We are publishing an interview of Mr. Vaibhav Kapoor – Founder, Director and CEO, MobiGarage.
About the founders:
Vaibhav Kapoor – Director and CEO. He is responsible for creating roadmap, business and go-to-market strategy and leads MobiGarage – B2C online mobile repair and spare unit of the company.
Pulkit Kapoor – Director, Product and Services. He leads the customer engagement and client management at MobiGarage. He is also responsible for managing the finance and sales team and provides backend support to different departments.
Abhinav Mahajan – Director, Operations
Abhinav looks at the Operations in MobiGarage. His role is to setup, streamline and optimize different processes.
Ujjwal Sehgal – Director, Procurement / Supply Chain
He is responsible for sourcing, vendor management in India, China, Singapore and US, procurement of mobile spare parts, and development and streamlining of back-end supply chain.
Give us a brief background of what founders were doing before starting the venture.
Vaibhav Kapoor – Engineer by profession, Vaibhav has rich experience working with Consulting Companies – Accenture Strategy and ZS Associates, handling accounts of various Forbes 500 companies in India and abroad. A large part of Vaibhav’s experience has been in US, working with Fortune 500 companies.
Pulkit Kapoor – Engineer by profession, Pulkit has past experience, working as a manager with Reliance Industries Limited
Abhinav Mahajan – Engineer by profession, Abhinav started his career working with ZS Associates, moving forward to setting up his earlier start-up Helfis Technologies in Preventive Healthcare.
Ujjwal Sehgal – Engineer by profession, Ujjwal leads the procurement and supply chain team at MobiGarage.
Please tell about the core team members. How do you see them evolving over time?
We have 25 members in our team and we consider each member of our team as a core member as each of them is contributing to multiple things at a same time.
What is the problem you are trying to solve? Can you share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Our start-up Mobigarage is trying to bring quality mobile repair solutions home. The idea is to cater to every individual and organization and provide them mobile repair and spare-part solutions at their doorstep at their convenience. In today’s fast paced world where mobile is as good a necessity as food and shelter, such an instant professional service could bring respite to each one of us.
The venture is a result of our findings where we realized huge gaps between a customer and a repair professional. After understanding those gaps, we are now trying to make our way through a local mobile repair vendor who is unreliable and unprofessional and an authorized service centre which is time-consuming and expensive by offering genuine spare-parts and repair services at affordable costs in a turnaround time of maximum 36 hours.
What challenges did you face when you were starting out?
Lack of awareness among people – The market is not much aware of this concept and people still prefer to struggle with the local vendors. So, we had to create awareness and inform people about our safe and seamless process so that they get inclined towards its use.
Organising/maintaining wide stock inventory/ Supply chain management – So many smartphone brands with so many models. The permutation and combinations are humongous and to manage a wide stock inventory a task. A lot of investment and hard work was required to find out the quality and wide range of vendors/ suppliers so as to have an edge over our competitors.
Another peculiar problem that we face in this industry is non-standardization of the phones and their spare-parts. There are more than 10 qualities available in the market with different price range for the same set of repair phone. This can get utterly confusing for the customer to take a decision as it becomes almost impossible to differentiate between what is genuine and what isn’t. But since we were hell bent on keeping only the genuine products, it often created problem in justifying our high-up costs.
How did you get the initial capital? What returns does it have? Tell us about the investors (if any)
MobiGarage is a bootstrapped organization, founded by entrepreneurs having rich consulting experience working with Fortune 500 companies in India and abroad. The journey has been tough but interesting and every step taken helped in the upward growth of our learning curve. The hard work is finally paying off and from a year back in 2017, when we started, we are growing at a rate of >400% y-o-y growth.
Please tell us about the Product / Solution. Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
MobiGarage is an e-commerce platform that provides doorstep mobile repair and care services pan India. Designed to bridge the gap between the customer and a repair centre, it was conceptualized to solve various mobile repair related issues of a customer.
Set to change the mindset of the customer who till now thought that “Buying a new phone is easier than getting an existing phone repaired”, MobiGarage is an ambitious venture conceptualized to redefine the Indian mobile repair market. It is a system which would save your time and effort both. Once you avail our services through our portal, we in return assure you convenience, quality, warranty, and security.
What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have?
When we entered the market, we knew the market is unorganized with a great price disparity. Key components like Strong supply chain, Warranty, Quality parts and doorstep service were missing.
Additionally, very few quality part vendors in India and abroad were there. We have now come a long way, building our own strong supply chain and vendor connection in addition to providing quality service and parts at a genuine price.
What is the insight that you have about this market, which no one else has? Uniqueness about your Startup.
