Dial M for Mobile
A look at the marketing strategies of 14 mobile vendors in India
ASUS comes from the last four letterstters of Pegasus, the winged horse in Greekreek mythology that represents the inspiration ation of art and learning. For Asus, their customers omers always come first. They have always believedlieved in offering the best quality productss with high-end specifications at affordable prices, thereby, empowering our users with luxuryuxury at attractive price points. Company belieflief in strategy has been strengthened withith the response has been seen to ZenFone e2 2 Laser, ZenFone 2 Deluxe, ZenFone Selfie fie and ZenPad range of tablets last year.ar. Asus got 30K pre-orders for this line-upup across 660 cities in India within a month th of the launch with one of the most popupular smartphones-ZenFone 2 Laser, being ng sold-out on the 3rd day itself.
Asus offer a wide range of smartrtphones that appeal to all users from the he budget-segment to the premium seggment. However, all the products come me packed with specifications that offerer features which spell luxury for those specific price points. For instance, Asus recently launched the ZenFone Max in India that comes with a 5000 mAh battery at a price that is less than ` 10,000. Similarly most of the smartphones in ZenFone range come equipped with PixelMaster technology that ensures the users of the sharpest and most clear pictures, irrespective of their price. Asus will continue to launch products that combine luxury with technological innovations in 2016 as well.
Talking about the partner strategy, Asus reaching out to channel partners has always been their top priority. In the past, with the help of ecommerce portals, company were able to penetrate more than 400 towns in a short span of time. This year, company aiming to enhance reach and leverage offline channels in order to increase footprint across the country.
Asus are constantly looking at strengthening retail presence in order to ensure easy availability of their products. While company already had a robust presence on e-commerce stores, this year also expanded into offline retail. Besides being available at ASUS Exclusive Stores, ASUS smartphones and tablets are now easily available at all leading retail stores as well.
On Asus future strategy, Peter Chang, Regional Head, South Asia & Country Manager, ASUS India shared, “This year should see us moving closer to our aim of having a 5% market share in the smartphone industry in India. We will do this by introducing newer technologies at price points that appeal to our consumers. Additionally, our decision to manufacture ZenFone 2 Laser in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh should propel us in this direction”.
In line of the advertisement strategy and celebrity endorsement Asus do not have a brand ambassador as of now. They believe their products are best ambassadors and that their technology speaks for itself.
Adding to the Make In India campaign Peter Chang added, “Besides being beneficial for the economy, the ‘Make In India’ campaign is an excellent way to bring technology closer to the vast user base that exists in India. We are happy to report that we committed ourselves to the ‘Make in India’ campaign by announcing our plans to manufacture the ZenFone 2 Laser in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. Through this, we aim to manufacture 150,000 smartphones per month by the end of the current financial year which will account for almost 80% of the sales in the country”.
In over 20 countries, including the United States, China, Australia and many countries throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, OPPO is dedicated to delivering customers with the most extraordinary mobile experience through meticulous designs and smart technology.
According to OPPO, India is a strategic market for them primarily because there is clearly a huge potential to grow in the Indian Smartphone market. OPPO speeding up the sales and service network and expect a fair growth and a bigger share of the market in the times to come. On the brand aspect, they expect brand to become a well-known name for its innovation, quality and service over the next five years. The company has plans to expand more service centers this year.
OPPO has recently announced the new ‘After Sales-Service Policy’ for its handsets. This includes an added focus on service performance, quality, understanding the customer and proactive communication to address any query or call for support. As a part of OPPO’s strategy to strengthen its global market and after – sales, the company plans to open 200, new service centres across India. As a part of the new policy every OPPO smartphone will now have extended warranty. All new handsets purchased from 15th December onwards will have a 2 years’ service warranty applicable across all OPPO service centres in India.
Talking about the price sensitive market for OPPO, there is a certain section of consumers who are extremely technology savvy and looking for innovative and power-packed devices. OPPO already introduced products in the price range of INR 6500 to INR 42999 which gives many options to Indian consumers. They focus to cover low end, mid segment and high end segment covering the consumer preferences.
