EFY Exclusive: Cashify Plans to Sell Refurbished Tablets and Gaming Consoles in India

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The company will soon launch an e-commerce platform for refurbished gadgets and smartphones in India. Cashify said that it has served more than 13 lakh customers, and has en-cashed more than 14 lakh gadgets on its platform

Amit Sethi(AS), CTO and co-founder, Cashify, in an exclusive conversation with Electronics For You shared that the company is preparing to launch first Cashify Experience center in India. We had earlier said that Cashify’s first experience store will be located in Faridabad.

Amit said, “Last two years has been really good for us in terms of fresh investments and business expansion in India. We got investment from CDH Investments, Morningside and got Aihuishou, a pioneer of Re-commerce business in China, as our strategic partner which helped us to achieve focused growth in India.”

The company will also foray into the accessories market through its upcoming e-commerce portal. Cashify will be targeting tier 2 and tier 3 cities to sell refurbished gadgets and smartphones.

Here are some more interesting excerpts from the interaction

Amit Sethi – CTO – Cashify

Que 1 – What was the vision behind Cashify’s launch in India?

AS – While we were in the stage of conceptualizing the business model, we actually took lot of references from the ground situations on how people are selling their old gadgets or buying second hand/refurbished gadgets. We found that selling old gadgets is not that convenient and the offered prices varied from vendor to vendor. There is no stability in it. Then we came up with the idea of establishing a platform for people to sell old gadgets with a transparent pricing with a convenience to sell old gadgets anytime one wants. The rationale behind our success, is an interesting fact that ‘one man’s waste could very well be another’s resource’, of-course if the product has not reached a non-usable condition.

Today, Cashify is India’s pioneer for exchange and buy back for all used smartphones and electronics. With the upgrade cycle for an average smartphone user has come down 12 months or even lower we make it easy for them to sell their old smartphones conveniently while upgrading to a new one. We have more than 13 lakh happy customers with more than 14 lakh gadgets en-cashed on our platform.

Que 2 – How has been Cashify’s innings in India so far? Are you content with the performance?

AS – Last two years has been really good for us in terms of fresh investments and business expansion in India. We got investment from CDH Investments, Morningside and got Aihuishou, a pioneer of Re-commerce business in China, as our strategic partner which helped us to achieve focused growth in India. We became preferred upgrade partner for popular brands like Apple, Xiaomi, Vivo, OnePlus, Nokia and offline retail chains like Vijay sales.

After amplifying our business reach to 40 cities in last 6 years, we are also making our presence felt in the offline market with 23 dedicated kiosks in 5 cities and looking forward to launch our first exclusive Cashify store. Entering into a business, which was primarily unorganized and leading the segment for last two years was not easy for us, but we are glad that we have been able to hold on to the pole position in re-commerce sector, while launching new business ventures as well. Going forward we are gearing up to further strengthen our position as the industry leader with pan India expansion.

Que 3 – Apart for re-commerce, you are also present in smartphone repair services, how’s that business fairing out for you?

AS – Cashify has also launched ScreenPro; the express, doorstep smartphone screen repair service in 8 cities (Delhi, Gurgaon, Noida, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai). With ScreenPro, we are looking forward to capitalize on the lack of reliable screen repair service providers and a highly unorganized and not reliable screen repair market in India.

We have already established a strong network of highly trained technicians across these cities, to cut down the waiting period for screen repairs, from few days to just 30 minutes. ScreenPro offers screen repair for smartphones from all the major brands like Apple, Xiaomi, OnePlus, Motorola, Oppo, Vivo, Huawei etc.

Also, the ScreenPro screen repair can be availed at the doorstep, for a live repair infront of the customer. So, we keep it as transparent and as instant, as possible. The service is backed by 6-month warranty and 7-day money-back promise, which makes us the most reliable service provider, operating in the segment. ScreenPro is doing well in the market as there is already a lack of reliable, organized brand and we are getting good response from the cities, we are operating in.

Que 4 – We heard about your upcoming re-commerce online platform? Which all products will you cover under it?

