Ms. Vandana Seth, CEO, RV Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
How has the Service industry changed during your career?
Any investor will tell you that past performance is not a guarantee of future results, but as investors of time, money, and energy in the mobile services industry, it’s important to maintain a bird’s-eye, macro-level view of the industry. The market for mobile devices has been steadily growing at a nearly geometric pace, but since the last 4 quarter it has shown signs of slowing down.
This is because during the last decade (and even more so during the last five years), mobile phones have gone from being simple phones to being fully-functional pocket-sized computers, with a mobile equivalent for almost every single feature of a full-blown desktop or laptop computer.
An increase in the number of mobile phones of a particular brand also pushes up the increase in the requirement of the after sales services centres at various locations across the length and the width of the country. There has also been pronounced changes in the Service ecosystem due to the ‘Rise of Bharat’. The Rural countryside is slowly turning urban, people in rural households are buying more branded products and are looking at affordable and swift customer service. Convenience is fast catching on in customer service, where brands provide service to customers within the confines of their home. The millennials are setting new standard for the service requirements. Another Trend that has become a rage has been refurbished mobile, however the service segment for this is still very niche due to the various vagaries that is involved.
Do you believe affordability could increase for the consumer in 2020?
India’s demographic profile has undergone a characteristic evolution, which is highly beneficial to the mobile phone adoption. The Millennials, the working-age population, working women, and the great Indian middle class has evolved to be the most influential segments of the population triggering new social, technological, and economic trends. Urbanization will also affect the market such that 64% of the total Indian population will be urbanized by 2025, and cities will account for 70% of India’s GDP in 2030.
The intense competition among the mobile phone manufacturers is driving down the price of mobile phones, and providing the mobile parts at cheap price to the service centers, which will help in increased penetration across the country. Smartphones are expected to outrun feature phones in the country by 2022 thereby becoming affordable to the users. Three main terms would dominate in the future years and it would be Affordability due to the low price model that the brands are into these days, Sustainability due to the advancement in tech and Serviceability – Repair and Reuse. All these three are due to the leaps in technology. This along with the Digital India Movement would add to the increase of mobile phones and there is every possibility that it would be cheaper and more affordable to the people at large.
Key challenges in the Service Industry right now
The mobile phone industry is passing through consolidation at the moment. All major brands baring a few are either flat or down south. It’s really hard to be Nostradamus and predict anything at the moment. According to IBIS, after a decade of increase, the revenue of the cell phone repair industry is forecasted to grow at a rate lower than what we have seen thus far. On the one hand, smartphone shipments are expected to reach saturation, and there is a steady decline in feature phones; Brands have begun to replace rather than repair the mobile devices due to the rapidly developing technology and falling prices of cell phones. In the prevalent market conditions the number of brands entering India has also decreased considerably. The brands have also improved their quality in terms of product over the last five years this has led to fewer faults and lesser repairs. The Market in India is constantly evolving as Brands are launching fewer models and you do not see a plethora of models that are being released as was the case in the last couple of years. This generation is of and by the millennials these are a breed who are very impatient and too aggressive when it comes to SLA and TAT. In a country geographically as vast as India, delivery at Tier 3 and up locations through courier is one of the biggest challenges.
However I feel that in challenges, we have the opportunities. Even if it will not keep increasing like earlier, the mobile phone repair still possesses a large market capacity and market potential.
What role do you see technology playing in the service industry as we enter 2020?
Technology would make a deep impact in the rendering of services to the customer. Very soon you would have your device pre-empting a repair and would inform its user well in time. This very much seems similar to the latest sci-fi movies produced by a big banner Hollywood company but this is soon to happen in the very future. With the advent of ML (machine language) software such tech innovations are on the horizon.
In an era where technology is evolving incessantly, the Mobile phone industry is advancing rapidly in order to keep up with the fast-paced evolution. Since they first came into existence over 30 years ago, mobile phones or smartphones as they are now referred to, have assisted in accelerating progress and improving communication between multiple parties over the years.
Technology can enhance services, or even take over certain tasks. In particular, the technologies that enable Digital Transformations can have a big impact on how services are delivered, and on the customer experience. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most transformative tech evolutions of our times. AI helps to improve the customer experience and to streamline business operations. During 2020, we will see wider adoption and a growing pool of providers that are likely to start offering more tailored application and services for specific or specialized tasks. This will mean no company will have any excuse left not to use AI or ML
How long RV is associated with mobile servicing?
We are a leading technology lifecycle services provider in India with 1200+ touch points & offices across the length and breadth of India. These Service Centres are ESD protected and are equipped with all the necessary repair and testing infrastructure. All of them are also connected by a CRM that has been designed and developed by a dedicated in-house team of Software developers.
We take pride in having one of the largest Third Party Network in the Country for providing after sales support to electrical & electronics devices i.e. Mobile phones, TVs, Accessories, Power banks, Speakers, IoT etc. We understand the value of customer satisfaction for a brand. Effective and timely resolution of Customer complaints by the service centre increases the brand equity of the OEM. We started our journey in 2008 with industry experienced professionals & we have successfully completed our glorious 11 years in the services industry. We have been able to keep ourselves updated on the latest trends.
Operational efficiency is the key in services, is what our belief is. Besides technical skilling, we continuously train our teams on the various methodologies like 3M, 5S and others to build up the operational efficiency in the system. Being a technology driven company we are fully aware of the advantages of technology.
We have stood the test of time and will continue to serve the customers of our clients for the years to come.