The consumer electronics chain, which targets Tier III, IV and rural areas, has built 40 stores in Karnataka and Punjab in eight months.
The Covid-19 pandemic pushed many companies to think outside the box. While most of them increasingly “went digital,” some found an opportunity in the offline space to reach consumers right outside their door.
One such strategy was the “store on wheels”, which was embraced in the consumer electronics space by serial entrepreneur KS Bhatia through his company Figgital. Although the “store on wheels” concept is not entirely new, it is definitely one of the first in the multi-consumer electronics space.
Founded in December 2020, based in Mohali Figgital is a chain of modern consumer electronics retail stores in all regions of India. The franchise-based chain was started by Bhatia to bring the retail experience right outside the consumer’s door, especially in Tier III, IV, and rural areas, where multi-consumer e-stores such as Croma and Reliance Digital remain absent, while a E-commerce delivery takes about a week.
In a short span of eight months, the company has opened 40 stores in Karnataka and Punjab and six “stores on wheels” in Bihar, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Karnatak and Uttar Pradesh.
The startup has recorded an income of over Rs 2 crore since its inception and earns around Rs 80,000 – Rs 1 lakh per day from the shop on wheels.
Figgital = Physical + Digital
Figgital has grown out of the founder’s first company – Pumpkart, an online and offline B2B2C marketplace for water pumps and agricultural equipment. Started in 2014, Pumpkart had expanded its offering to durable consumer goods. However, due to the specific segment name of the company (Pumpkart), Bhatia was unable to monetize consumer electronics under the same brand.
After making some initial electronics sales through Pumpkart’s online channel, the consumer electronics business spun off in 2020, leading to the creation of Figgital.
In September 2020, both Pumpkart and Figgital received a $ 1.5 million grant from the Karnataka government under the Samruddhi Scheme to open more than 100 outlets across the state.
“Figgital means physical + digital. We have established our presence offline with our franchise stores, store on wheels and online with our Figgital website. Next in the pipeline is our online hyperlocal B2B2C platform, which will democratize the market for consumer electronics, “says the founder.
The first Figgital store opened in December 2020 in Bangalore, followed by the launch of its store on wheels in June 2021 in Bihar.
Figgital includes a collection of over 2,000 products from multiple categories, such as smartphones and tablets, smart TVs, home appliances, smart devices, accessories, and more.
The startup directly purchases these e-brand products and has warehouses in every state. The stores and the store on wheels are run on the franchise model.
“We identify partners in smaller cities and towns with the trust and credibility that the company has built over the years,” says the founder. The On-Wheel Store covers basic electronics and gadgets like laptops, cell phones, accessories, speakers, tabs, and smart watches.