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Feb, 11 2013

MENDING GADGETS, CHURNING OUT PROFITS

Being a one-stop shop for digital gadget solution, Phone Care is the only player which provides repair for everything, from phones to playstations, says Rajesh Dungrani, Managing Director, Phone Care, in an interview to Swati Mahajan.

Being a one-stop shop for digital gadget solution, Phone Care is the only player which provides repair for everything, from phones to playstations, says Rajesh Dungrani, Managing Director, Phone Care, in an interview to Swati Mahajan.

When and how did you conceive the idea of starting Phone Care?

We have been in the telecom industry for more than a decade now. We started our journey by opening branded retail showroom of Nokia mobile phones (Nokia Priority). We opened a few stores in Mumbai. Then we entered into repair business with Nokia Care (Authorized service centre for Nokia mobile phones). We opened a few Nokia care centres in Mumbai. During this period, we realised that there is a huge demand for out of warranty multi-brand mobile phone repairs. There were no proper organised repair outlets. We knew that if given a choice to a customer for an organised multi-brand repair centre, he would definitely prefer to go for it.

Share with us the journey of Phone Care till now.

We started our business with repairs and servicing of mobile phones, specialising in all high-end enterprise phones like Blackberry, i-phone, HTC, Imate, Palm, O2, etc. We were a single destination for any mobile phone  any brand and any model. We started getting a lot of corporate customers who liked our services. When we interacted with them we found that they used many other gadgets like laptops, digicams, handycams, playstations, etc., and found it very difficult to get the services done for these gadgets once the warranty period had expired. We started the repairs of all digital devices and got a good response from customers.

How has your voyage been as an entrepreneur?

I started my career as a customer support engineer for a top IT service company in Mumbai. After working for three years, I, along with my college friend Bhavesh Parekh, started IT business, wherein we provided complete end- to-end IT hardware and networking solutions to both corporates and small enterprises. Seeing the boom in the telecom industry, we entered the telecom business.

What is the rationale behind adopting the franchise business model?

Our business model is such that stores can be opened in any village, town or city. In fact, there can be a service centre at a distance of every 4-5 km. It is not possible for us to manage so many company-owned stores. Hence, we opted for the franchise model.

What kind of training and related business support do you intend to offer to the franchisees?

We, as a brand, provide the initial support for setting up service centre, store design assistance, comprehensive business model training, start-up marketing and promotional material, along with operational support, technical support and marketing assistance, as well.

What are your expansion plans and how many outlets will be company-owned and how many will be franchisee-run? Are you targeting some particular cities or regions?

Currently, we plan to expand nationwide, but our main targets are the Northern and Western regions. We will have company-owned repair factories in major cities like Delhi, Kolkatta, Bangalore and Chennai. We have a repair centre in Mumbai.

Franchise facts:

  • Investment: Rs 5- 6 lakh
  • Area: 250 sq ft
  • RoI: 70-100%
  • Break-even: 1-2 years
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