RepairDesk: The Journey of a Successful Startup in USA

by Mahnoor Mansur

RepairDesk is an inspiring story of a successful startup in USA. Today, it is the number one cell phone repair shop POS in the international market. With a rating of 4.7 on platforms like Capterra and TrustPilot, it continues to make everyday cell phone repair shop processes quicker and easier for its growing number of customers.

With RepairDesk, you can manage tickets, generate invoices, manage inventory, order special parts, manage employees, assign repair tasks and update customers. It is one of the most frequently updated repair shop POS with exceptional customer service.

“All round it’s just a great system to use. Backed up by a great team on the help desk who help me tremendously if I need help with something.”

“The repair Desk Team is there to help you through any questions and will take remote control of your computer if necessary to help complete setup tasks.”

But none of this was achieved overnight. Countless late nights, a few failures and a lot of determination went into creating RepairDesk. Beating all odds, Usman Butt’s vision came to fruition.

And today, RepairDesk is counted among the top three cell phone repair shop software in the world.

So what is the story behind the repair shop software RepairDesk?

How It All Began…

After graduating, Usman visited his brother who owned a cell phone repair shop. To pass time, he started working in the shop part-time.

Being a keen observer and a curious mind, Usman analyzed the cellphone repair shop processes. He saw his brother drowning in the workload, burning the midnight oil, ignoring his family, just so he can make ends meet.

Watching his brother buried under work, Usman wondered if other cell phone repair shop owners were equally distraught. Upon further research, he found out that almost everyone in the repair industry was struggling. He began to notice patterns.

Most of these business owners were over-possessive of their business and did not hire/train new team members. Which ultimately drove them away from the needs of the clients and the ability to expand their business.

In their hustle to move forward, cellphone repair shop owners were moving backward because of unorganized processes. Instead of growing, these businesses remained static in one place. Because only one man was paddling in the sea of repairs, keeping it afloat.

It was in that moment that Usman had an epiphany. He felt the need for an all-in-one automated cloud-based POS for cell phone repair shops software.

But was there a cell phone repair shop POS already in the market?

The Early Years

Usman’s next step was to see what was out there in the market and why these repair shop owners weren’t using these solutions.

So, he picked the top two repair shop POS systems and used them. He realized that neither was user-friendly. And instead of assisting repair shop owners to save time and become efficient, it added to their woes.

It was then that he decided to work on a POS system for cell phone repair shops that eases their workflow and increases their efficiency. He had no idea then that RepairDesk would go on to become a successful startup in USA.

Operating from a small office in Lahore, Pakistan, Usman gathered a team of four highly motivated individuals and started working on the repair shop software. The vision to help the underdogs of the repair industry fueled the team’s energy to work day and night to develop the software.

It took the team of dynamic five roughly five months to develop a prototype in 2014. The prototype version was basic and consisted of inventory management, customer management, invoice, and ticket management.

Usman faced many challenges in his journey. Developing software in a developing country like Pakistan, for people in the west was no cup of tea. But, Usman did not let anything set him back. In his interview for Starter Story he remember the struggles of the initial years.

“Everything depended on having a good internet connection, which was a rare commodity in Lahore, Pakistan back then. I remember there were times when I had to stand outside in the streets at 2 AM to get better internet reception so I could offer remote assistance to our customers in the USA.”

In 2015, RepairDesk qualified to get incubated at the LUMS Entrepreneurial Center. It was a 4-month extensive business incubation and acceleration program that refined the repair shop software. Guidance from leading entrepreneurs laid the foundation of the RepairDesk Beta Version the same year.


A young Usman at the LUMS Incubation Center

The Launch

Thus, in 2015, RepairDesk Beta launched with 100 Beta Testers. Unsurprisingly, it was a hit. And that led to the launch of a paid version.

In the first month of the launch, RepairDesk got six paid customers. And before long, it started building a loyal customer base.

In 2016, RepairDesk participated in the Google Singapore Program that further strengthened the idea of the repair shop software.


