20 years ago, Karim Barkawi started a nice little consulting firm to advise manufacturers on supply chain management.
In 2007, Barkawi and his team started to notice that all of his firm’s clients in the phone-making business had the same warranty obligations.
This meant they all had to do things like handle calls from customers, gadget repair, and shipping logistics.
These were all things Barkawi’s clients weren’t especially good at. It wasn’t their core competency.
These clients were good at designing and building gadgets, not handling cranky customers on the phone.
So Barkawi started a new company, B2X. It’s mission be the company all those smartphone-makers could use to outsource their customer service, phone repair, and logistics. Barkawi based the company in Munich.
In 2008, B2x took on all the warranties held by the company formally known as Siemens Mobile. Business was OK for two years. In 2010, B2X revenues were about $US10 million, according to a source.
Then, as the smartphone adoption accelerated, business exploded. Now 10 major smartphone makers pay B2x to handle all its smartphone repair concerns.
B2x can’t reveal any of its customers, but a source outside the company who has been briefed on its business tells us that clients include Sony and Amazon. In 2013, according to this source, B2X revenues were $US340 million.
This week, Barkawi announced that he’s stepping down from the top job at B2x. The new guy is Thomas Berlemann, the former CEO of T-Mobile Netherlands. We hear his first job will be preparing B2X for an IPO.
Here’s a YouTube video explaining what B2X does:
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