Throwing Away Previous Telephones? 2 Mates Earn Rs 200 Cr by Recycling Them

There’s a brand new smartphone being launched virtually each month. It appears like the following iteration of your present cellphone hits the market inside a yr of your buy. Cellphone firms and marketplaces tantalise you with attractive change affords, tempting you to improve. However have you ever ever paused to think about what turns into of your previous telephones?

Many marketplaces and shops present the choice of buying a refurbished cellphone. Such a cellphone undergoes thorough inspection for defects, repairs, and alternative of defective components. In response to a report by Redseer Technique Consultants, the refurbished or used smartphone market in India is projected to soar to $10 billion by 2026.

In 2015, Avneet Singh got down to purchase an iPhone for his mom however discovered the brand new cellphone’s value past his funds when he visited a retailer together with his good friend, Saket Saurav. Nevertheless, an enterprising salesman supplied them a second-hand cellphone at a considerably cheaper price, almost Rs 35,000 lower than a brand new one.

Regardless of the tempting supply, the cellphone lacked any checks and got here with no guarantee. Opting in opposition to the dangerous buy, Avneet was impressed by the expertise.

Working collectively at Shopclues, he and Saket recognised an issue price fixing. Subsequently, Shopclues launched a refurbished cell class, ReNew, which rapidly generated multi-crore income inside its first month.

They did in depth analysis on the refurbished cell market and recognizing an opportune time in Could 2017, they give up their jobs and launched ReFit World — a refurbished cellphone startup, on a mission to scale back e-waste by recycling and refurbishing second-hand devices.

ReFit is on monitor to realize a income of Rs 240 crore this monetary yr and stop 55,000 to 65,000 telephones from changing into e-waste each month.

ReFit bagged a Rs 2 crore deal at Shark Tank India
ReFit bagged a Rs 2 crore deal at Shark Tank India.

The 2 Delhiites met by frequent pals and their friendship solidified after two gross sales stints collectively at LG and Shopclues. The aforementioned incident and subsequent launch of the ReNew portfolio at Shopclues alerted the 2 MBA graduates in regards to the potential of the refurbished market.

They performed market analysis and, whereas overseeing the ReNew portfolio, gained sensible insights into the main points of the class. They realized firsthand about sourcing stock, refurbishing telephones, and figuring out potential gross sales channels.

Coming from service-class backgrounds, the duo had long-held aspirations of changing into entrepreneurs. Recognising a promising enterprise alternative and observing a major market hole, they made the daring determination to pursue their goals. They left behind their steady company careers to dive headfirst into the world of entrepreneurship.

They invested all their financial savings and the then 28-year-olds took a private mortgage of Rs 15 lakh every and bootstrapped their enterprise. With a complete capital of Rs 55 lakh, they began ReFit World in Could 2017.

“The refurbished market was simply choosing up at the moment. Up till then, we solely had the choice to purchase new telephones or second-hand telephones. A second-hand cellphone didn’t have credibility. So we determined to supply high quality checked and examined refurbished telephones,” explains Saket (35), co-founder and CEO, ReFit World, to The Higher India.

The Delhi-based firm was began with a workforce of seven together with the 2 founders, and targeted on the offline market. Initially, Saket and Avneet would load about 100 refurbished telephones of their automobiles, got down to the market, and persuade channel companions to purchase these telephones.

“We’d go to completely different markets and be on the street for nearly 10 days at a time within the preliminary days. We defined the product to the channel companions and requested them to belief us with a small sum of money. Educating customers and companions was the primary, difficult step,” says Avneet (35), co-founder and COO, ReFit World.

They slowly discovered just a few channel companions who invested wherever between Rs 2 to five lakh, which kicked off the enterprise of the enterprise.

The primary two years have been a whirlwind of sleepless nights for these entrepreneurs, totally dedicated to their enterprise. Saket remembers that firstly of their enterprise, his spouse was pregnant, whereas Avneet’s mother and father had simply begun trying to find a bride for him.

“We invested all our financial savings; it was ‘do or die’ for us. We had a powerful perception that it will work, and labored arduous. We took no days off and burnt the midnight oil. We targeted on constructing a great offline base and educating our distributors whereas constructing partnerships with cell manufacturers and marketplaces to purchase again previous telephones,” provides Saket.

Their efforts paid off as individuals began trusting their model and their gross sales grew. Within the first yr of operations, they earned a income of Rs 8 crore.

A 47-point high quality test

The phones go throw a 47 point quality check
The telephones undergo a 47-point high quality test.

ReFit sources previous telephones from three channels — marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart,  cell producers like Samsung, Oppo, Vivo, and Apple, and huge format retailers like Sangeetha, Poorvika, and Croma.

As soon as the telephones attain their workplace, they’re examined utilizing ReFit’s in-house diagnostic software which has 47 high quality test parameters. Saket says that inside two and a half minutes, the applying identifies what’s mistaken with the cellphone. Their engineers then rectify and restore the telephones, conducting additional checks to see if the sensors and cameras are working correctly.

As soon as the faults are fastened, the applying is run once more to test if it passes all high quality checks. It’s then despatched both to offline companions or offered by their very own web site, which was launched in October 2023. In addition they supply a six-month guarantee on their telephones.

Their common promoting value offline is Rs 6,000 and on-line is Rs 11,000. There may be extra demand for high-end telephones on-line, say the founders.

They additional share that they promote between 55,000 to 65,000 telephones each month and have offered over 1.75 million telephones so far. They declare that they’ve been worthwhile from the outset and have achieved a constant one hundred pc year-on-year development. Their income reached Rs 187 crore final yr and is projected to hit Rs 240 crore this yr. Working in over 100 cities, they’ve a community of greater than 50,000 retailers.

The key distinction between a second-hand and refurbished cellphone, explains Saket, is the standard and credibility. “There isn’t any high quality testing or checking accomplished on a second-hand cellphone. We make sure that there isn’t a downside with the cellphone and provide you with a guaranty,” he says.

These telephones are additionally helpful for the surroundings as they prolong the lifespan of devices and stop them from contributing to waste. In 2022, the Waste Electrical and Digital Tools (WEEE) discussion board reported that 5.3 billion cell phones would grow to be waste in that yr alone. As a substitute of recycling previous telephones, many individuals both hold them at dwelling or discard them in bins.

Nevertheless, these units include precious supplies like gold, copper, and silver, which, if recycled, can stop the necessity for extracting treasured minerals and assist cut back carbon emissions.

ReFit additionally appeared on Shark Tank India Season 3 and secured a deal for Rs 2 crore from three ‘Sharks’ — Anupam Mittal, Vineeta Singh, and Amit Jain. Submit their look on Shark Tank, they’ve acquired over 20,000 queries from retailers and distributors in simply 10 days, say the elated founders, including that they need to improve their on-line presence within the coming years.

From initially holding their enterprise a secret from their households to establishing an organization valued at Rs 200 crore, Avneet and Saket exemplify the facility of arduous work, seizing alternatives on the proper time, and embodying the hustle tradition.

“It is advisable to be sincere with your self and your clients, work arduous, and have the zeal to construct a enterprise. Don’t stick with a method; as a substitute, be keen to redo issues if one thing doesn’t work. We achieved our targets as a result of our intent and keenness have been sturdy,” says Avneet.

Edited by Pranita Bhat

WEEE Discussion board

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