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This Gurugram-based startup has a comprehensive component-level renewal process that can make pre-owned smartphones look as new ones

Sumit Vishwakarma
New Update

The escalating environmental impact of the consumer electronics industry, particularly the smartphone sector, is a pressing concern that cannot be ignored.

The cycle of purchasing new smartphones and discarding old ones contributes significantly to the global carbon footprint, exacerbating the problem of electronic waste. While opting for used smartphones could be a more sustainable choice, many consumers are deterred by concerns over aesthetics and functionality.

Pre-owned smartphones often have visible wear and tear, such as scratches and dents, and diminished battery life, which can significantly affect their appeal and usability. Moreover, the potential for performance issues, like phone hanging, due to previous usage patterns adds to consumers' reluctance to consider refurbished devices as a viable alternative to new purchases.

This dilemma highlights a critical gap in the market for high-quality, reliable, and environmentally friendly refurbished smartphones that can meet consumer expectations for both performance and aesthetics.


Addressing this gap requires transforming the way pre-owned smartphones are refurbished and presented to the market. The challenge lies not only in improving the physical condition of these devices but also in restoring and even enhancing their functionality to ensure they operate as efficiently as new ones. The process of refurbishing smartphones involves complex technical procedures, including battery replacement and the repair of key components like the camera, display, and circuit board.

However, the current segment of pre-owned smartphones is largely unorganized, lacking standardization and guarantees on the quality and reliability of the devices.

This situation underscores the need for a systematic, standardized approach to refurbishing that can elevate the quality of pre-owned smartphones to meet or exceed consumer expectations, thereby making the option of purchasing refurbished devices more attractive and sustainable. 

This is the mission that ControlZ has set out to accomplish, aiming to revolutionize the refurbished smartphone market by offering consumers high-quality, like-new devices that are both environmentally and budget-friendly.

What does ControlZ do?

ControlZ is revolutionizing the way we think about smartphone usage and sustainability.

Launched in June 2020 by the visionary young entrepreneur Yug Bhatia, ControlZ is aimed at reducing the environmental impact of the constant churn of smartphones.

By refurbishing pre-owned smartphones to match the quality and functionality of new ones, ControlZ offers a greener alternative to buying new, helping to significantly reduce the carbon footprint associated with smartphone manufacturing.

Unlike basic refurbishment that merely makes a device saleable, The startup undertakes comprehensive component-level renewal. This includes replacing batteries, fixing screens, and ensuring every part of the phone functions perfectly, thereby offering consumers a sustainable option without compromising on quality or aesthetics.

How did it start?

The genesis of ControlZ was fueled by Bhatia’s dual passion for technology and sustainable living, deeply influenced by his family's values. Witnessing the global pandemic's spotlight on the crucial role of smartphones for connectivity, Bhatia saw an opportunity to address the environmental waste generated by the smartphone industry.

This led to the creation of ControlZ, with the goal of unlocking the potential of the pre-owned smartphone market to provide affordable, high-quality devices without the environmental toll.

How does it work?

Upon arrival at ControlZ's Renew Hub, each smartphone undergoes a rigorous initial quality check. Skilled engineers then work their magic, restoring both the device's functionality and looks.

This process involves a detailed examination and renewal of various components, from the battery to the circuit board, ensuring that each refurbished phone meets the highest standards of performance and reliability. ControlZ's approach is about renewal, not just repair, aiming to keep as much of the original device intact while updating and upgrading where necessary.

Product pricing and business model

ControlZ positions its refurbished smartphones as affordable alternatives to new devices, with prices significantly lower than their brand-new counterparts. This pricing strategy, combined with a commitment to quality and sustainability, forms the core of ControlZ's business model.

The startup generates revenue by breathing new life into old smartphones and selling them at competitive prices, appealing to environmentally conscious consumers looking for high-quality, cost-effective technology solutions.

Customer base

ControlZ targets a wide range of consumers, from tech enthusiasts seeking the latest gadgets at a fraction of the cost to environmentally conscious individuals looking for sustainable tech options. By offering refurbished smartphones that are as good as new, ControlZ caters to a growing market of consumers who prioritize both quality and environmental responsibility.

Future plans

Looking ahead, ControlZ is set on a path of rapid growth and expansion. The startup aims to increase its device renewal capacity to 600,000 units annually, up from the current 20,000, by enhancing its refurbishment processes and expanding its Renew Hub facilities.