Monday, February 8, 2010

Company Idea - Premium Servicing for Laptops

This post is the result of extreme frustration with the laptop service offered by most brands in India. The key aspect that all these 'great' companies fail to understand is that laptop owners have bought laptops because they need their data/software to move with them while they are on the move, so it is pointless to take away the laptop from them for a few days even for a minor repair.

Based on the above premise, I am putting forth a new company idea - a premium laptop service company, which will have tie ups with all major brands in India. Anyone requiring any level of repair for their laptops can come to this company, provide their laptop fault list and other details, and (here comes the most important bit) take with them a fully working laptop with similar configuration and the same data/software as their faulty laptops. When their faulty laptops are returned after repair, the data newly acquired while working on the spare laptop will be synced back to their own laptops. Of course, all this comes at a premium in addition to the warranty cost. Other services offered will be laptop pickup/return at specified address.

So much for the wishlist part. Now on to the operational part. To start with a customer base of 500 premium registered customers, this company would need at least 50 laptops. This 50 would need to have a decent split up with about 10 top end laptops, 30 medium level laptops, and 10 low end/netbook variety laptops. Capex would be about 40 Lakh rupees for the laptops alone. Additional capex would be incurred in office space, website, marketing etc. Opex would involve salaries payable to about 10 courier execs (for picking up/delivering laptops) and 5 technicians (who would do minor repairs and software/data transfers/backups). The same courier execs would in turn approach the branded laptop company's (2nd party) customer support in case of serious problems.

What are your thoughts on the available market for such a company, and its sustainability/growth? The target segment is senior company execs who wouldn't mind paying extra for laptop service as long as they remain connected to their data/software at all times.