Good Times Are Coming
Device and appliance manufacturers are increasingly turning their focus on after sales services, not only as a means to enhance customer satisfaction but also as a revenue-generating opportunity.
The Covid pandemic has added one more ‘necessity’ to human lives – technology. For availing healthcare to education and even access to medicine or foods and grocery – everything has a technology aspect connected to it. During the pandemic people were forced to use technology for their survival – to have their food, to get connected with their near and dear ones and even to take medical consultation. This increased the dependency on electronic gadgets which further demanded that the devices remain work-worthy for a longer period. And it demands continuous service post sales.
Though there are many after sales service players in India – of various sizes – the overall service offering has still remained as a lip-service. Despite much innovations in the areas features, utilities in an electronic gadget, for consumers, there is always the same old worry – what if the gadget gets damaged? Who will repair my device? Will it be a reliable one? Will it cost me a bomb?
This worry of the consumers shows two sides of the same coin – genuine challenge and a huge opportunity – for the market. Various studies suggest brands typically spend two-thirds of what they spend on marketing on after sales.
So far the Indian after sales market is largely unorganized and a major chunk of consumer needs are catered to by their local servicemen. However, this is fast changing as many startups have joined this arena and started offering quite lucrative and reliable services using latest technologies and by making it affordable.
As per an estimate, there are around 4 billion electronics devices in India – at home, offices and industries - at various stages of their life. These devices need an assured service when they get damaged which means there is a huge untapped opportunity.
A recent study by Counterpoint Research states that smartphone customers spend an average amount of Rs 2400 on servicing of their devices. And we have more than 800 million smartphone users!
As far as the overall market size is concerned, it has grown phenomenally in last few years on account of increasing dependency on smart devices, cheaper access to internet, growing social media consumption and ease of owning a device.
While the consumer device protection market size is expected to touch $1.1 billion in FY24, other growth drivers will be on-demand repair services estimated to be worth $1 billion, home protection and AMC services estimated to be worth $1.2 billion and brand warranty and installation services at $2 billion, which makes the overall after-sales service pie market worth $5.3 billion in FY 24 in India.
Aforeserve : Aforeserve is a companies 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.
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, Micro
soft 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.
GoWarranty : This is one more Mumbai-based after sales service firm. This company has a unique model – they specialise in offering extended warranty besides offering repair and services. They also claim to offer cashless service. Whether it is costs of repairs, labour, transportation, or taxes, GoWarranty covers all the charges associated with repairing the device.
GoWarranty offers coverage for Mobile, Tablets, Laptops, Cameras, Air Conditioners, Washing Machines, Televisions, and Small Appliances. The company offers Go Extended Warranty for up to 9 months after purchase of the devices and gadgets. The warranty can be taken for upto four years
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, it continues to grow its service network extensively across India and provide the best in class services to all its 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. HCL serveds its customers with an immense sense of commitment and it likes to find a similar commitment in its partners. HCL has tied up with leading OEM players in digital products to offer after sales warranty service support across India. It provides support on wide array of products – Mobile Phones, Smart Phones, Tablets, Laptop, Desktop, Printers, TV and other consumer electronics & lifestyle products.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 its Service team, enabling these brands live up to their commitment of providing world class service to their customers across the Indian sub-continent.
Servify: The Mumbai based startup founded by Sreevathsa Prabhakar is perhaps the biggest after sales service offering company with over 900 million devices on its platform. The firm, founded little over 5 years back, is now present in over 35 countries and have acquired quite a handful of companies in the same space last year.
In April this year the company acquired Munich based WebToGo, a one-stop provider for multichannel self-care and customer experience solutions for smartphones, tablets and laptops. This acquisition will help Servify further strengthen its global footprint both in terms of technology and people. Earlier to that the company had acquired the Bangalore based gadgets repair and service company iService.
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. It claims to have over 900 million devices on its platform.
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.
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.
Going Forward: Studies suggest revenue share from new product sales has been on decline path and margins on new equipment are typically less compared to those on after sales market. Post Covid era, experts believe, people have become more cautious in their spend and would prefer to hold on to their cash and spend on products that offer longer utility with no or little opex cost escalation. This means, after sales can help manufacturers offset their declining margins from new product sales.
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