Looking for the latest laptop, smartphone or air conditioner but stumped by its market price? A reverse commerce (re-commerce) platform may just have the right product for you at a much more affordable cost. Startup Dunya in conversation with Cdr Rishi Raj Singh, CEO & Founder, UsedYetNew.
When did you start UsedYetNew?
We started UsedYetNew about 4 years ago.
Who are the founding members?
I was toying with this idea and within a short span of time, I could sense the huge potential this business had to offer. Vishesh Handa joined me at that juncture and hit the ball out of the park 🙂
What is the connecting thread that keeps you two together as a team?
Without an equivalent educational background, it will be difficult to be in the founding team. However, it is the passion to DO THE IMPOSSIBLE that really keeps us together. When everyone says it can not be done and we do it, both of us derive our kicks from that 🙂
Who gave you the initial launchpad?
We are totally bootstrapped and are able to effectively balance our revenues and expenses.
What is the product you are offering to your customers?
We buy scrap electronic products, refurbish them and sell them to price-conscious buyers in the country.
We are trying to build products “As Good As New”.
Which problem are you trying to solve?
Vishesh rightly pointed out this term. For example, we are fitting ACs in people’s houses that they may not be able to afford otherwise. This gives us a sense of immense achievement and satisfaction – being able to meet the twin goals of affordability and aspiration in a customer’s lifestyle.
Who are your target customers?
Our major customers for refurbished smartphones are currently students and first-time job seekers. For secondary air conditioners, it is mostly households from middle-income groups.
We have also seen a concurrent rise in the aspirational need to upgrade one’s phones in not just Tier I but Tier II and Tier III cities as well, so that is another market that we are trying to tap.
We have seen the entry of several players in the refurbished market ecosystem. What differentiates you from others in a similar business?
There are several new entrants in the refurbished business as the market is sizeable. Each of them has their core products to offer their users.
What differentiates us is our eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to provide the best products possible for our users. For example, we sell refurbished laptops with a 100% warranty and offer easy returns. We aim to provide our customers with a seamless and positive experience while using our products.
We have also seen return customers for purchasing more products for themselves or their family which reiterates our belief that we are on the right track.
Our happy customers is what ultimately sets us apart from other players.
What is your core strength as a team?
We focus on profitability without compromising on our basic purpose, i.e. to solve a problem.
How big is your current team?
We are 50+ strong and growing by the day.
Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
Five years from now, across multiple products, we aim to be one of the largest electronics refurbishers in the country.
With an increasing demand for premium devices, the refurbished products segment is expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. India is bucking the trend that is being seen in more evolved countries, even more predominantly in the case of smartphones and other pre-owned electronic goods.
The Indian refurbished market is projected to exceed USD20 billion in the next 5-6 years.
Per a 2016 report by Deloitte, the used smartphone market is alone forecast to grow 4x to 5x more in the coming years than the overall smartphone market in India.
What we are seeing today is just the tip of an untapped market worth billions of dollars.
UsedYetNew plans to be a part of this explosive growth!
What are the profit margins in the refurbished market?
Generally, for refurbished smartphones, the profit margin is considered to be 2x to 3x of new phones. However, it varies with the brand, model and the condition of the second-hand phone at the time of our purchase.
The actual margin also varies with the product – whether it is our faster-moving items like mobiles, laptops, and air conditioners or even the other white goods like washing machines and refrigerators.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Getting the right team :).
What kind of support system will help launch your company to the next level?
Highly-engaged customers and sales will help take UsedYetNew to the next level :).
Can you sum up your journey so far.
It has been an extremely exciting journey. Sometimes, I sit in our 12,000 sqft office and see my team working with complete commitment and clockwork precision and then, I think of the idea that came to be 4 years ago. Instantly, a feeling of deep satisfaction seeps in.
What was your ‘aha’ moment?
I do not attach much value to ‘aha’ moments during the ideation stage. I have seen several people giving tons of ideas while watching any sport and most of them come to naught.
I strongly believe that the fruition of ideas is far more important.
What would you advise others who wish to embark on their startup journey?
‘Get your hands dirty’. You need to know your business, inside out.