Having started off as a seller on various e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart an year back to a start-up which realized the importance of offering organized mobile repair services to individuals, corporate and other refurbished companies like Urban Clap, Jeeves etc, MobiGarage could easily cater to the huge demand of the market because of the strong hold on the product quality.
Today, Mobigarage is a mobile care centre which provides –
- Free pick-n-drop/ doorstep mobile repair services
- Repair in a turnaround time of 36 hours
- Genuine spare-parts with optimal warranty
- Standby phone so as not to hinder your routine life/ productivity
Customer Service is the key to us and we can go to any limits to achieve that. The most important and funny thing is our competitors are our customers.
What is the strength of the startup and the scale of operations? Who do You Perceive as Your Competition?
With a total team strength of about 25 people from diverse backgrounds, We saw more than 1000% percent growth in sales this fiscal year, and expect a five-fold increase in revenue to Rs 2.5 crore by March. MobiGarage caters to more than 150 smartphone brands and is registering an average of 2,000 monthly orders. The orders are growing 100 percent month-on-month. We are already profitable with a net profit of 20 percent in FY2018.
In terms of competition, actually speaking we have no competitors as we are an innovative service provider offering mobile repair solutions to individuals as well as corporates and at the same time facilitating spare-part requirement of other repair and refurbishing companies like Flipkart, Cashify etc. Though there are players like Yaantra, Cashify, Buzzmeeh but they specialize only in one field and we are aiming at creating an umbrella offering all the services.
We are a complete mobile repair solutions company from where you can either get your phone repaired or buy a genuine spare-part with optimal warranty. In terms of process, we have a much improved hassle-free, customer friendly online portal www.mobigarage.com where you can schedule a repair or buy a spare-part sitting in any corner of the country.
What is the revenue model? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc. ? Explain your thought process.
We generate revenue out of two working models –
a) By offering mobile repair services pan India to individual customers who leave their request on our e-commerce portal. Additionally, by liasioning with various corporate houses to set up a system where all the mobile care services are offered to their entire workforce at a special rate by getting into an official agreement.
b) By providing spare-parts to mobile repair and refurbished companies. We are working with one of the biggest companies in this sphere(Flipkart, F1, Jeeves, Cashify etc.)
Who are the consumers that you are targeting? How is this going to affect them?
MobiGarage is primarily catering to the individual retail customer and serving them through the requests we receive on our portal. Additionally, we are targeting various corporates through our Corporate Edge program. This program offers mobile phones repair and spare part services through online and offline channels for their employees at special rates and has been designed in a manner which ensures convenience and enhanced productivity of the employees. In fact, a lot of companies have already enrolled for the program and many others are in the pipeline.
On the other front, MobiGarage is catering to the demand of market leaders like Flipkart, Jeeves, F1, Rentomojo, UrbanClap among many others in repair and refurb industry.
How did you get your first customer?
We were initially selling spare parts on 3rd party sites. Our first customer was a friend who insisted us to get into Mobile repairs as he was prolonging for a genuine repair center owing to the bad service he got for his apple device from one of local vendors.
What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product leading to something bigger? If so, how?
From a seller on e-commerce companies to a startup serving individual retail customers and even corporates and other refurbishing companies, MobiGarage has already taken the first leap.
Moving forward, we are planning to get into the mobile Insurance market and are all set to launch a complete new set of best quality yet affordable mobile phone accessories from charging port cable to chargers to earphones and even much in demand products like sim ejector pins or wireless earphones for the retail industry. India is a price-sensitive market and in such a market coming up with an affordable range of good quality accessories is like hitting on the bullseye. Subsequently, we are also targeting to open a chain of offline stores in Delhi, Pune, Mumbai , Bangalore by Q1 2019.
Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? What is the current turnover? (From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment). Please explain in details:
• The company has shown an upward trend in terms of revenues and clients.
• YOY – The revenues for this fiscal year are projected to get 5 folds to 2.5 Cr. With the projected 400% growth from last fiscal year, MobiGarage is one of the fastest growing companies in this sphere.
• The QOQ growth has consistently been increasing with Q3-2018 growth seeing more than 100% growth as compared to Q2-2018.
• The number of enterprise clients have increased more than 500% from the last year. We are catering to most of the top repair and refurb companies.
• The number of retail/individual customers are on an all time high, with a MOM growth of over 100%.
• The company caters to more than 150+ brands and with an average 2000 monthly orders.
What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months?
Our goal is to reach out to maximum people pan India through our portal and chain of stores and touch upon their lives by offering most affordable, genuine and convenient mobile repair services. We also aim to be the best mobile repair company in the next 1 year or so by offering quality services.
What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Do your research well in order to understand the gaps of whatever market you plan to get into. Once done, it will help you in the long run.
Also, always focus on long term not short term gains and that can happen only once you focus on quality.