Mike Wang, CEO, OPPO Mobiles India says, “We are looking at more nation-wide channel partners so that we can satisfy the huge customer need at the earliest. The company also has plans to expand more service centers in the next one year. Right now we are retailing in over 20 major cities and regions, mainly through multi-brand stores. We are also planning to build our showrooms and exclusive stores in a short time”.
“Right now we are retailing in over 20 major cities and regions across the nation, mainly through multi-brand stores. We also have unique customer-oriented activities as per each local market demands like seasonal activities for OPPO fans and customers” he added.
Talking on the future plans in India, OPPO have R Series which is the recently launched flagship series in India. Also, they are planning midrange Neo series and Mirror series. OPPO will bring more products catering to the Indian consumer demands. Company is planning to come up
with more mid segment smartphones which fits the budget and delivers the best in class experience to our customers.
A young Information Technology and Communication devices company Pantel, selling innovative Tablet PC(s) under the brand name of Penta T-Pad(s) in Indian, South-East Asian, GCC and African markets. Pantel Technologies recent collaboration with Mauritius Telecom - the telecom service provider of Mauritius is further aiding in bringing digital computing solutions to the Mauritian and African markets at affordable prices.
As part of their Go-To-Market strategy, they work closely with their partners to enhance the overall channel capacity. Due to strong channel network they are able to grow business significantly. Pantel is gaining market share in a growing market and aggressively expanding customer base. They have had a good market share over the last few years.
Talking about the recent development, Pantel has made the latest in technology accessible to the Indian customers at Value-For-Money pricing. Pantel has a vision to reach one and all without compromising on their budget and connect the mass with the Digital India initiative.
Pantel has recently launched some the most innovative products like Penta Ultra 4G, Penta WS802Q and Penta Windows Tablet WS802X (Intel & Microsoft) with 8’’ display + 1.3 GHz Quad core processor + 16GB internal storage. Besides, they have also ventured into Laptop and PCs business.
Pantel Technologies has always been inclined towards consumers rather focusing on the competition. With more than 450 service centers across India, they ensure prompt response, and maintain effective two way communication with the customers.
Vijender Singh, MD, Pantel Technology said, “We believe that there still remains much to be done in the tablet space in India. So, that will be our main pre-occupation. We are working on a number of value-enhancing aspects on the hardware as well as software front. Besides, the company will also focus on enterprise verticals like BFSI, retail, manufacturing and logistics, where the company eye on the tremendous growth prospects coming with digitization. Education is the vertical where we intend to take a lead. As the country is moving towards the Digital India mission, we will see more and more user cases coming up of remote education and aided education. At Pantel, we believe everyone deserves the choice of a better connectivity in a smarter way. One that is personal, fulfilling and stands the test of time at a budget that fits your pocket”
With competition in every business segment, Indian tablet market is no exception. However, there is nothing much to worry about. New players as well as old keep discovering new approach to capture market shares. In terms of number, Pantel enjoy a major pie in Indian tablet market. According to the company, Samsung, Acer and Lenovo can be considered as a competitor to Penta.
Pantel Technologies fully support Make in India initiative as it is a very enterprising concept by the new government, which can catapult India into top manufacturing economies of the world.
Realizing the same long back, Pantel has been ramping up its local manufacturing capacity and capabilities in its two manufacturing units out of Roorkee, Uttarakhand to meet the growing demand of Penta products in the market and they are also planning to put more assembly lines in these two plants.
Talking about the future plans, Pantel is focusing at the trends and consumer behavior. “We differentiate our offerings by providing innovative, faster and more affordable products to the customers. Pantel Technologies will continue to invest in the enhancement of channel capacity as well as product innovations and service capabilities. Till now, Pantel Technologies has grown to be among the best known brands in the country. Our ambitions are clear that we want to be the leader in the business we operate” he added.
Headquarter in Brazil, Vivo legally known as Telefônica Brasil, mostly use brick and mortar strategy. Vivo focus on developing retail networks and exclusive service centres and are currently working with more than 8,000 employees and 10,000 retailers across Indian geographies. According to their vision in the Indian market, India is a huge market and holds enormous potential.
