Making computers affordable for the masses: ReNew
Computer literacy can go a long way in developing a nation like India. In a country of more than 1.3 billion, extending the power of a computer to the masses holds a lot of promise. And this is the intention with which ReNew was started back in 2009 by Mukund BS.
Mukund is a B.E in Electronics from NIT Surat who went on to do a post-graduation from IIM Calcutta. He worked with a few corporates but felt the need to do something which had a greater social impact. Hence he went on to found ReNew. The Mission of the organization is to “Make Computers affordable for everyone” and they are doing this by increasing the number of high-quality, low-cost PCs and related parts and accessories available to Small Businesses, Students, NGOs and other users. ReNew sources computers from large MNCs – refurbish and remarket them.
“The primary aim of our organization is to bridge the large digital divide in our nation,” says Mukund. As per the Census 2011 data, India has an IT penetration of 9.5% at a household level. This means that less than 1 in every 10 households owns a computer and this needs to be taken up.
Compters still remain unaffordable for a big part of the Indian population and this is where ReNew is trying to step in to organize a predominantly unorganized market. ReNew sells refurbished computers mainly to these categories of customers
1. Schools / Educational Institutions –Supply refurbished computers to small schools which don’t have budgets for IT.
2. Parents of school going kids – A lot of parents whose kids have come to high school buy computers from ReNew as their kids require a computer.
3. NGOs – ReNew helps NGOs to get desktops, laptops, servers etc at the lower costs.
4. SMEs – Research shows that 67% of the SMEs in India purchase a PC for ERP (book keeping and stock keeping). ReNew supplies refurbished PCs to many small offices who mainly use the computers for Tally, and Government / statutory filing which has moved online (like eSugam, VAT returns etc)
The common thread between all their customers is that they don’t really need high performing computers. ReNew sells computers starting at INR 4500 and the outreach happens by directly contacting schools, NGO’s, etc. Mukund has a team of 7 technicians and a manager who take care of the operations.
The company is based out of Bangalore and aims to create a larger impact by taking their services to other cities and states in India as well.