Idharich Milta Gadgets

Chenoy Trade Centre: Secunderabad’s own cyber gateway

Chenoy Trade Centre lives by the saying ‘old is gold’ Photo: G Ramakrishna  

A busy Parklane street and a packed parking lot greets customers at the Chenoy Trade Centre (CTC), popularly known as Secunderabad’s very own cyber gateway. Nearly two decades into being a go-to destination for gadgets and tech products in the city, the place had made its mark even before Hitec City was defined as the next ‘cool’. Even as e-commerce prevails over shops for these goods these days and dwindling customer numbers are something that small retailers battle everywhere, retailers at this six-storeyed building have managed to stay afloat and relevant.

With the samosa and chai wallahs earning good moolah at the building, buyers turn up at this area in significant numbers — the frequently cited reason being to compare online and shop rates. From printers, mobiles and laptops to storage devices and other hardware equipment, every end of technology can be found in the Chenoy Trade Centrebuilding. Often ‘Old is gold’ here; the repair shops and the resellers look for customers who would want to discard their old products in exchange for newer ones. Olga Computers for instance credits itself to be a ‘resellers hub’.

In contrast to the popular perception that not many resort to repair shops these days, the salesman-turned-businessman Kiran Singh at Sagar Computers has been a witness to a slow and steady increase in customers. The repairs section at the shop gives him an edge over the others, he says as people come with orders for many major and minor repairs of their computers, mobiles, printers and laptops. On the other hand, CD World that once catered to the gaming needs of city folk; now sees customers come in only to enquire about rates, its owner admits.

“The physical satisfaction of seeing and getting a feel of the product is still an important aspect for many. The ambiguity surrounding warranty on online purchases remains,” says Sunil of Saraf Computers, who’s been running the store for the last 17 years in the building. He admits the scattered market has taken a toll on his profits; GST and demonetisation have only added to his woes. Many of his staff have also moved on to more lucrative jobs. “Yet you can’t write us off,” he insists . “This is a business that’ll have its own customer base, maybe the way technology is packaged may change.”

Not adapting to changing tastes has affected many retailers who remain content with selling technology at an affordable price, especially those do not utilise the opportunity it gives to enhance one’s business. Some businessmen who’ve shut shop have moved onto the tailoring business, some into the sales of drilling tool machinery while a few have turned travel agents. CTC may no longer be the Sunday bazaar for tech enthusiasts, yet, for the little joys of a good bargain, cost-effective products and optimum choice, it’s worth a journey.

Chenoy Trade Centre

Where: Parklane street

What: A gadget and tech product destination

USP: A good-old bargain

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:57:28 AM |

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