How Rapid Repair is Changing India’s Independent Mobile Repair Ecosystem
It is almost impossible to imagine modern life without smart mobile devices, be it for work, entertainment or communication. Also, these devices can cost you a pretty penny, especially if you are an Apple or OnePlus user. Which means, anything from a cracked screen or fast-draining battery to water damage can disrupt the very lifestyle you are used to. Then comes the more important question – who can you trust to repair your beloved and expensive Apple or OnePlus gadget in the fastest possible time?
The Big Dilemma: Authorised Service Centre or Independent Repair Service?
Well, of course, the authorised service centres across India are a great option when your device is covered under the warranty period. However, if that is not the case, the investment towards repairing your Apple or OnePlus device can cause some serious heartache. In fact, for devices like Apple Watch and iPads, authorised service centres will not even repair them and simply replace it with a new one after charging the replacement amount.
The other option is to depend on the Independent Repair Ecosystem, which is dominated by local repair shops at one end and many online start-ups trying to cater to the growing smartphone users in India at the other.
While the local repair shops are always more affordable, there is no guarantee when it comes to the quality of service or the originality of the spare parts. On the other hand, though authorised service centres do assure top quality service, they do not ensure affordability.
“The Independent Repair Ecosystem for Smartphones and other smart devices is currently an unorganised industry in India. It’s certainly changing with a lot of online brands and well-funded start-ups trying to make a difference amongst the growing smartphone customer base in India. Personally, I think there is still a lot to be done, starting with ensuring high customer experience that is a derivative of using premium quality parts for repair work and convenient service offerings for their devices,” explains Gaurav Kaushik, Co-founder & CEO, Rapid Repair.
Interestingly, this is the sentiment that pushed him and his ex-colleague and friend, Vivek Chauhan, to start Rapid Repair. Ex-Hewlett Packard, ex-IBM, and armed with an MBA degree from Fore School of Management, Gaurav knows exactly what to do whether it comes to tech or business development. He has spent 14 years in the industry, driving both revenue and profitability. And Vivek, backed by 16 years of experience in multiple verticals, ranging from operations to quality to business management, is a senior leader who has managed AT&T and Microsoft processes. He has multiple degrees under his belt, including an MBA, MCSA, MCSE, MCDBA and PMP certification.
Naturally, conceiving Rapid Repair was a dream for them both. And it worked out wonderfully. Backed by knowledgeable and trained techies, equipped with Level 4 repair skills, the latest high-tech diagnostic and repair tools required to fix Apple devices and OnePlus smartphones, and genuine spare parts sourced from trusted suppliers, Rapid Repair has been slowly transforming India’s independent mobile repair ecosystem since January 2019.
Rapid Repair’s MacBook, iPad and iWatch and iPhone repair service can be availed by anyone across India. The brand also offers OnePlus smartphone repair service. Over the past couple of years, the brand has amassed a loyal base of consumers who continue to give rave reviews and spread the word for the brand.
So, what is Rapid Repair all about? How did it all begin, and what is the mission of the brand? Here is the brand story.
How was Rapid Repair Born?
In 2018, when Gaurav’s iPhone screen cracked, he struggled to decide whether he should head to an Apple authorised service centre or a local mom-and-pop shop. Though he ultimately went to the authorised service centre, he could not stop thinking about all the customers who, like him, were trying to get their smartphones fixed along with 3 basic things – convenience, quality and peace of mind.
“We did our market analysis and found there was a clear need of such a service in India. In the US, brands like ubreakifix.com were already carving their space and emerging as category leaders. Hence, it was a no-brainer for accidental entrepreneurs like us to leave our jobs and start something that creates a value among consumers. And Rapid Repair was born on 16th January 2019,” explains Gaurav.
Here are some other reasons why Rapid Repair came into being:
- India has more than 10 million unique Apple users (combining iPhone and iPad) and Apple is the second largest selling brand in the refurbished or used market.
- There are around 15 million OnePlus users in the country.
- Local repair shops are unprofessional and use fake and inferior quality spares, which is bad news for your device. Warranty terms are also weird, and consumers don’t really get the peace of mind they are looking for.
- Every year, 2 million online searches are conducted online by Apple users looking for repair services. This proves the huge demand for Independent repair.
- Authorised service centres don’t repair all the products such as iPads and Apple Watches.
- Almost all repair companies usually train technicians as per standard operating procedure. They are not trained on schematics and don’t have any learning curve towards the architecture of a smart device.
- The process of manufacturing 1 smartphone uses up 12 litres of water and emits 50 kilograms of carbon dioxide. Hence, repairing electronic devices is not only cheaper than replacing them, but also eco-friendly.