Under the Go to Market strategy, Vivo associated with some high profile properties to reach out to target group through properties like Comedy Nights with Kapil, MTV Roadies and Vh1 Emerge Festival. Vivo have also invested a huge amount in print ad campaign last year during Diwali and celebrated 100 Smart days which ended with New Year. Also, to succeed in the market Vivo shall focus mainly on great products, progressive brand and approach young people.
Talking about their range of products, Vivo has launched three series: X V and Y in India with total of 11 models so far. X Series with X5Pro & X5Max is premium series catering to HNI group (entrepreneurs, fashion lovers, etc.), while V Series is their exclusive series to Indian market, which caters to the mid segment, targeting young music lovers. Y series lies in the affordable segment and is high on features and low on price.
Vivo has channel strategy is very simple as they operate through their regional state offices in different state capitals. Followed by micro-distributors city-wise, which distribute products to different retailers and MBO’s.
Vivo India till now focussed in development of strong retail network on ground. In year 2016 Vivo definitely targeting every major modern trade outlet as a point of sale. We are now equipped with all the resources, logistics & skilled manpower. We shall tie-up with every outlet within this year which shall agree with our policies.
Alex Feng CEO, Vivo India, CMO, Vivo Global shared his views, “Our journey in India has been very overwhelming till now and the love, trust & support received from our Indian friends motivate us to be more productive and deliver the best in class quality in affordable price range. Keeping in mind the same aim, we recently inaugurated our manufacturing plant in Greater Noida, which shall for now assemble all the products available in market and reduce the cost of imports and hence help us deliver competitive products”.
To promote the product and brand Most of the companies have their brand ambassador but Currently Vivo don’t have any brand ambassador.
They will look for a brand ambassador in future depending on market scenario.
Talking about the initiative of ‘Make In India’ Vivo has strong support towards PM Narendra Modi’s campaign under which Vivo have set up the first manufacturing plant in Greater Noida, U.P. on their first anniversary in India recently. The new manufacturing unit with a maximum production capacity of one million devices a month will help create around 2,200 jobs. Vivo Mobile India has invested approx. Rs. 125 crores as its first phase of investment in the 30,000 sq.m. facility which comprises several assembly lines, quality control lab and warehouses.
ZTE is a company that’s about innovation and experimentation, and they differentiating themselves in a hyper-competitive device market by enabling more intuitive user experiences, powering invention with R&D and patents, and adopting a thoughtful approach to marketing and branding. ZTE claim 2016 as “Channel Store Year”, and they strongly believe that ZTE preparing for go-to-market with a new product portfolio, competitive pricing, and a strong distribution network from the Northern and Southern parts of India.
Talking about the strategies in 2016, ZTE will focus on ‘The AXON’ series, a premium flagship devices designed to meet the needs of global business-minded consumers. In 2016, ZTE has also something for young generation. In line of their new series they will also introduce The Blade series, a stylish, yet affordable premium phone currently sold in over 60 markets for the young and young at heart. ZTE also focusing on Smartphones with smart voice and security strengths, wearable devices, connected cars, and smart homes. ZTE is also developing system-level intelligent voice interaction technology, which will be an interactive bridge for these products and user experiences.
Cao Kai, CEO, ZTE Terminal India shared his views on their channel strategy and he said, “ZTE will focus on both offline and online channels. We have service centers across India and will be opening more service centers in the future. We are working on our retail strategy, and so far we have partnered with one of the biggest distributors in India. The future looks bright for ZTE, as we will launch four to five smartphones within this quarter”.
ZTE builds up its brand visibility by using sports and entertainment marketing as a platform to engage with a wider base of consumers worldwide. In the U.S., ZTE is the official smartphone sponsor of five NBA teams; in Australia, ZTE sponsored two local football teams; and in Japan the company sponsor a baseball team. Currently, ZTE India does not have any brand ambassadors yet, but ZTE would like to associate with sports in the coming months, as thier legacy takes us back to some great associations with sports.
“We are exploring all opportunities in India and will open our own manufacturing unit very soon. This will give us a chance to serve our customers better” He added.
ZOPO Mobile or simply ZOPO is the commonly used name of Shenzhen ZOPO Communications-equipment Limited Company, a Mobile Smartphone maker in China, are currently working with their Exclusive partner ADCOM in India. ZOPO are hoping to utilize their current presence in regional markets and service centers across the country.