Attended Google Singapore Program

In 2017, RepairDesk was incubated at PlanX. Through this platform, Usman flew to Austin, Texas and connected with the target audience of the software, and developed more partnerships through the ATX+ Pak Participant. Later, he networked with more entrepreneurial minds as a Rajeev Circle Participant.


Landed in Austin, TX

All these participations laid the foundation of making RepairDesk a successful startup in the USA.

After noticing that most repair shop owners were only web-based, RepairDesk launched its iPad POS Register app in 2018.

The RepairDesk iPad POS Register was a step forward to help cell phone repair shops operate through kiosks or garages. And it only consists of a POS and ticket management system to make it easier to use.

Usman also took part in the Startup Bootcamp TiE Inflect.

He also took part in the Consumer Electronics Show and went to attend the All Wireless & Prepaid Expo in 2019. In an interview with Failory, he said,

“My desire to learn more led me to attend the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest tech expo, in 2019. I went to Las Vegas to attend the ‘All Wireless & Prepaid Expo’ and touch base with my core audience, putting a face to the name. The physical appearance at these two big shows gave us a lot of positive outreach, and we met potential customers, discussed their problems, and provided them with a quick demo of our repair shop POS software.”

In 2019, RepairDesk also moved into a much bigger, Silicon Valley-style office to accommodate the growing team. Currently, the office is going through a further expansion to accommodate a team of over 100 employees by the end of Q2.


Angel Investment

Seeing the success of the POS, in 2016, RepairDesk acquired an angel investment of $40,000 from Anant Handa, CEO, and Founder of ReVamp Wholesale. The investment helped RepairDesk fuel its initial acquisition of sales and IT talents.

In three short years, Usman was able to purchase back investors’ equity by paying them a decent return in 2019.

RD Lite+ Version, RepairDesk Payments, and Enterprise Version

One of the main reasons why small repair shops are unable to grow is disorganized processes. So, to help small repair shops automate their processes, RD Lite+ Version was launched with limited features at a friendly cost.
And since its launch, it has helped empower small repair shop owners to expand their business.

The RepairDesk milestones do not end there. In 2020, considering the ongoing pandemic, the RepairDesk team continued to work hard and come up with more functionalities. For starters, RepairDesk Payments was launched, a completely integrated payment method that allows users to accept online payments. This was an instant hit since people were hesitant to make contact.

Adding another feather to the cap, RepairDesk Enterprise Version was launched the same year to cater to big cell phone businesses with their repair shop software needs. It came with features such as the Loyalty Program, Gift Cards, Store Credits to help RepairDesk users cultivate a loyal customer base.

Next on the agenda was an Android version of RepairDesk to help cellphone repair shop owners access the repair shop software anywhere and at any time. It enabled them to carry on their social life while monitoring their cell phone repair business.

The Android version also helped technicians, managers, and other team members efficiently operate the software on their smart devices instead of a desktop/laptop. It ultimately helped automate processes more.

RepairDesk strives to improve and provide its users with the best experience. So, it continues to come up with new integrations and updates. We also welcome new customers with free on-boarding and training sessions.

Where Are We Now?

As a successful startup in the USA, the RepairDesk team put their customers first. So, we have created multiple channels through which we can help the cell phone repair shop community grow.

In early 2021, we launched the State of Repairs Podcast. The bi-monthly program has hosted renowned names in the industry including the franchiser Timothy Phelps, COO of Techy, and Israel Quintal Co-Founder and CEO of AdCentral.

The RepairDesk blog is another resource for thought leadership content. From getting school contracts to leveraging carrier stores, the blog is a rich source of information.

At RepairDesk, we have recently started conducting monthly webinars as well. The first in line was on the 10 common mistakes made by cellphone repair shop owners with six industry experts providing solutions.

What’s In Store For The Future?

In keeping with its values, at RepairDesk, we aim to launch RepairDesk University soon. It will be a platform where we can educate and train users to grow their cell phone repair businesses.

In order to improve the user experience, we are also anticipating RepairDesk 2.0, all set to launch this year. The beta version is scheduled to roll out in Q2.

With humble beginnings, RepairDesk is now a successful startup in USA, and growing. It has come a long way but there are still many more milestones to achieve. It plans to expand into the computer repair jewelry market in 2021.

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