New entrants breathe life into mobile support biz

Rahul Aggarwal, COO, JustLikeNew,  suggests that the entry of new players in the mobile support ecosystem is making smartphone ownership easier for Indian consumers
August 13 2016: The latest digital revolution has served to firmly establish India on the global technological map. With more than 240 million smartphone users calling the country home, it has today emerged as the second largest smartphone user base in the world. To put a better perspective to this statistic, just consider this: smartphone users in India comprehensively outnumber the combined populations of the countries of France, Italy and the UK.
But the buck does not stop here. Smartphone adoption in India is expected to continue on its rapid upward trajectory, growing at an exponential rate year-on-year. With the number of smartphone owners in the country expected to cross 702 million by the year 2020, India, it has to be said, is rapidly moving towards becoming a complete digital economy.
Needless to say, this rapid rise in the number of smartphone owners has also given the calibration and repair services market in India a big boost. According to a 2012 Frost & Sullivan report, the Indian mobile repair industry is expected to grow at a healthy CAGR of 13.3%, while the gross revenues for the industry are estimated to cross $250 million by 2019.
At present, however, the country’s repair & services industry is chiefly restricted to two major segments – the brand-authorised service centres, and the neighbourhood ‘mom & pop’ repair stores. The service centres, owing to their brand cognisance, promise quality, but often charge a steep premium for even minor repairs and servicing. On the other hand, while the unorganised market has the benefit of cost-effectiveness, there is no guarantee of the quality of service. In both these cases, the consumer also has to make multiple trips to the outlet or service centre to get repairs done in a satisfactory manner. This makes the repair & service experience not very favourable for the end-consumer, who often has to end up comprising between affordability and quality. Moreover, the transparency in pricing of services is absent in both the aforementioned cases.
This is what makes the entry of several new players in the mobile support ecosystem such a promising development. Aimed at addressing the market gaps that exist in the repairs and services market in India, these new-age service providers are leveraging technology to provide cost-effective, value-driven and high-quality repair & maintenance services to smartphone owners across the country. By bringing in service standardisation and enhancing transparency in pricing, these players are looking to disrupt the smartphone repair experience in India for the consumer through their differentiated approach and consumer-centric offerings. Moreover, with other value-added services such as free home pickup and drop, standby replacement phone, timely repair and after-service warranty available at extremely cost-effective prices, consumers have the additional assurance of greater convenience and comfort while getting their valued possessions repaired.
In a country the scale and size of India, the task at hand of these players operating in the mobile support industry is extremely challenging. The main hurdle that exists lies in tackling and addressing the largely unorganised nature of the smartphone after-sales repair and maintenance sphere in the country. However, with their consumer-centric solutions driven by state-of-the-art technologies, these players are well equipped to solve the prevalent market gaps and create great value for themselves and their users. The groundwork is already being laid for a holistic, end-to-end, tech-based mobile support ecosystem that will make smartphone ownership extremely convenient, hassle-free and value-efficient for its users.