ZOPO has 3 series of phones – Speed, Flash and Color series. They have launched Speed and Color series in the Indian market constituting 9 models so far. ZOPO had entered the Indian market with their Speed series and launched the Speed 7 and Speed 7 Plus handsets in the mid high range. These are known for their performance and speed of operation. ZOPO have also introduced the Color series with 5 phones that are vibrant and come in 5 colors, in the budget range. Flash series are phones with high end cameras yet to be launched in India.
Talking on the strategy for Indian market Kevin Xu, CEO, Zopo shared his vision and said, “We launched our speed 7 & speed 7+ models with Snap deal & Amazon respectively. And as of now we are present on all ecommerce portals in India. At the same time we have very aggressive and dynamic approach for offline channels. We have launched ZOPO in 14 cities as of now, starting with 3 in Karnataka, 4 in Maharashtra, 3 in Haryana, 2 in Orissa, Delhi & 1 in Punjab. We have city wise distributor who is appointing 20-30 ZOPO authorized retailers whom we give all support like in shop branding, in shop promoter, etc . Like this 14 cities we will launch in 16 more in Jan, and will take this no. to 50 by the end of March taking the number of ZOPO retailers to 1500 which will cater to the offline end users”.
LFR’s plays an important role in brand recognition. Most of the companies’ tie-ups with LFR’s for taking their brand or product in limelight. ZOPPO also taking this platform as a weapon and are talking to few small retail chains in North & south India where they will be able to Place ZOPO very soon and as the Brand gets more recognition and awareness in whole of the country, will approach the major LFRs.
Talking on the future strategy about the Indian market ZOPPO will continue to bring in more indulging devices across ranges. They have recently launched color series in India where initially have launched 2 models and 4 more models are in pipeline. Also they are launching another HERO 1 in India around 20 January.
The International brand ambassador for Zopo Speed Series is Jorge Lorenzo. He is a three-time MotoGP world champion.
After the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China, lots of Chinese companies who are willing to take part in support the ‘Make in India’. Talking on this Kevin Xu expressed, “India is a logical and impera-
tive step in our journey to success. We have been continuously working towards the expansion of our global footprint and ZOPO is actively pursuing its goal to enter and leave a mark in the extremely enticing Indian market.
We see a lot of potential in the Indian market. While Spain is our largest market right now, in the next 1-2 years, we expect India to account for over 50 per cent of our sales.
After we reach a certain sales volume, we will start manufacturing Zopo smartphones in India too. The timeline we see is in the next quarter”.
Buoyed by its investment plans of Rs 800 crore in manufacturing of mobile phones over the next three years, home grown handset maker Karbonn is targeting to be among the top three mobile phone brands in India by next fiscal.
Its manufacturing units, located in Uttar Pradesh and Telangana, are expected to start production within the next two quarters and will help in covering 60-70 percent of its domestic market requirements.
Karbonn have launched handsets in various important countries of South Asia to increase the sales in addressable markets. In the near future, they are also planning to launch ourselves in Middle East and African markets.
In order to tap these markets, Karbonn shall focus on developing a customized product range as per the countries’ local requirements, complying with local regulatory authorities’ norms, robust distribution channel and after sales services and localized marketing strategies. For this financial year, company is also focusing on creating a demand-driven market by launching about 3-4 models every quarter.
Be it Asian, Middle Eastern or African markets, Karbonn seek to bring the best of technologies to the consumers at a price sensitive bracket, which offers them the freedom to enjoy the best of the mobility world at the best possible price constituent. Talking about the Go-To-Market strategy, Karbonn offering state-ofthe-art technical marvels at an affordable range. According to their strategy, the Indian phone manufacturers have been able to create a space for themselves in the market and have provided cost effective options for the consumers, which act as the major growth drivers in the Indian mobile market. In today’s times, the consumers are very intelligent and only deviate from their brand loyalties if they are offered something best at lower prices. It is thus at Karbonn working constantly through various associations, tie-ups and investing in R&D to tap the consumers and create a pertinent brand connect with the audience.
