Former Country Manager of Apple India, Sanjay Kaul, on Tuesday announced the launch of a social commerce platform called Sofyx. The social venture is aimed at strengthening traders dealing in smartphones and its accessories.
Sofyx digitises in-store operations, buying, as well as customer interactions and hopes to bring together the mobile re-seller community with stakeholders like telecom operators, device manufacturers, distributors, and other vendors on its platform.
In the new venture, Kaul was joined by Mukesh Kachroo, former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Gain Capital Group, US, as the Co-founder.
The startup has launched its services with smartphone sellers in Delhi NCR who are contributing over Rs 2,000 crore in smartphone revenue every year.
Their service also includes enabling exclusive deals to retailers from brands and distributors, and allowing retailers to advertise their products and special deals. The latter has already been launched with around 100 retailers on a paid basis in Delhi.
Speaking on the launch, Kaul said, “while larger businesses may be positioned well to plug into a rapidly evolving digital India, smaller businesses still lag behind. I firmly believe we can transform these small stores into a significant channel that brands, distributors, and customers would love to engage with.”
In an official statement, the startup said that 140 million smartphones were sold last year in India, and more than half of them were sold through general trade retailers. In addition to this, it claimed that the platform enables business networking, engagement, real-time feedback, and community building among the stakeholders and drives business transactions between various partners.
“In the next five years, the smartphone business will grow to about $16 billion a year as feature phone market transitions to smartphones. There are more than three lakh general trade shops selling mobile phones in the country, and they are spread out in every nook and corner of India. Sofyx will enable a significant number of these stores by partnering with them as their single point technology partner,” Kaul added.
The company said that their team understands the issues faced by general trade in India, and leverages that to build a customised product.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)