Picture this — you buy a new personal computer. You trust it with all your information, until one rainy afternoon, it begins to show signs of ageing and is bogged down by viral fever. You try to revive it but your beloved PC is out of warranty and you can’t trust the local repair guy to do a safe job. This is where eTechies (.in), a service that acts as a medium between the not-so-reliable local vendors and expensive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), steps in. Founded by 43 year-old Rohit Chaudhary, along with 29 year-old Samarth Goyal and 33 year-old Siddharth Bhatia, eTechies finally came to Mumbai in June, after beginning operations in December 2010.
Today, it has around 25,000 clients and has rectified around 50,000 PC problems. It also services Delhi/ NCR, Bengaluru, and Pune from its Gurgaon-based headquarters and call centre, and will, by November end, expand operations to Chennai, Hyderabad and Ahmedabad.
After spending seven years as a trader on the New York Stock Exchange, it was during a stint with Quatrro BPO Solutions, an IT solutions company, in 2006, where he was responsible for setting up an independent third-party remote tech support business division for consumers in the US, that Chaudhary chanced upon the model for eTechies. “Essentially, I brought this business division for consumers in the US to India in the form of eTechies, because a service platform of a similar kind was unavailable to consumers here,” he says.
Complaints are taken over the phone, after which technicians identify whether the problem is software or hardware-related. The decision is then made about sending a technician home to fix the problem or remotely fixing it from their workshop in the city.
The service employs technicians of various skill levels who are equipped to fix problems with Windows-based, as well as Macintosh systems, and even company-run servers. “If the problem is identified as server or Mac-based, we have another set of qualified technicians. We can, on request, even replace whole hardware parts from motherboards to USB drives, depending on how easily they are available”, explains Chaudhary.
The technicians are chosen based on a series of tests and certifications. “We’re organising the unorganised sector. We also employ local vendors who usually have self-taught skills, but require polish, which we give them at our training centres,” he adds.
You can sign up for yearly, monthly and even one-time service packages. “Once a client signs up onto eTechies, the company immediately sends him/ her an automatically generated username and password,” explains Chaudhry. For the duration of your package, you can track what’s happening with your account and the services offered by eTechies.
My computer’s memory and screen, as well as the start-up, were giving me trouble. The technician knew what he was doing, had six to seven years of experience and was on time. While other local vendors said the computer was too old to be repaired, he fixed it step-by-step, beginning with a system restore. When the same problems recurred, the same technician was here promptly to fix it. The computer has been working well now
— Naina Thakkar, 55 year-old resident of Napean Sea Road who had a problem with her Acer desktop in June
What it costs
eTechies’ cheapest one-time service starts at Rs 1,500 which includes services such as virus and malware removal, data recovery and Windows troubleshooting, among others. For a Mac-based computer, the same one-time service costs Rs 3,000. eTechies also provides annual support services for Windows-based PCs at Rs 3,500 and for Mac-based computers at Rs. 7,500.