Started as a unit of dStor Technologies, ReStor is a hard disk drive and solid-state drive recertification and refurbishment lab that aims to help the green cause by facilitating reduction of e-waste, providing more consumer choice with an economically priced segment, and enabling warranty/AMC service providers to cut down their support costs.
In an exclusive interaction with SupportBiz, Sharad Srivastava, founder and Director, dStor Technologies, spoke about this new venture.
How did you come up with the idea of setting up ReStor?
The hard disk drive is the most fragile component in a computer, which requires extreme care in handling and protection from shock, vibration and electro static discharge. Also, there is an enormous opportunity of servicing customers in India by offering best-in-class services for storage drive maintenance.
Among other reasons, the complex requirements of repairing of hard disk drives and the lack of scale resulted in no facility available in India exclusively for the testing and repair of HDDs. We have set up the first fully-equipped center for this purpose.
What are the key capabilities of your testing lab?
We have opened the first-of-its-kind test and repair lab for hard disk drives and solid-state drives. Based in the NCR region in Delhi, the lab is ISO-9001:2008 certified. The facility incorporates a completely sterile, clean environment, with an electro-static discharge- (ESD) safe set-up, a combination of indigenously developed testing bays/racks, and imported diagnostics jigs. It is backed by a highly trained, experienced technical team.
What is the present scenario of the hard drive testing and repair market in India?
This segment is highly unorganized. Data recovery jobs are been done without any standards. On the other hand, hard drive servicing is extremely nascent.
Presently, most in-warranty faulty drives are exported out of the country for repair, while out-of-warranty drives are largely junked. This puts a heavy eco-burden on a rapidly growing sub-segment of electronics hardware, not to mention being a time-consuming, expensive, and restrictive practice. Moreover, all major HDD manufacturers have reduced the warranty period on desktop and mobile drives in recent years.
There are approximately 68 million currently active installed drives in the country, and their average active life is about five years. However, a large proportion can enjoy an extended life with proper care and restoration. Also, other estimates say that about 80,000 drives fail every month in the country, while their warranty is still active.
What challenges do Indian customers face in getting their hard drives serviced?
As of now, the price points are highly variable. Customers usually junk their hard drives. This behavior is based on the perception that good experiences are not available in dealing with the unorganized refurbishing center. Our intention in entering this market is to change this perception.
With ReStor, what changes in this market are expected?
Since we are based in NCR only, locally available refurbishment and recertification facility will enable storage drive manufacturers to considerably reduce the buffer inventory required to service their customers and bring down the cost of warranty support. On the other hand, AMC providers and systems integrators will be able to cut down on support cost beyond manufacturer warranty.
Not all faulty drives are junk. ReStor can help manufacturers and AMC providers to derive substantial financial value from most of them.
What are your plans for covering the Indian market?
Though our lab is located in NCR, we have strong logistics support, which allows faulty drives to reach us easily. We also plan to have representative partners in almost all major cities of the country. They will collect the drives from end customers and send them to us. We will be returning the drives after fixing the issues. The turn-around time for this is expected to be around 10 days.
What is the kind of business that you are expecting?
We expect to serve around 10,000 drives a month in the first year of our inception. The capability of our lab is scalable, and we can expand our facility once demand grows.