Analogue Mall, an e-commerce and offline retail chain platform, has abruptly and chaotically ceased its operations in Nepal. Neither the company’s official website nor its retail locations are operational right now. Analogue Mall’s owner is also alleged to have fled the country and is currently out of reach.
Analogue Mall: What is it?
You might not be familiar with Analogue Mall, so allow me to explain about it before getting to the meat of the matter. Analogue Mall is a retail business that started its operations in Nepal in November 2020. It is a subsidiary company of Analogue Inc, a software startup that majorly deals with governmental and business operations.
Analogue Mall was launched as a channel for creating a stronger retail chain and presence among direct consumers. It envisioned itself as a one-stop shop for all of your electronic purchases, from accessories, smartphones, laptops, networking devices, and more.
It is even the first company in Nepal to start an affiliate program, through which you may earn a commission when you sell its goods. Analogue Mall also offered trade-in services that let consumers exchange their old electronic products for new ones, as well as insurance on practically all items. As a result of such lucrative deals and offers, it soon gained popularity among the public.
Customers began to trust them, and companies followed the suit as well. Taking advantage of this increased trust and popularity, Analogue Mall began taking products in credit (without upfront payment) from RDs (Regional Distributors) and NDs (National Distributors) of many brands. This includes Max International, Genxt Nepal, Oliz Store, Vatsal Implex, Neoteric, and others—all of which are either established or authorized distributors for various multinational brands in Nepal.
Our industry source (who chose to remain anonymous) said that Analogue Mall also took benefit of its parent firm to create false bills for various tender projects in order to build confidence among distributors for their money and products.
However, after less than two years in the industry, the company has ceased its operations in Nepal. As we said earlier, Analogue Mall’s official website, as well as its retail outlets are inaccessible right now. That means the customers who purchased devices from Analogue Mall with the expectation of warranty and insurance have nowhere to turn to recover it. And the credit offered by the businesses is yet to be cleared as well.
The person in question
At this point, you might be wondering who is the mastermind behind this scandal. So let us introduce him as well. The person in question is Ashutosh Aggarwal, who grew the business in less than two years and quietly disappeared without fulfilling his liabilities.
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Mr. Aggarwal is a co-founder of Analogue Inc. However, since he is an Indian citizen, he took the aid of two of his Nepalese friends to officially register the company in Nepal.
He then took over as CEO of Analogue Mall after it was founded in 2020. Therefore he eventually became in charge of all the corporate activities. He deals with all the wholesalers in order to gather supplies for his business and for weaving a web of fake promises. And now, no one knows where he is and is believed to have escaped the nation.
His scam propaganda began long before Analogue Mall closed its shop. The company had a history of market manipulation well before all this mess. According to our source, Analogue Mall would sell MacBook Air at a market price of Rs. 150,000 to other distributors or stores for just Rs. 120,000. That too with a genuine VAT bill for retaining confidence.
And since Nepal is a price-sensitive market, this strategy was easily able to attract buyers. But at the same time, it affected all the other genuine distributors since it caused price volatility in the market.
Now all this might beg the question about just how Mr. Aggarwal or Analogue Mall makes a profit if they sell the products at such low prices. And this is when the mastermind comes into play, as almost all its products are brought in credit from the distributors. And after operating for more than two years this way—or perhaps because he was pleased with the scammed-earned money—he has left the scene altogether.
That’s quite a brief about Analogue Mall and the alleged culprit. But the major reason we’re publishing this story is to keep our readers informed. You see, we hear about similar scams every day. Take the latest Whatsapp scam of Butwal, in which almost 150 people were arrested for defrauding people by promising a jackpot for lakhs of money.
Scamming people by offering a deal that seems too good to be true is an old mantra globally. In fact, as per Fortune Business Insights, the global fraud detection and prevention market size was USD 25.66 billion in 2021.
As a result, if you come across a “bargain” or an opportunity that seems suspiciously hard to believe, you should be skeptical. Many people lose money when they fall for such schemes that ultimately turn out to be scams. And that’s what has happened with the customers and distributors associated with Analogue Mall.
In addition, we wish to rally the blogging community and similar news sites to take down all Analogue Mall-related posts on their platform. Daraz is also marketing it on Google search Ads, therefore we hope their concerned department looks into this matter ASAP.
Finally, we request the Nepal government’s relevant authorities to take appropriate action against such companies. E-commerce platforms have absolutely skyrocketed in Nepal in recent years. And it seems that the government is providing company registration licenses to them with no proper background checks or anything. Ultimately it’s not just about creating more businesses in Nepal. It’s also about establishing a safe and reliable trading environment for individuals and clientele.