Soldrit – Bengaluru-based startup providing repairing services for multiple product categories across multiple brands.
Soldrit was founded in 2015 by Deepak Bhatt and Kunal Bhatnagar, college batchmates in Electronics and Communication Engineering from PESIT, Bengaluru.
We have asked several questions regarding the complete business concept, their future plans with this startup, challenges they faced during this journey to motivate our audience who are still planning to chase their passion & dreams. Here they described the complete story, let’s jump to questions.
1- A brief summary of your startup:
Soldrit is a repair service startup providing services for multiple product categories across multiple brands. Products such as Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops, and Audio speakers mostly Bluetooth audio. The fast-moving product service has been for Apple products.
We are providing services to individual customers, corporate customers, other Repair Shops/Dealers, and Colleges. Our services range from repairs, refurbished sales, asset liquidation, and rental systems.
2- Why and how did you start your company:
We started our company in late 2015. I was following the startup scene since 2012-2013 just when I completed my MBA. However, Kunal and I started discussing startups in 2014. Those discussions concluded in what we could do together, so we did a small market study about the local repair centers. We visited a few repair outlets to understand the business; we did a survey in the local market, SP Road as well.
This was a time around when House joy was launched in 2015. They used to run a separate service for mobile repairs called Repair Joy. We had decided to start something in the repair segment but the question was how.
Finally, we decided to partner platforms such as House joy/Urban Clap and there were loads of services startup during that time, and become their vendors. That was a time when there were too many service platforms that had come up and everyone was getting funded, however, we thought about it and were sure that moving to the marketplace model wasn’t the way ahead because to provide a quality repair service, you need to control the repairs.
That was how we started. Coming to the why! There is not a single third-party service Brand in India. That itself is a huge motivating factor for us to start. We want to be that brand that provides repair services nationally.
3- What has been your biggest success factors:
Patience, more than anything else has helped us stay afloat. We have shifted course whenever we have faced a roadblock. Being bootstrapped, which has helped us keep our expenses at the check and really helped us navigate through tough times. We are treading slow, however, we are in it for the long haul. We have experimented a lot and have measured what works and what doesn’t. Understanding what the customer thinks before selecting a vendor for servicing.
There are many variables, some customers are very price-sensitive, some are quality driven and some a mix of both. Customers want to under the repair process and need to know what they are paying for, so we have tried to cater to all the factors. However, this does not help you grow quickly. Therefore, we have come up with a price structure for repairs depending upon the complexity of repairs, which also considers the customer pain points when it comes to paying for repairs. Part Replacement services have pre-defined pricing, the challenge is to price the motherboard repairs at a component level.
We have 3 levels of repair pricing model for customers depending on complexity, which helps us price our services. I would consider pricing your service in running a repair business is the most important factor in determining success. Our aim is to standardize the repair services depending upon the brand of course.
4- What are the biggest challenges you have faced launching and running the company:
Well, for a repairs company you need to make sure you crack the 3 things: Customers, Technicians, and Suppliers. You need to constantly manage these 3 in order to move ahead. Out of these 3, we have faced issues with respect to the customers initially, which have sorted out over the period.
The biggest challenge we have faced is finding skilled technicians. This industry doesn’t guarantee skills with the number of years of experience. You need to be curious to learn new things every day; this is because technology is changing every year.
For example, Apple is changing the design on its devices with every launch and the repairs are getting more challenging with it. I would say finding the right talent has been the most challenging aspect of running the business.
5- Which do you think is most important: the right market, the right product, or the right team?
Well, in my opinion, all the above matters in its own respect. However, for the different industries, the quantum of each might vary.
Speaking from my experience for my industry, you already have the market, which is in majority unorganized. Mind you, no one has to create a new market for repairs. People buy devices and break them. You need to be present when that happens.
From a product perspective, yes it matters to have the right product for the customers to book your services. However, is it a game-changer? Will it help any company win the market? I don’t think so.
My experience and common sense tell me that if you are a repair company, you better know how to repair the devices. Therefore, I would bet on having a good team, which comes together and makes sure that happens.
6- Final words for those chasing the startup dream:
Be patient; keep experimenting with what works for your company. There will be tough times, don’t lose hope. Not everyone cracks a model in one day, a month, or a year.
We at Soldrit plan to focus on things that are necessary and which we haven’t been good at, so work on your weaknesses at the same time keep improvising on things you have succeeded.