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Mobile repair shops run by women seek to fill a void

1 May 17

Saudi Gazette

Mobile maintenance and repair shops run by women have attracted Saudi female technicians from different backgrounds.

Such shops, which recently opened in major cities in the Kingdom, claim they have the ability to meet the market need by gaining more female customers.

“Many women prefer to replace their mobile phones rather than get these repaired for fear of data theft and misuse of photos by mobile repair shops,” said Aljohara Alqahtani, who started Fixtag, a women-exclusive mobile repair shop in Riyadh.

“It’s a sensitive issue in our society,” said Alqahtani, who believes that there is a huge requirement for women who can repair mobile phones.

“Many women are not comfortable going to men to get their phones repaired for fear of harassment or misuse of photos,” she said.

Alqahtani is planning to expand the service nationwide by launching an online portal.

“Trustworthiness is important for a customer,” agrees Fatima Alzahrani, who works at Fix Infinity, a women-run mobile repair shop in Jeddah.

“People care very much for their privacy. We’re able to communicate more freely and comfortably with female customers,” she said.

Such shops ensure the data is not being misused by setting specific passwords or allowing customers to observe while their phones are being repaired.

Both male and female customers go to mobile repair shops run by women.

Fix Infinity, based in Jeddah, is run by a group of women who have different academic backgrounds.

“Anyone can easily learn to repair mobile phones,” said Fatima Alzahrani, who received training for a week before starting mobile repair work. “The most important thing is having a will and passion,” she said.

Fix Infinity was launched by an incubator for startups and founded by Huda Hassan who started mobile repairing as a hobby and then turned it into a profession by training women in workshops.

Fixing a smartphone can be less costly by up to six times than buying a new phone, according to experts.

The shops deal with all aspects of repairing a phone.

The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) certified 45,000 Saudis in repairing and selling mobile phones last year after government regulations required Saudization in the telecommunication sector.

A typical course to train beginners takes five to six days.
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