How smartphones is the fastest growing category in refurbish market?

In an exclusive interaction with Soumitra Gupta, CEO, Togofogo sheds light on his entrepreneurial journey so far.
How smartphones is the fastest growing category in refurbish market?

How did Togofogo start? Kindly also shed light on your entrepreneurial journey, also, shed light on your business model?

A few years back, I had envisioned that the market of pre-owned and refurbished Mobiles in India will be one of the high potential markets in the industry; however there was a huge gap in the market due to which the pace of growth was really low. Been in the refurbishment business for over two decades, and with a vision to digitally organize the unorganized market, we started Togofogo in the year 2015. The challenge of setting up such a business was that the market for refurbished devices is highly unorganized even till date. Getting the suppliers/sellers for refurbished phones was another big challenge with the need to educate people and bring them to the online platform and to encourage them to sell their products through an online portal. Initially we focused on the mobile category, now we have also expanded to new verticals like refurbished laptops. In over a span of just 3 years, Togofogo has set the edge of authentication in a highly unorganized market, and has created an ecosystem where the sellers leverage the company’s integrated logistics support to open up Pan-India Market in no time. On the other hand, the buyers have a place to shop refurbished/used phones and be rest assured on the quality of the products they purchase, hence strengthening the recommerce industry in India.

Refurbish/ open box is a very nascent stage in India. How do you see the market is evolving for this category of goods?

The refurbished market is the fastest growing smartphone market in India. Refurbished phones are a boon to those who want to upgrade their phone as frequently as within six to eight months to either enjoy the latest technology or add to their status symbol. Since the technology is changing rapidly and gadgets are becoming outdated sooner than usual, refurbished phones seem to be the best bet of the customers in such a scenario. Moreover, refurbished phones are highly affordable and don’t pinch the pocket much. In fact, customers can buy a refurbished phone at lower cost but with higher specification as compared to the new phones. Also, given the fact that not everybody can buy the premium phones, refurbished phones are a much easy buy for most of the Indian population. However,refurbished smartphones of popular brands are being increasingly sold in India and have a major demand from every segment of the population.

What are the major retail challenges as far as refurbish category is concerned?

The top major retail challenges in the refurbished category includes the lack of proper knowledge and awareness about refurbished products – due to which consumers refrain from buying such products. Another key issue is the sluggish adoption of Digital Payments in tier 3 & 4 cities – there is a need to initiate the use of digital payments in these cities to avoid risk in cash transaction.

How many brands are there on Togofogo to sell refurbished goods? As a marketplace how do you ensure quality check? Do you offer any warranty/ guarantee on sold items?

Currently, over 20 smartphone brands are listed on our platform including leading brands like Samsung, Apple, Blackberry, Sony, Asus, and Xiaomi , etc.

Over the years, Togofogo has earned a reputation in the market for its certified refurbished and severe quality check for such devices. All products sold on our platform undergo a rigorous Quality Checking process (facilitated by QU Trust) and we provide an extended warranty (which is managed by our partner Warranty Bazaar). Togofogo caters to the aspirational value of the buyers who want to buy mobile devices at lower prices without compromising on Warranty and Quality.

Kindly shed light your largest category? How many units are sold on Togofogo everyday?

Mobile phone is the largest category on our platform. With a strong customer base of over 6,50,000, nearly1200 to 1500 units of refurbished smartphones are sold each day on our website.

Who do you see as your biggest competition within the same space?

With an increasing demand for second hand phones in India, a large number of players co-exist in the market offering different services to the customers. While players like Yaantra, Cashify and HyperXchange are catering to one or the other customer pain-point, Togofogo is the only player to have created a platform that serves as a one-stop-solution for all customer pain points. Facilitating the buying and selling of refurbished devices, providing additional warranty on such devices, doorstep repair service for smartphones, are some of the services on our platform.

Kindly shed light on your current distribution and growth plans?

Togofogo has a network of over 300 sellers listed on the platform. Having established a strong foothold in the online market, we are now focusing on expanding our on-ground presence. For our offline distribution we have to open 100+ stores by September 2019. To provide integrated buy-back and repair services, we are also opening kiosks in the metro cities to reach out to the customers. We will be setting up 30 such kiosks by March 2019.

Are you backed by any VC? What are the plans for fund raising?

We are currently in talks with certain investors for our first equity funding.



Soumitra Gupta