It was the year 2018, and a rather strange question started doing the rounds in the electronics goods Indian market. “Bhaiya yeh pakka new hai? Box toh khula hua hai. Warranty milegi iss pe?” And the poor shop owner could not explain this seemingly bizarre concept to the bigoted Indian electronics user. A user so privy to saving for months before taking the purchase leap for electronics like ACs and Refrigerators. A user is so accustomed to waiting for the Diwali bonus before putting a tilak on that Microwave or Washing Machine.
Indian consumers, since time without beginning, have had the same approach towards purchasing heavier electronics. Couple it up with the mindset that a perfectly sealed box means trustworthy goods. How exactly then does a concept like ‘Open Box Electronics’ break barriers in India? Or is Open Box just a concept that we’ll hear about from our distant cousins in Canedda and Amreeka?
For those unaware of this phenomenon, open box electronics are those articles that have just been removed once from their packaging. This could be owing to product demos at retail locations or owing to unused returns to Amazon and Flipkart from indecisive customers. What can’t be technically termed as brand new might also not be completely discarded worthy? Most of these open box electronic goods only show signs of tampered packaging, with negligible harm to the products. This is what makes these articles worthy of selling at heavy discounts.
While such questions were being asked by quizzical Indians at small shops that dared to take the leap, a team with a bold vision decided to organize this hugely unorganized industry. A team named Liqo. Founded in the year 2018, Liqo is India’s first and biggest open box discounted store chain dealing in branded electronics. Procuring their inventory initially from big guns like Amazon and Flipkart, Liqo today deals with the who’s who of electronics like Toshiba, Hitachi, Haier, Whirlpool, and the likes.
A product of years of market research, calculated investments, strategic alliances, and consumer mindset decoding, Liqo has managed to grow from a 2,500 sq ft. modest garage store with a capital investment of 50 Lakhs to a pioneer brand with its presence in 8 cities across 1,25,000 sq ft crossing a turnover of 55 crores! But surely, beating the insecurity of Indian households did not happen overnight. Here’s how Liqo did it:
- Four founders covered the length and breadth of the country to understand the consumer mindset and vendor capacities, discovering the untapped potential of the liquidation business.
- Quickly realizing the inorganization of the market, they decided to jump in and change the narrative with automated process that no one would’ve thought about.
- The consumers and market competition were surprised by the range of discounts that Liqo had to offer. With discounts as heavy as 60-80% Liqo did manage to generate the initial excitement.
- But they still faced the biggest roadblock: Lack of knowledge and trust amongst the consumers. But Liqo had a way around that too. The service staff at Liqo was meticulously and intelligently trained to maintain transparency around the condition and history of these open box electronics. While the trust eventually got built over the years, Liqo left no stone unturned in providing impeccable service and warranty with these products.
- Eventually, the Indian consumer was forced to stop and re-think its take on this not so bizarre concept. This is where Liqo stepped in with never heard before guerrilla marketing tactics. Tactics that left both consumers and media in awe of Liqo’s offerings and uniqueness.
Anyone who has stepped into a Liqo store would vouch for the fact that they embrace you like your own family. Speak to any one of the founding members, and one quickly realizes how the interest of the consumer is always the driving factor of anything that transpires at Liqo. This is the reason that after having established themselves as a pioneer in this space, Liqo took the next logical step of connecting with its user base on a whole different level. Thus, Liqo set out on a mission – A mission to give an ‘upgrade’ to the dreams of each member of each Indian family. So that price is the last thing that an Indian household has to worry about when purchasing the electronics of their choice. And how do they bring about this upgrade? Though strong pillars like Savings, Service, and Splendour.
On its way to soon becoming a brand with a nationwide presence, Liqo tries day in and day to live up to its promise of giving India a ‘Sapno ka upgrade.’ Till then, if another quizzical customer enquires, ‘Lekin yeh box toh khula hua hai,’ your Liqo family will confidently reply, ‘Liqo se hai, le jaiye.’