After Sales Service Industry : Continues To Be Neglected
Despite huge opportunities for wealth and job creation, this segment of the industry is still dominated by unorganized sector and largely neglected
Every year, Indians do buy millions of electronics devices including mobile and smartphones, home appliances, industrial as well as commercial equipments. As per a 2018 estimate there were 2.4 billion devices in the Indian homes and offices, which has now increased to around three billion. These devices always are at various stages of their lifecycle that demand regular service and repair, and hold a huge business opportunity for after sales service providers.
However, despite the potential, this sector has so far been largely unorganized and a neglected lot. Device manufacturers do care to offer post-purchase service till the warranty period, and once that period is over, consumers are primarily left to tend on their own. And eventually, they rely on the local servicemen to do the needful.
This happens because most of the device makers do consider offering post-sales service as a liability and considers it as a cost center. In reality, this could turn out to be their recurring profit center, if the services including value addition given priority.
A Lost Opportunity
In India there are more than 300 million families with average 10 electronic devices in their homes, and the number is increasing exponentially every year as life span of such devices are decreasing over the year. Another factor for decreasing life span of these devices is the growing purchase power of the countrymen and availability of more options in the product category. Also, the millennial generation is more tech-savvy and possesses number of device and gadgets to enhance their lifestyle and work efficiency. All these are adding to the increase in number of electronic devices, and ultimately, offer an ocean of opportunities for after sales service providers.
However, in India, so far it has been a lost case as the country lacks even a single pan-India reliable after-market service player. Though there are multiple companies offering service for different products, the country people misses a reliable service provider or a brand that offers satisfactory after sales service like that of Apple.
Apple, as a global brand, has turned its customer-service business unit – AppleCare – into a $7 billion venture. Their method is simple – they know their every single customers through a unique ID and using that ID the service can be availed anywhere in the world. No other electronics device makers have such process in place and they lose track of their customers once the warranty period gets over.
As per a survey, India’s after-sales market is expected to reach $5.3 billion in next four years, of this, $1.1 billion is expected to come from consumer device protection, on-demand repair service at $1 billion, home protection and AMC services to touch $1.2 billion and brand warranty and installation could touch $2 billion by 2024.
Though this sector has not been able to pass the customers litmus test in terms of satisfaction, there are many firms offering after-sales service in India, and for a quite a good time, trying to serve the needs of the customers. Many new age startups have also jumped into the fray and started making some differences in the area of customer experience and seamless services across geographies and products.
Here we bring some notable after-sales service providers that are working their hearts out to change the after-market dynamics of the country.
Servify: This is a Mumbai based startup founded in 2015 by Sreevathsa Prabhakar, and perhaps the smartest of all after-sales firms in the country. The firm offers app-based after sales services to varied brands. Servify currently works with a number of top device brands, retailers, distributors, insurers, service providers and carriers such as Amazon, AmTrust, Apple, Samsung, Croma, Godrej, Huawei, Ingram Micro, Micromax, Motorola/Lenovo, Nokia, OnePlus, OPPO, Panasonic, RealMe, Redington, Reliance Jio, Reliance Retail, Sangeetha Mobiles, Vodafone and Xiaomi, among others.
The company claims it provides Brand Authorised Protection Plans for OEMs that account for nearly 70% of smartphones sold in India
Its offline retail partners are Croma, Reliance Digital and Sangeetha Mobiles, online eretailers like Amazon and PayTm Mall, distribution partners like Redington, Ingram and HCL. The company has also partnered with insurance service providers like HDFC Ergo, Acko and AmTrust to offer insurance products to its customers.
OnSiteGo: This is one more new age after-sales service provider. Started business in 2010, the company claims to serve around 4.5 million customers in India and 1.2 lakh customers on a monthly basis. It works with some of the largest online and offline retailers in India like Croma, Vijay Sales, Amazon India and Ezone. The firm’s products are available at regional speciality stores like Sanket, Great Eastern, Value Plus and Viveks. The company has also extended its reach to smaller retailers through its partnership with leading consumer finance companies like ICICI, Axis, HDB and Kotak.
In 2019, the company started offering brand warranty services for international brands like Toshiba and Hamilton Beach and also expanded its offerings in AMC or Annual Maintenance Contract for air-conditioners and water purifiers and assured buyback for smartphones earlier this year. The firm targets a revenue of Rs 340 crore in FY20.
Urban Company: Started as Urban Clap, the company is now changed its name to Urban Company. This is a new age service model built by this startup in 2016. The company, in an innovative model, has partnered with local mechanics and repair shops to offer after sales service to almost every electronics appliance including smartphones, ACs, TVs, washing machines and refrigerators.
Their business model was so successful and the market opportunity was so huge that it attracted investors like former Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata. The other investors include VY Capital, Bessemer Ventures, SAIF Partners and Accel Partners.
The company claims to have over 25,000 professionals on board and present in 22 cities with more than 5 million customers in 4 countries.
