Your mobile repairs may get delayed

Nov 30, 2011, 07:34 IST | Vinod Kumar Menon

The charred Sara Sahara and Manish Market has led to material crunch in the cellphone spare parts market

Days after fire razed Sara Sahara and Manish Market, its aftereffects are being felt by the small-timers related to the mobile industry. With supply of mobile spare parts and accessories fast depleting, mobile repair shop owners and accessory sellers stare at an uncertain future as the shortage has started taking its toll on their business.

FIRE effects: After the fire that razed Sara Sahara and Manish Market,
the mobile traders fear that those suppliers who have stocked up materials
in advance will charge them exorbitantly for the materials. FILE PIC

Moreover, these traders fear that those suppliers who have stocked up materials in advance are going to use the crisis situation to make maximum profit, by charging them exorbitantly for the materials.

Shop owners speak
According to Amjad Khan, secretary of Mobile Dealers Welfare Association, Mumbai, "As per our information, the city has over 50,000 mobile outlets that officially sell mobile handsets and accessories on behalf of companies, and around 30,000 small outlets who do repairing and refilling of mobiles. Sara Sahara and Manish Market are the hubs for mobile handsets, spare parts, accessories and repair works. Most of the smaller repair shop owners would come here to collect China-made mobile-related products at a cheaper rate. However, the fire has hit their business hard."

He added, "Even bigger outlets from the suburbs would come to these markets and pick up accessories. In fact, repairing orders would come from far off places like Bhiwandi, Nasik, Alibag, Pune and Goa."

Khan is now concerned that those suppliers, who had procured their material in advance, will take advantage of the crisis situation and mint money by selling spare parts/accessories at astronomical prices.

'Business is suffering'
Saif Mohammed Yassin, who runs a small-time mobile repair shop at Charni Road, said, "Our main markets were Sara Sahara and Manish Market for procuring spare parts and accessories. However, after the fire engulfed the markets, I had to turn down repair orders due to non-availability of parts. Prior to the fire incident, on an average, I would handle about 20 repairs a day. But for the last two days, the business has plummeted, because parts as small as Integrated Circuit (IC) chips are unavailable in the market."

Echoing his sentiments, Rehan Khan, another mobile repairer from Nana Chowk, said, "Over 90 per cent of mobile repairers across Mumbai are incurring daily losses due to the fire tragedy. Customers are approaching us, but due to non-availability of spare parts, we have to turn them down. What is more concerning is that our reserves are fast depleting. The future looks bleak as none of us know as to when will the markets reopen."

Vijay Mukhi, an IT expert, said, "Most of the items at Sara Sahara and Manish Market are sold in grey. The situation will be similar to Thailand, where due to the recent flooding, hard disk manufacturers had to incur heavy losses and the prices have shot up by 30 to 40 per cent. Those who have already stocked up spare parts and accessories are going to encash on the tragedy."

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