Sanjay Kaul, former country manager at Apple India, is taking the plunge into entrepreneurship with the launch of Sofyx, a social commerce platform for traders dealing in smartphones and accessories.
Sofyx, owned by Gurugram based Sofyx Systems Private Limited, aims to bridge the gap between mobile resellers and other stakeholders such as telecom operators, device manufacturers, distributors and other vendors on a single platform.
“I firmly believe we can transform these small stores into a significant channel that brands, distributors and customers would love to engage with,” Kaul said in a statement.
Kaul founded the company late last year with Mukesh Kachroo, who was chief technology officer at US-based Gain Capital Group.
While working at Apple and Blackberry, Kaul observed and identified various challenges in the unorganised retail sector that constitutes 93% of the total retail business in India. In 2018, 140 million smartphones were sold in India and just over half of those were sold through general trade retailers, he said.
Sofyx will enable business networking, engagement, real-time feedback, and community building amongst various stakeholders. Further, it will also streamline and digitize in-store operations, buying and customer interactions. The most important aim of the company is to improve customer retention and drive footfall to these small retailers.
With this intent, the company is launching its services with top smartphone selling shops in the Delhi NCR region. These shops contribute to over Rs. 2000 crore in smartphone revenues every year, the company said.
“Our estimates show that general trade in India sells over $12 billion worth of mobile phones a year. In the next five years, this business will grow to about $16 billion a year as feature phone market transitions to smartphones,” Kaul added.