Buying premium electronics doesn’t only need money. More than money, what it needs is a level of trust. Trust not only on the quality of the product you are buying, but also on the lifelong relationship with it through the after-sales service.
Customer ordeals in this segment are not a new thing. Many sellers in some of the biggest eCommerce sites will sell you the premium product and then leave you at the mercy of the manufacturer when it comes to after-sales service.
But, not any more. Because, we have a new player in town. A player, that not only has a wealth of experience in this sector, but also focuses on this niche of premium electronics to give you a first-class experience.
Chennai Insider recently had a chat with Vikas Bysani, the founder of OffAndOn.in. We talked about a lot of things, from the motivation to start this venture to how different it will be when compared to the other eCommerce players in the market.
Here are the excerpts from the interview
Tell us a bit about Off & On. What is the problem you are trying to solve?
Off & On is India’s first platform for premium small home and kitchen appliances. Many customers post the pandemic, spend a lot of time at home and in the kitchen, want products that make at home living easier and are starting to appreciate or understand the need for quality premium appliances. This is where Off & On comes in, we provide our expert opinion on which product is best suited for your use case and provide help with installation and post-sale service.
If I have to ask you one thing that differentiates Off & On from the rest, what would it be? What is the USP of Off & On?
We own our inventory! We take 100% responsibility of the product we sell to you. We are not a marketplace. We spend a lot of time researching and curating the products we sell to the customer. We have a strict guideline that focuses on quality, usability and service.
When it comes to buying premium electronics, what are the issues that customers usually face? Is it the same as buying regular electronic items or is there a huge difference in user behavior?
In today’s market, customers are not able to find a credible retailer to purchase premium electronics from. Customers have to resort to either buying products from abroad or from the unorganized sector. This creates a huge problem for the customer in service and warranty.
A customer looking for a premium product is not price sensitive, but is rather worried about product service and usually lacks confidence in the retailer they are buying from. Most premium customers already have a strong idea of the product they want, but in some cases lack clarity in the technical aspect and look for an expert opinion.
Take us about the process of buying something from Off & On? How easy or difficult is it to buy?
Off & On is currently an Online first retailer. Customers can hop on to our website and check out the range of premium electronics we have to offer. We have designed our website with minimalism in mind as well as offer conveniences such as Cash on delivery, Ask an Expert through our live chat as well as EMI payment options. We have partnered with premium delivery partners to ensure quick and safe delivery. You can also feel free to DM us on our Instagram page.
A big concern for customers is after sales service. Does Off & On also take care of the service?
Absolutely ! Our relationships with our suppliers are extremely strong. We are constantly updated with service protocols and have team of experts who specialize in product service fulfillment.
Which cities do you operate in currently?
We are headquartered in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. We deliver to all metropolitan cities within 2-3 days and the rest of India within 4-6 days.
Now, coming to you, tell us a bit about yourself? How did you come up with this idea? What were you doing before starting this venture?
I am a techie and traveler at heart, anything new in entrepreneurship and electronics always excites me!
I come from the family that owns and operates Viveks. My Uncle and Father always encouraged entrepreneurship from a young age. We were exposed to and made to participate in mega events such as our New Year and Diwali sales. I have fond memories as a child selling cellphones at our T Nagar outlet.
Before starting Off & On, I was working with Viveks as an E-commerce Product Manager. Prior to this, I have worked in various SAAS companies taking on roles such as Account Manager and Product Marketing.
Off & On is more personal, rather than an Idea or venture. My family has always encouraged me in creating value for the customer, giving employment to the future of India as well as giving back to the society. So there was always a strong desire to start a business for many years. I wanted to combine the things that I love, which are premium electronics and e-commerce ! Hence was born Off & On.
How is life as an entrepreneur? What does a typical day in your life look like?
Life as an entrepreneur is not easy, there’s a lot of uncertainty to deal with. It is very important to stay motivated and keep your eyes on the ball. However it is very fulfilling, when you are able to provide value to customers and look back and see how far you’ve come it’s a very satisfying feeling.
A typical day starts with hitting the gym in the morning and then back to office. At office I spend time building Off & On, interacting with my team to set and reflect on the goals for the week as well as testing & checking out new and interesting products. Have you ever had freshly squeezed juice from a cold pressed juicer ? It is amazingly refreshing.
Starting a new venture is always challenging as well as exciting? What keeps you going?
My customers ! Feedback, love and wishes from my customers is very rewarding. It gives me a burst of energy that brings a huge grin to my face.
What are the future plans with Off & On?
Currently we are focused on building our online presence and reach as many customers as possible. We will soon start doing events to showcase and demonstrate the awesome products we have. We have our sights set on opening up experiential stores in the future and eventually becoming a strong omni-channel brand. Retail and customer buying habits evolve every day, so we want to remain agile, keeping in mind that we are where ever the customer wants us to be.