Naturally, Rapid Repair sensed a massive opportunity in terms of bridging the gap between the expectations of Apple and OnePlus users and what local repair shops and authorised service centres are offering. In fact, taking the middle ground has helped them achieve never-before customer satisfaction.
Things Rapid Repair Got Right from Day One: What Differentiates them from other Independent Repair Service Providers
Despite facing the initial challenges of procuring the best quality spares from reliable suppliers (which also had to meet India’s import regulations) and selling the concept of premium quality concierge service for smartphones, Rapid Repair knew they were on the right path when they tasted their initial customer success. The brand knew that if they had to make a mark, they needed to get some things right from day one – things that would differentiate their business from the rest of the independent repair service providers.
Here are some things they focused on right from the start.
Being an environmentally conscious brand, Rapid Repair didn’t want the e-waste from its repair jobs to end up in landfills, which is what normally happens with the local repair shops due to cost constraints. And so, they applied for EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility) certificate from the Central Pollution Control Board and made sure they abided by all the pertinent laws associated with e-waste management in India. The EPR certification also helped them to import genuine, high-quality spares from the best suppliers in the world.
One of the top priorities for the brand was to ensure the best infrastructure possible to handle Level 2 and Level 4 repair jobs for all Apple devices efficiently. Their infrastructure is scalable as well, and Rapid Repair uses automation wherever feasible to make the repair process smooth and fast. Experienced and certified technicians and sales staff were hired from the very beginning to provide the best experience to customers. They are also trained in the latest tools, so that every repair job leaves the customer completely satisfied.
Premium customer experience
This was and still is the defining mantra of the brand. Rapid Repair tailors their service differently each time to suit every customer’s unique needs. This is also the reason why customers keep going back to them whenever their devices act up.
All about convenience
Rapid Repair’s service has always been about convenience for the customer. Its free pickup and drop service has won over customers across India and has been a life-saver for many during the lockdown days. Essentially, you don’t need to step outside and seek help if your Apple or OnePlus device malfunctions or gets damaged. Rapid Repair’s logistics partners pick up the device from your doorstep, send it to the brand’s Gurgaon lab for repair, and then delivers the fixed device to your doorstep. Customers in the Delhi NCR region even get a standby device (iPhone to Apple user and OnePlus to OnePlus user) to get on with their life while their own device gets repaired.
Complete peace of mind with unlimited support and lifetime warranty
Unlimited support, lifetime warranty on the repair job, and moneyback guarantee are some of the benefits you get as a customer. Rapid Repair believes that these are essential to keep your mind at ease, since you will be handing over a prized possession to them and hoping for the best.
Rapid Repair understands that your Apple or OnePlus device is precious to you and the wrong repair job can cause you a lot of stress. Which is why, before fixing it, they share the diagnostics with you, so that you know what the exact problem is. They also do a video recording of the repair process for complete transparency.
Building a happy customer base and becoming a trusted tech partner
It’s easy to figure out why Rapid Repair’s customer base keeps growing across India, year by year. “The trust has been hard earned, and we intend to keep it that way. Not many brands can claim to have so consistent repeat business,” says Vivek, with a smile of satisfaction.
This loyal customer base not only trust the brand for giving them back almost-good-as-new gadgets, but also for technology advice. In fact, the brand’s ultimate mission is to carve its niche as a trusted technology advisor to consumers.
“Our customers just don’t connect with us for any hardware issues, but for anything they get stuck with, given the dynamic smart device’s Software and App usage. Because we interact and fix our customer’s devices, we are fully aware of their technology adoption and usage behaviour that results in solid trust factor among our customers and they reach out to us for many queries typically related to OS updates, data transfer, app usage and also recommendations to buy new device with best possible configuration as per their usage and budget,” adds in Gaurav.
How can the independent repair industry grow in the future?
As mentioned in the beginning, India’s independent repair ecosystem is mostly unorganised, and though start-ups and online brands are doing their bit to improve customer awareness about quality repairs at affordable prices, a lot remains to be achieved. As per Gaurav and Vivek, enhancing customer satisfaction needs to be the industry watchword.
“Today we all are living a connected lifestyle, and as a consumer, we need to understand the pain of any breakdown of our smart devices. Currently, it’s the millennial age that is the focus customer segment and they do value such offerings when it comes to electronics repair. They understand that they have a right to repair and often feel free to make their own decisions rather than being dependent on any OEM’s after service process. This is a positive change and all repair companies should look at convenience and trust factor as key value for their customers,” feels Gaurav.
Moreover, since more and more people are going online to search for repair centres these days, both Gaurav and Vivek are optimistic that the future is going to be a bright one.