Do you want to sell your old laptop but do not know where to go, or want to buy a second hand laptop with a guarantee and promise of technical support for an year? For both buyers and sellers of used laptops, Mandeep Manocha and Nakul Kumar, both first generation entrepreneurs, have set up a re-commerce website with operations based in Gurgaon and covering the entire National Capital Region. It is called reglobe.in.
The duo reveal that they have built an online platform on their website, wherein a person can get his laptop valued after answering some basic questions. If a person agrees to the valuation, and is ready to accept the deal, then a representative from Reglobe is sent to pick the laptop and deliver the cash. Manocha says that their company buys used, obsolete, and otherwise undesirable laptops from consumers. The business plan of this ‘recycling company’ works around offering a guaranteed price to the owner of the laptop, organising a free pick up, refurbishing the laptop in a specialised workshop, and then selling the same to buyers who do not wish to spend on a new laptop and/or are comfortable with a ‘reliable’ second-hand one.
Reglobe’s goal is to take advantage of the very big secondary market for electronic goods—like laptops—which is highly unorganised. “We want to bring some ‘system’ into this industry, so that people can dispose of and buy products through a safe channel,” says Manocha. The unorganised market, says his partner Kumar, lacks trust, convenience and after sales support – and this is where they plan to chip in. Reglobe encourages people to part with their unwanted machines, that can prove to be of great help to certain sections of society like NGOs. This also helps in reducing e-waste generation, which of late has started to become a major problem – especially for cities like Gurgaon.
In the coming months, Reglobe plans to organise buy-back camps in different condominiums, in collaboration with the RWAs. To ensure that no data leak or theft takes place, it is ensured that the laptops bought by the company are formatted as soon as they reach the workshop. In case a customer does not want to sell the hard disk, he/she is allowed to retain it – though of course the price or offer gets reduced.
Whenever a transaction takes place, the seller has to give an undertaking about the product he/she is selling, provide an ID proof, and sign an indemnity bond. Kumar says this is to ensure that laptops are not obtained from a dubious source. The current target of the Company is to reach 1,000 laptops per month. Adequate checks and balances have been put in place.
The Company is planning to add other categories soon; this will include mobile phones, Tablets and related gadgets. The laptop pick-up services are also being extended to Mumbai and Bangalore within a month.
“We are quite happy with the response. People in Gurgaon are very satisfied with the service launched by us in mid-February this year,” says Kumar. He says that recycling is crucial for society, as resources are at a premium and should be used wisely. Prior to setting up the ‘recommerce’ website, the duo had set up a tyre recycling plant in Faridabad, which converted rubber from used tyres into furnace oil. “Almost 300 tonnes of tyres were recycled by the Company every month, and every one associated with us made money and also contributed to the environment,” says Manocha. After running the plant for 2 years, they decided to make a profitable exit, as the organisation had reached a plateau. There was not much more one could do, they admit.
When asked what are the learnings in starting a business from scratch, both say that it very difficult to meet the requirements of the government, and work through the bureaucracy. After selling off the tyre business, they started to think of how the core business of recycling could be married to ecommerce, so that they could offer a product that added value not only to the customer but to the society as a whole. “With the generation of so much e-waste, we decided that refurbishing laptops and other electronic items could offer us a new opportunity,” says Kumar.
They also say that their basic philosophy is that everyone in the supply chain should make money – only then does it become a rewarding business process. They have decided to make recycling their way of life. With the motto of ‘Reuse, Reduce, and Recycle’, they believe that one man’s waste could always be another’s resource.