SupportBiz presents an exclusive conversation with Rohit about eTechies, entrepreneurship, IT servicing and maintenance, among other things.
What is the basic concept of eTechies? What are the major kinds of products/services that you offer?
We operate in the space of technological support for consumers and SMEs. We provide organized and professional doorstep as well as online PC &MAC technical support, as well as repair services, dedicated to resolving all our clients’ technology challenges.
How long has eTechies been in operation?
eTechies has been in operation since Decenber 2010.
What is your background? What were you doing prior to starting eTechies?
Prior to donning an entrepreneur’s cap, I have undertaken diverse roles. Post my MBA from IRMA (Anand), I joined Sales and marketing at Amul. Two years later, I moved to Olam, an international commodity-buying house, working as a Futures And Options Trader on the London International Financial futures Exchange (LIFFE) and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). After an almost 7-year-long stint with Olam at Singapore, I decided to move back to India, and happened to catch pace with the ITeS world. It was being touted as a sunrise industry at that time. I joined erstwhile Spectramind in 2002, Raman Roy’s maiden entrepreneurial venture. This is where I got initiated into the skills of the tech support business. I exited in May 2005, after the company got acquired by WIPRO. I then handled International Sales and Marketing for MoserBaer, selling optical media to the top brands globally. Within 10 months of my MoserBaer stint, I got invited by Quatrro (Raman’s latest venture) to set-up an independent third-party remote tech support business division for consumers and small businesses in the US. The entrepreneurial bug finally bit me around the end of 2009, when I quit my job and set-up eTechies along with two co-founders.
How did you come up with the idea of starting eTechies?
Towards the close of 2009, I realized that while everyone is focused on making a quick buck off the mature US consumer market, there is no focus by anyone towards the Indian consumer market, specifically the huge out-of-warranty support market. I have always strongly believed in the contrarian market approach and have always avoided following the herd. Even though the challenges of addressing the Indian market were totally unknown at the time, we were committed to re-define how tech support was defined and delivered in this market that was largely dominated by the disorganized trade. This gave birth to the PC tech support and repair services concept branded as eTechies.
How is eTechies different from other IT service and maintenance providers?
There are no organised technology service providers focusing on end-to-end need in India. This is where eTechies.in steps in. The way we deal with the customers and the orderly manner in which their issues are handled sets us apart. This includes details such as the contract and login we provide them. Our engineers are adequately qualified and competent. We have a state-of-the-art service centre, and ensure that our technicians do not misuse user's data. To help the users know the status of their requests, we have a real-time tracking mechanism that furnishes all the required information on our website.
How big is your team, presently?
We have about 200 resources at the moment.
In which cities of India are your services available at the moment?
We initially started operations in Delhi/NCR, and later extended them to Bangalore and Mumbai.
How do you deal with competition from similar businesses?
The only way a premium service like eTechies can deal with competition is through gaining the trust of customers, through quality services and easy accessibility. More than often, we find customers using us after their experience with the local technicians/untrained resources, who have opened their devices on an average of 2-3 times and have failed to fix the problem. When these devices reach us, we fix almost 90 percent of the devices. We are brand agnostics, and not bound by extremely rigid policies and procedures of vendors and manufacturers. We are delighted to take on each such challenging assignment and, in turn, fixing the issue either via repair or replacement.
What are your expansion plans in the near future?
We have an extremely aggressive outlook to expand in the current fiscal (2012/13). With our current speed of expansion, we should be present in the top 12 cities of India by March 2013.
What are the major challenges that you face?
I think we have re-defined tech support as done in India. Plainly speaking, we have begun to create an organization around the disorganized elements of the market. Almost anything that we attempt doing is a challenge; be it getting across to the customers with a value proposition or eventually acquiring them.
What have been your proudest moments as an entrepreneur?
Our proudest moments as a team, and mine in particular, have been the validation of our business model by our customers, employees and investors.
What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
I have a pretty simple advice for any aspiring entrepreneur: “Plan to dig in deep and long; if it was very easy to do what you aim to do, somebody else would already be doing it with great success. It is more than important to just be surviving and standing tall amidst all failures and anguishes, with a smile on your face and a unflinching conviction, to be ready to receive the next big opportunity with open arms.”
Corporate Website: eTechies.in