HCL: HCL Care, the Support and Service division has one of the largest and most extensive service networks across the country and provides end to end support services across product categories – Laptop, Desktop, Tablet, Mobile Phones, Home Appliances and other Consumer Electronics & Durables. With proven track record of more than a decade of providing integrated end to end service support to leading brands, such as HCL, Philips, Lenovo, BlackBerry, Samsung, Bajaj, Emerson, Nokia, Dell etc, HCL Care has firmly established itself as the leader in after sales service & support of consumer electronics products. HCL Care specializes in providing tailored solution to its clients across the service value chain – Call Center Support, Walk-In Service Centers, Supply Chain Management and Repair Factory. With an aim to achieve 100% district coverage across India, we continue to grow our service network extensively across India and provide the best in class services to all our esteemed customers.
HCL has a remarkable tradition of service excellence span over decades. HCL has been a preferred choice of partner for marquee brands like HCL, Philips, Lenovo, BlackBerry, Samsung, Nokia, OBI, Oneplus, Xiaomi etc. We have served our customers with an immense sense of commitment and we would like to find a similar commitment in our partners. HCL has tied up with leading OEM players in digital products to offer after sales warranty service support across India. We provide support on wide array of products – Mobile Phones, Smart Phones, Tablets, Laptop, Desktop, Printers, TV and other consumer electronics & lifestyle products.
TVS Electronics: TVS Electronics, from the TVS Group, is one more player in the after sales market. However, unlike others, TVS Electronics does not limit itself to just services of the products, rather it repairs as well as sells the refurbished products as well. Some of its refurbished products offer warranty of equal duration as the new product.
Some of the key services that TVS Electronics offers include repair services, refurbishment services, managed services, e-auction services and extended warranty plans.
From a product perspective, the company offers services for all sort of IT products including PCs and laptops, printers etc, telecom products including smartphones and feature phones, CCTVs, ATMs and PoS machines
Some of its major clients include HTC, Lava, Micromax, Samsung, Xiaomi, Dell, Hitachi and NCR.
B2X: B2X is a Munich, Germany based aftermarket player and primarily serves the tier-1 IT and communications brands. The company offers services for mobility devices, consumer electronics, home automation, urban mobility, payment solutions and digital health. Some of the prominent names in its customer list include Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, Lenovo, Google, Microsoft, Motorola, Xiaomi and Sony.
The company’s India business supports three neighbouring countries – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. The company has 237 frontend service locations and 12 backend repair centers. The firm employs around 900 employees to support these four markets. In these markets B2X serves customers of Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Xiaomi. B2X operates 27 Apple authorized service centers across India where people using Apple products receive immediate help – from software support and device diagnosis to hardware repair services for in-warranty and out-of-warranty issues.
The entire after-sales service process of B2X is automated through the B2X SMARTCARE Technology platform. B2X’s SMARTANALYTICS provides real-time visibility on all service interactions.
IQor: iQor is one of the world’s biggest after market service providers. The company entered Indian space in 2015 and had announced to invest Rs 1300 crore over a period of 3 years time and create employment for more than 20,000 people. At present the firm has more than 5000 people in India and a majority of them are located in the company contact center in Noida.
iQor perhaps is the only company in India to offer end to end aftermarket services to its customers. The company boasts of clientele including Oracle, Cisco, Ericsson and Apple besides almost all the handset brands including Indian smartphone players like Micromax, Karbonn and Lava.
Redington: Redington is one more big name in Indian after sales services market. It has set up hardware support service centres across the country with 77 owned service centres, supported by a certified franchisee network of 266 service partners, Redington provides the full spectrum of warranty and post-warranty services including solution design and consulting, technical helpdesk, field engineering support, parts warehousing, Forward and Reverse logistics, Imports and -re-exports, and asset recovery . All these centres run on a robust CRM that enable us to tightly manage the end-to-end service life cycle and create a great customer experience.
The company serves some premium customers including Hewlett Packard, Toshiba, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Apple, Motorola, Huawei, Microsoft, Ricoh, Logitech, Konica among others – several of them for a decade or more – ample testimony to the consistent value delivered by our Service team, enabling these brands live up to their commitment of providing world class service to their customers across the Indian sub-continent.
Aforeserve: Aforeserve is one more company offering after sales services to multiple products across verticals. This Noida based firm perhaps has the widest range of products to serve – from PCs, tablets, smartphones, scanners, printers, servers, networking switches, routers, STBs, ATMs and VSAT.
Some of its major customers include HPE, IBM, Dimension Data, HP, Wipro, Lenovo, RIL, Tyco, Emerson, Micromax and Tata Sky.
Headquartered at Noida, the Company works closely with customers to implement tailored service solutions through an extensive, pan India support network of service centers in 45 major cities and resident engineers across 182 regional towns.
Supported by a team of over 2600 engineers, technicians and service executives, Aforeserve handles more than 55000 service calls every month, combining industry experience with superior repair capabilities and standardized support practices to assist individual and small-scale establishments as well as complex IT environments in large organizations to install, maintain, refurbish and dispose their ICT assets in a cost-effective, efficient and viable manner.
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