for many. The fastest way to achieve our mission is via the franchise route. Hence we are seeking strong business partners who can progress with us.
RGC: What is the scope for aspirants keen on taking the franchise for GOBOL?
AM: We offer an all weather business franchising opportunity in the fast growing consumer electronics space which helps a franchisee to earn healthy returns while the customers save money. Our partners benefit from the advantages such as access to fastest growing industry, online support, membership of a brand’s global online store, access to all brands and all products, extensive training and marketing support etc. Moreover, franchisees don’t need to worry about inventory and sourcing management.
RGC: What are the brand’s expansions plans?
AM: We will promote our online platform and support it with a network of 300 neighborhood stores in and around the top 30 cities of India. We would like to build a click and mortar retail footprint where the consumer can shop from the comfort of their home / office or visit the neighborhood franchise outlet.
RGC: What are the basic franchisee fundamentals that you look for?
AM: We seek passionate entrepreneurs for our brand. They should be well educated with knowledge of computer and internet savvy, young professionals wanting to become entrepreneurs and preferably dealing in export surplus or factory seconds.
RGC: How much is the initial investment and area requirements by aspiring franchisees?
AM: A potential franchisee will need a store area of 600 – 1,000 sq.ft, with a frontage of 15 ft. An ideal location for the GOBOL store will be within residential catchment area rather than a high street market place. An average investment of Rs 10 - 16 lakh (in stocks), three lakh for store fabrication and billing software (refundable over three years), non refundable fee of Rs One lakh. Moreover, the franchisee will have to undertake design and civil as per our specifications.
RGC: Tell us about the challenges that can be faced by franchisees? How can they be overcome?
AM: The concept of factory seconds is a very attractive business proposition, as it pulls customers through word of mouth and builds a dedicated customer base for the franchisees. The challenge for the franchisee will be to retain these customers and be in constant touch with them, telling them about the new products which come in. Servicing their customers and maintaining relations with them is the only way this can be overcome. GOBOL will provide extensive tools and training to the franchisees on customer servicing and retention.
RGC: What can you predict about the future success of ‘GOBOL’?
AM: GOBOL will be a hugely successful entity, as this business model has a large scope. Our concept provides an apt channel for the brands to sell surplus goods directly to the end user. We strongly believe that if we create a platform, where customer experience is the same as while buying new goods, there will be a strong acceptability from the consumers. It is a win-win for both the brands and consumers. In the next five years we want to be the most preferred and referred player in this business segment.