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Setting standards: A Delhi startup is trying to bring quality assurance to India’s refurbished device market

Trisha Medhi ( )

New Delhi-based ReFit Global sources phones that are exchanged on platforms such as Flipkart and Amazon.

The company has so far sold over 15 lakh phones out of which 80% of the phones were sourced from Flipkart and the rest 20% from other ecommerce players.

The bootstrapped company saw its revenue increase to Rs 200 crore in FY23.

While buying a refurbished gadget is good for one’s pocket as well as the environment, a common barrier preventing consumers from getting a second-hand device is—quality.

Launched by Saket Saurav and Avneet Singh in 2017, Delhi-based ReFit Global is trying to accelerate India’s refurbished tech market.

The idea for ReFit emerged when Saket and Avneet, who have worked together for companies such as Shopclues and LG, saw the potential for second-hand devices, especially in Tier-II and III cities.

“While working at Shopclues in 2015, we began the ReNew portfolio for the company, which was a refurbished mobile category that reached Rs 40 crore per month in just a span of 8-9 months,” says Saket Co-founder and CEO, ReFit Global.

The company says it has found success in the refurbished device segment, with a 100% year-on-year growth in revenue generation since inception.

In FY 2017-18, the company posted a revenue of Rs 8 crore, which increased to Rs 19 crore in FY 2018-19, 24 crore in FY 2019-20, Rs 44 crore in FY 2020-21, Rs 101 crore in FY 2021-22 and Rs 200 crore in FY 2022-23.

Currently bootstrapped, ReFit aims to generate close to Rs 350 crore in revenue in FY 24.

ReFit has reasons to be optimistic about its growth. The refurbished device segment is currently in demand. According to the ICEA report, the Indian recommerce market is projected to grow by 16% and reach $10 billion by 2025.

According to the report, in 2020, around 100-125 million devices were eligible to enter the second hand market in India but only 20 million got traded through organised and unorganised channels (3 million organised and 17 million unorganised). The remaining 105 million were kept in the house as spare phones. And in the three million devices in organised channels, only one million got refurbished and remaining two million were traded as pre-owned or as second devices.

A new lease of life

ReFit sources phones that are exchanged on platforms such as Flipkart, Amazon, and brands like Oppo, Xiaomi, and Vivo. The company then rectifies any technical or aesthetic issues that these phones might have and distributes them via its network of offline retail partners.

ReFit has its own Mobile Diagnostics Application through which it diagnoses each device on 37 quality check parameters, says Saket.

Apart from its primary segment—phones—ReFit also refurbishes other tech products such as laptops and large appliances like television, washing machines, refrigerators, and air conditioners.

The company has so far sold over 15 lakh phones out of which 80% of the phones are sourced from Flipkart and the rest 20% from other ecommerce players. In the last financial year, the startup sold nearly 500,000 handsets.

ReFit offers discounts ranging from 30% to 70% in comparison to the price of new mobile phones, depending on the specific models, grades after refurbishment, and the life cycle of the product.

“Although ReFit doesn’t directly sell to the end customers our distribution network is quite wide with pan-India presence, these distributors cater to all major retail outlets of refurbished goods. As a result, our target audience is spread across metro cities as well as tier 2 and tier 3 cities, though a larger section of our target audience belongs to tier 2 and tier 3 cities,” says Saket.

While the startup claims to have no direct competitors, Cashify, Ikon Technology, Slyod, Aforserve Service, and Yaantra are some of the other players in the segment.

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