Aayush Agarwal

Staff Writer, The Ken • India Edition

Aayush covers businesses that are primarily Internet for The Ken. In his previous stint at Goldman Sachs, he spent slightly more than a year analysing investment opportunities in the China Internet space. A science graduate, he completed his postgraduate from the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. Write to him if, among other things, you wish to talk about e-businesses, journalism or just offbeat career choices.

13 Articles published

Top Comments by Aayush Agarwal

Cashify ditches path to profitability as it turns on growth afterburners

Hi Aditya, Aggregators, just like the term suggests, collect devices from Cashify and other sources in large lots and distribute them to multiple retailers in smaller quantities. Kiosks were more of a branding exercise, they are largely small stations for someone who wants to sell their phones and are loss making for the company. The company is opening large new stores which will also do the same thing and much more and are also profitable, thus the lack of focus on kiosks.

Aayush Agarwal

Cashify ditches path to profitability as it turns on growth afterburners

Hi Sweatha, Non-repair phones (graded A-E) are ones which may have a few minor defects or major functional defects. These are the phones that Cashify does not add any value to, but just sells them as they are. Low income groups see huge demand for such devices from good brands available at a fraction of the original selling price. If the device fulfils their (usually) basic purposes like whatsapp, youtube, online classes etc, they are happy to buy it, even if say the display screen is somewhat cracked. Alternatively, if the device is not fit to sell, some working parts can be stripped and used by the retailers to repair other devices. Refurbished is when Cashify understands that repairing (say a display, mic etc) would make sense as per the price they can sell it at. Therefore, the do a 32 point check on those devices, repair, package etc and sell them as PhonePro. Hope this helps.

Aayush Agarwal

Gate secured, MyGate now wants to monetise community

Hi Ishwar, Thanks for reading :) So approving or rejecting notification does not need the app to be opened specifically and therefore, that would not be counted in the number. To your second question, i believe even with GDPR, MyGate will know based on the information RWAs shares when it ties up and then regularly updates. Therefore, if a person moves to another MyGate property and appears in the system, MyGate would know. However, if someone leaves, their data would get auto erased. Alternatively, people can just choose to wipe off all the data themselves. Infact, I had the opportunity to speak deeply to the management on their views on data privacy. They insisted they are happy to have community members audit their systems and suggest changes. The bigger challenge as per them, is educating people to insist to their own RWAs (beyond MyGate's push to RWAs) to enable GDPR settings in their communities so that no one including the RWA members have access to the data unless required by law for any investigation.

Aayush Agarwal

Amazon India’s plans to raise Cloudtail from the ashes

Hi Aditya, So, Cloudtail acts as an intermediary seller. It buys from others, holds the inventory and sells on Amazon. In the process it does both, while it provides them an structured and far easier way to sell on the platform, it also competes with them with private labels in some categories (and that would hold true with not just Cloudtail's sellers but all sellers on Amazon). So in a way it dons both hats, which is a fairly common thing in the industry. The way to manage inventory is entirely on the terms with sellers depending on size, brand, category and negotiating power. For Outright it would charge higher commissions than in an SOR model. For SOR, returns are classified into damaged or unsellable, and the terms wary for both. For one large client i have spoken to previously in the HPC category, there is a 90 day 'no questions asked' return policy from Amazon to the company. Hope this helps :)

Aayush Agarwal

Xiaomi's plans to gatecrash Apple, OnePlus' premium party

Hi Sweatha, Thanks for asking. Offline sales have gone from 63% ish to 49% (Aug'19-Aug'21) but it has held fort. Infact there is a report by Predictivu's on how offline smartphone MBOs have been resilient despite the pandemic. Two things to think about offline are (a) Smartphones are not impulse purchases, people like to spend time to decide, consult. This is more so for premium. Even apple was doing 50% offline sales till March this year. It's opening more physical stores as we speak (b) As the pricing, discounts and offers become more even (the industry bodies are on it), it would propel offline even further. In Ahmedabad, some big retailers have done well in the pandemic - incentivise people to shop offline using innovative discounts. There will always be a decent population (counterintuitive as it may be) who either use offline while staying in metros or people in T2/T3 who buy premium. So you need to cover a geography with retail and after sales stores as per size. For Xiaomi per se, it's also important to look at it from an ecosystem point of view too. The lifetime value of a customer is much more important that a single sale and thus, whether someone in T2/T3 buys a wearable, phone, router or a laptop (or a cyberdog someday!), Xiaomi would want it to be from them. And while instincts say it should be online, an offline store is where a customer comes for a phone and gets converted into others. Where the final sale happens then becomes irrelevant. And as their ecosystem grows and new versions of the existing products are launched, the conversion logic will continue to work.

Aayush Agarwal

Xiaomi's plans to gatecrash Apple, OnePlus' premium party

Hi Pallab, Yes you're right, the Poco angle is interesting, even though it's not a big segment for Xiaomi presently. Meant to compete with OnePlus with great specs (gamers love Poco devices for the power they pack), lately it has mostly cannabalised Xiaomi/Redmi largely which is why quite a few of their models did not release. Xiaomi needs to deploy a clear strategy with Poco, whether it's gaming or a premium battle brand or just another brand (as BBK does).

Aayush Agarwal

Nobody needs grocery in 10 min? Here's why Zepto does it anyway

Hi PK, For inventory updation, a retail store would use a barcode scanner for every item before putting it into the bag to be packed which is time consuming. Here, the manual intervention of a packer is not required (both to check if the correct item is being placed in the bag and to auto-update inventory) The method(SOP) and thus, the tech to do this may wary across multiple players in the quick delivery segment based on timelines they promise and their tech capabilities.

Aayush Agarwal

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