RepairWala – Changing the Way we Repair Things
Written By: Sudais Asif
”Sudais Asif is an A’ Levels student at LACAS and has recently launched a real estate platform. He builds websites occasionally but still hasn’t learnt how to tie a pair of shoelaces.”
Getting your electronics repaired is nothing short of a hassle in Pakistan. Not only is it an issue to find the right person to do the job but also due to the risk factor that is very probable to arise.
Take a scenario of someone who resides in a metropolitan city. The first thing they have to do is visit an electronics market; Hafeez Centre comes to mind. Once there, you will find no shortage of shopkeepers who would be willing to repair your device. But how do you know that you’re being charged an appropriate price? How do you know that the data stored on your device will not be stolen or misused by the shopkeeper? How do you verify that the job done by the individual repairing the device is up to your required standards? The answer is you can’t. You can at best rely on their word of mouth but in this era, we can do better than that, can’t we?
Fortunately ‘RepairWala’ is working on solving this very problem. Founded by Asad Ali & SohaibArif, this startup has already gone onto win awards in about 10 major startup competitions including APIthon I, UET Talent Hunt and Ideative 2.0. They are currently incubated in the 11th cycle at Plan9 with a diverse and skilled team in place helping repair different types of electronic devices.
They’ve put together a simple process which is best illustrated by using a day to day example:
> The screen of your smartphone gets broken and you want an easy and quick way to replace it.
> You call Repair Wala and explain what needs to be done.
> Repair Wala gives you a quote for the price.
> A representative from their company picks up your device from your doorstep.
>After the device is repaired, it is returned to you within 24 hours.
Security of one’s Data
When it comes to ensuring the security of one’s data, a fairly rigorous and simple approach is used. Whenever your device is taken for being repaired, a team member of RepairWala is present at all times with the technician. And if the repair would take more than one day, the company would keep the device overnight and take it again to the technician the very next day. With this process in place, there is no room for your data to be mishandled as a member is personally watching over your device at all times. In the case of laptops, the hard drive is removed initially instead of the technician accompanying your device to protect your data.
“In Pakistani repairing market, it takes lot of time, rates are not fixed so repairers charge according to their will and your personal data is not secure in hands of repairer. Specially in case of females, they take out data and later females are subjected to cyber bullying.” RepairWala
The presence of a Repair Wala representative is perhaps the most important step in the repair process as more and more people are now concerned about the safety of their data.
What more can we expect?
The world of startups requires a lot of persistence and dedication alike to survive in a fast-paced environment. To complement this, you have to be constantly on the lookout to innovate and diversify. The same goes for RepairWala. Back in March at Startup Lahore which they also won, the team pitched their startup to the audience and investors present. Among different questions, one caught my attention and it was for a good reason.
The question being, how would they establish trust in the minds of customers from a security point of view? Do they have any security certifications in place? As we discussed earlier, the team is overlooking all repairs themselves right now. This is due to no security certifications available in Pakistan that would apply to their services. However, if any such certification comes out, the company plans to get licensed in the future.
On the other hand, we also expect to see corporate packages coming out soon. Now, what would these entail? The basic idea of these would be to offer subscriptions to businesses for a fixed amount per month in which they could get unlimited repairs. Maintaining the balance between the number of repairs and the cost that they would charge for a package will be a challenge, but it could prove to be an effective strategy if managed well. In addition, an e-commerce store is also in the making which would give people the ability to buy spare parts of electronics online – for those of you who wish to do the repairs themselves; yes the techies!
Currently the company is only functioning in Lahore. In the next 5 years, we can expect them to expand to other cities. They have competitors as most innovations do. Nevertheless, if they continue to excel in customer service along with their offerings, we can expect them to become a solid company within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan, we can expect them to revolutionize the way we repair things.
As Jeff Bezoz rightly said,
”If you do build a great experience, customers tell each other about that. Word of mouth is very popular”
Wish them luck fellas!