Only digital service centre in India offering repair and services for all the digital products under one roof is . In an interview, Rajesh Dungrani, CEO, Phonecare Services Pvt. Ltd shares the expansion plans of the company in India.
Namita Bhagat (NB): Tell us about the inception and development of your company? What is the USP of the brand?
Rajesh Dungrani (RD): We started our business with repairs and servicing of mobile phones, specialising in all high end PDA phones like Blackberry, Iphone, HTC, Imate, Palm, O2 etc. We were a single destination for any mobile phones – any brand any models. We started getting a lot of corporate customers who liked our services. When we interacted with them we found that they use many other gadgets like laptops, digicams, handycams, playstations etc and find it very difficult to get the services done for these gadgets once the warranty period has expired. Some customers even suggested us to start repairs of these devices, as since we had an expertise in repairs of all mobile phones, repairing these devices would not be a much challenge to us. We started the repairs of all digital devices and got a good response from the customers.
The USP of our company is our independent R & D team to include newer models and gadgets in our kitty. Today we are India’s only digital service centre providing repair and services for all the digital products under one roof. Apart from repair services we have a training institute which provides courses for mobile repairing, laptop repairs and just introduced camera repairing. Phonecare has trained and provided employment and self employment opportunities to more than 2,000 students.
NB: How did the company opt for franchise route for its expansion?
RD: We saw a definite potential in after sales services business with large number of national/international brands across digital equipment expanding bases in India. These brands are young in India and have not seen the ageing of equipment; as such they have not developed extensive service network. As we move into future, there is definite emerging demand for service support.
NB: Could you share company’s growth strategy with us?
RD: Phone care currently operates from one office in Mumbai catering to large part of business requirements in the city. Going ahead, we plan to establish two or three more company owned centres in strategic locations and also bring in multiple franchisee centres to extend our reach to last mile customer. Alongside, we have developed extensive sourcing capacities for spares parts and accessories to enable our associate in delivering better services faster. We have an on-going training program that helps us to include many new products into our kitty.
NB: What are the locations that the company is aiming for granting the franchise rights?
RD: Currently we are seeking franchise partners in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan with focus on tier 1 and tier 2 cities in these states. We are looking for Master Franchisees initially. And in the later phase of our growth, we would like to expand into other territories as well.
NB: How do you propose to select your franchisees?
RD: We have three different models for selecting our franchise partners. First model M1 is for Master Franchisee. The master franchisee can operate both the institute training centre and the service centre and space requirement is minimum 500-600 sq.ft.
Second model M2 can operate service centres and it can have alliance with the Master Franchisee and space requirement of 200-250 sq.ft. The company would lend support and consultancy to the Master Franchisee to select appropriate franchisees.
Third Model M3 is on shop in shop format and can offer any one of the product line of ours depending upon the space requirement of 100-150 sq.ft.
NB: What kind of investment we are looking at that a prospective franchisee needs to partner you?
RD: Well for the Master Franchisee (M1) the minimum investment needed is Rs 7-8 lakh and for Model M2, it would be Rs 5-6 lakh and for M3, the required investment is Rs 2-3 lakh. It will include franchisee fee, training, initial marketing and furniture and furnishing costs). The franchisees can have own or rental space, conveniently located for easy accessibility of customers and area with high population.
NB: What kind of training and support would you provide to the potential franchisees?
RD: A phone care Franchisee is provided support in form of:
Additionally we can assist our franchisees in procuring loans for stores in India through banks and financial institutions.