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'A Single Contact Point For After-market Needs'

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Could you shed a light on the HCL CLTV (Customer Life Time Value) concept?
If you look at the young consumers, they start buying their first smartphone at the age of 15 to 17 and then they replace it every one and a half to two years. In the next 40 years of their lifetime they are going to replace multiple handsets. The thing is that how many customers a brand is able to retain. The after sale service plays a key role, if the customer experience is not good, people are going to change the brand.

The concept of CLTV is fairly prevalent in FMCG sector. This is now getting in the consumer durables and appliance sector. Different OEMs like this approach and they come to us and stay with us. After market and service will be the most critical factor for any company in the coming time.

What is HCL's current market share in the CLTV sector?
It is a very fragmented market, so the size of the market is very large. But within the space of all the organised players, the number two player will be the 50 per cent of our size. We are number one.

How will you reach out to the new brands?
There are two ways. Being the mnumber one player, we are already enjoying 25-30 per cent of the organised sales market. So, a lot of people come to us as they want the same CLTV concept for their products. Recently we won the award of the best company in the retail and telecom services. Last two years the same award was won by Vodafone. So that is the kind of focus we have and we are really passionate about the customer life time value. It is not just a term that we understand but we really deliver what we say.    

Secondly, we work with a lot of online companies also. As we speak, we have relationship with Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon. These ecommerce players, for them the lifetime value becomes far more important. When a customer buys a phone from them, he/she does not get a first hand feel.

As a company, we are an integrated services player. Lot of our competitors might be in one place but we are in CRM support, call centre support, supply chain management to walk in centre to on site support to repair factory, we do the whole value chain.

Are the Samsung Service centres managed by HCL or are they in-house?
What Samsung has done over a period of time is that they have gone for partnership strategy and they have chosen HCL as the key partner. The have invested alongside us in setting up this huge customer service plazas which are 15,000 - 20,000 square feet. About 500 people walk in to these outlets everyday and get their devices sitting across the board. The beauty of the whole thing is tht the customer gets the repair done in front of their eyes. We have CXOs, CEos and MDs of a company walking in to get their phones repaired. This is an international class experience. We are doing it for Samsung across many cities now.

Apart from smartphones, which other products do you provide the support for?
We do it for televisions, laptops and tablets.

Apart from Samsung which all companies are you working with?
We have 14 relationships as of today. We have relationship with Nokia, Philips, XOLO, Obi, Xiaomi, Micromax, Lenovo, Blackberry and others. Nokia is a 20 plus years relation.

How much have you achieved with this model and what kind of returns are you aiming with new partners?
The whole model has been chaning. We were not into durables two year back. We were earlier a large domestic computer company. We used to manufacture tablets, computers and stuff. Last year we grew 152 per cent YoY. We have made very good inroads into these relations with major brands and the online ecommerce companies as well.

HCL came out with tablets couple of years back. Since then, there has been no new product. Have you shut down that shop?
We have scaled down on our manufacturing, primarily because of economies of scale and manufacturing policies.

What will be your strategy ahead?
Our strategy is to expand in either distribution or services. We are an aftermarket company. After the first year of bundled service, people need extended warranty.

Most of the extended servicing is handled by the local service centres. How will you raise customer awareness regarding the HCL's extended service?
The best way to raise the awareness is through the small market players. Their the attachment is very high and anybody who is buying a phone, will also buy the extended warranty.

Any new device which is available online and you are offering extended warranty with it?
Right now with Samsung we do offer through exclusive outlets. With other players, you will be seeing this thing happening pretty soon.

What are you long term goals?

We want to take our skill set outside India. For that we are currently pursuing multiple markets. WE have tremendous experience in the repair market and we are unique in that space. Our India advantage will help us do more productive things outside. Further, HCL will be a service platform across all product categories. When we talk about the aftermarket company, you will be seeing a lot of activity around the extended warranty and other value added services. These things are required in a country like India. The country will also witness our exclusive stores with a lot of new players.


Tags assigned to this article:
gadgets hcl technology sharad talwar othertop1 ajay gupta