AS – We have completed six successful years in the re-commerce business as one of the leading brands and time was ripe for us to launch our E-commerce platform to sell refurbished gadgets in India. We have been working on this project for quite some time and, come next month we will make it live.

We have set five operating centres — one each in Bengaluru, Chennai, Gurgaon, Hyderabad and Mumbai. These operating centres work as Cashify’s operating hubs, where smartphones go through the refurbishing process. We will be offering six months warranty on all the re-furbished smartphones that we will be selling.

While Smartphones will be the key product segment to start off we will sell refurbished laptops, tablets, and gaming consoles in the future. We are also launching accessories and that will also be one product category of Cashify’s E-commerce portal.

Que 5 – Prices of new smartphones are decreasing sharply (affordable segment), which category will you be targeting for re-commerce business?

AS – While affordability of the smartphones are increasing, with more aggressively priced phones introduced in the market, still there is need to strike a balance between the aspiration of smartphone users in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities and affordability. A smartphone user in these cities looking to own a OnePlus device might not be able to shell out INR 30000 for it, that’s where the refurbished segment comes into the picture. If the refurbished device is available at 40 per cent lesser cost, then the aspiration of the customer meets affordability.

We are mainly targeting tier 2 and tier 3 cities to sell refurbished gadgets and smartphones will remain our key segment, but we have plans to sell refurbished Laptops, Tabs and gaming consoles as well.

Que 6 – Do you have any specific geographical location in mind? What will be your marketing strategy?

AS – While we are present in 40 cities in India, with the north and south part of the country being covered, we want to be a Pan India brand, and not just a regional player. In next two months we are looking forward to make further in-roads to reach 1000 cities across India, with the launch of Cashify Express service.

In terms of marketing we are doing more targeted marketing with scalable results, but going forward we are open to launch a big mass campaign for a better brand outreach. But again marketing will be more region focused and result oriented as ROI is key area of our marketing efforts.

Que 7 – What do you think is the size of re-commerce market in India? How will you compete against the existing players?

AS – Re-commerce of gadgets is still in its nascent stage in India. It has a huge potential for growth. The refurbished phone market in the country has just started to grow and it is here to stay as a huge industry.

If we notice the refurbished smartphone market in India vis-à-vis the world market, it is already growing at a higher pace. As per some recent research reports the market for refurbished and used cell phones is poised for 8.9 per cent CAGR through 2018-2025 and global sales of refurbished is expected to reach US$40 billion by the end of 2025.

In India consumers are value oriented and price conscious, specially when it comes to gadgets, thus I will say refurbished gadgets are going to give a tough fight even to the new gadget segment. The only catch is whether the Re-commerce market places will be able to retain the value and offer quality assurance on gadgets they sell and at Cashify we have been doing that consistently for quiet some time now.

Currently, the major challenge in the resale market is that reselling old, used devices does not come as a natural tendency to users due to lack of options available. While the major catch is best price for used gadgets and convenience of selling, these are also tw aspects we will be focusing on to compete against competitors in the segment.

Que 8 – Are you planning business through online channels, or offline shops as well?

AS – As a brand we want to reach-out to the customers in every possible way, whether they are tech savvy ones uses web and app to sell devices or just like to walk up to a kiosk and sell old gadgets instantly. For first five years we focused on capturing more customers through online channels like our website or app, but for last one year we have been expanding aggressively in the offline market as well.

We have already established 23 kiosks in malls, corporate hubs, metro stations across five cities where people can just walk-in and sell their device instantly. Going forward we are looking forward to expand both our online business as well as offline presence and tie-up with more partners from the industry.

Que 9 – What are your views on modification in the refurbished import policy?

Ans: The refurbished market in India, which is already gaining traction will get a boost due to legal import of used electronics items. Last year, the market for refurbished phones is said to have grown by 14 percent, lots of users in India are opting for refurbished smartphones, as they see better value in them.

The biggest benefit of making the import of refurbished gadgets legal is that it will wipe out the existing grey market, which was harming lots of brands and e-commerce brands. It will also streamline the procedures for legal import, which will help lots of brands and e-commerce players as well.

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