“Our strategy worked and we were able to create faith of the people in Karbonn Mobiles. In order to sustain that faith we provided them, we have developed a dedicated team for after sales services with low turnaround time for their queries. We are adopting the same policy in metro cities as well and receiving a great response. For creating domain expertise, Karbonn Mobiles, besides the ground level approach, has also invested heavily in research and development to churn out innovative and unique features in sync with market trends along with investing in various associations, consumer promotions, etc.” said, Pradeep Jain, MD, Karbonn Mobiles.
Karbonn targeting to change the face of the Indian mobile phone market with quality handsets and intend to be amongst the top 3 mobile phone brands by next fiscal.
Intending to deliver an innovative smartphone experience, Karbonn endeavours to bring feature-rich mobile devices at disruptive pricepoints to the consumers. Karbonn’s “value-for-money” devices have created a niche in the Indian smartphone market, which has given the brand a head start amongst competition.
Karbonn USP include value-for-money proposition, customer-centric initiatives, widespread distribution strategies, excellent after -sales services with our network of over 900 service centres and over 85,000 retailers across India.
Talking about the ‘Make In India’ campaign, Karbonn has expectations set post the announcement of Budget 2015, which is to encourage the local mobile manufacturers, India is going to achieve a 25% share in global mobile phone manufacturing market by 2019.
“By introducing the favorable policies along with locally manufactured products, we expect to see billion hands using mobile phones for communicating and sharing data in coming years” he added.
Also, Karbonn Mobiles, signed Akhil Akkineni, the new face of Tollywood and son of Akkineni Nagarjuna as their brand ambassador today. Akhil has been signed for a period of 3 years and will be representing Karbonn in their print, and television campaigns as well as brand engagement activities.
Domestic handset maker Spice Mobiles also holds big plans for the entry-level smartphones, with an array of sub-`4,000 smartphones in the pipeline to be launched in the near future. It also aims to grab 15-20% market share in this segment.
Indian Mobile phone industry witnessed the entry of several multinational and homegrown companies in the last few years, making the Indian mobile handset market quite competitive, thus offering Indian customers a lot of options in smartphones ranging from budget to premium. IDC forecasts that the Indian smartphone market will more than double by 2018, with annual smartphone sales growing at an average growth rate of around 40% in the next five years.
Spice planning to focus on this entry segment of smartphones and target Tier II and III markets with an aim to capture a 15-20% share in this segment through a new portfolio of smartphones with market leading technical features priced attractively for urban and semi-urban customers.
Domestic players like Spice Mobiles have been present in the market for almost a decade now and enjoy good brand equity amongst users. With a well-developed service and distribution network, we reach a wide segment of mobile users with a product portfolio that offers innovative technology products in every price bracket.
“We have witnessed that customers are loyal to their mobile brands and prefer to graduate to higher technology products with brands they have been using in the past. Even though premium buyers are attracted towards international brands, they represent a very small section of the overall mobile phone user base” Prashant Bindal, CEO, Spice.
“A large section of mobile phone users are economy or value buyers, preferring to buy high technology products at economical prices. With our wide range of affordable mobile phones, we believe that we are optimally positioned to cater to this large segment of customers who are first time smartphone buyers. Indian customers are value-conscious buyers and make intensive comparisons before making a choice on the
handset brand, with key evaluation features being technical specifications, brand image, service support and price. The brand pull of bigger players is no longer the key decision making factor for these young customers, he added.
Spice Mobiles has opened a local manufacturing unit at Noida in Uttar Pradesh. The production will begin by assembling feature phones and then later will be extended to smartphones as well. The local unit will enable us to launch a wider range of products with a shorter turnaround time and additionally reduce the manufacturing costs by 5-6% through savings on import duty.
As a company, Spice invest significantly in market research and with a local unit the company can translate relevant consumer insights into product features and cater to consumer demands in a very short time. In line with company’s vision to create affordable and high technology mobile products for a larger audience, Spice will now be able to do the same economically. Through the facility, the company aims to introduce a wide range of mobile internet devices at affordable costs. Spice concentrating their efforts to introduce an array of smartphones under Rs 4,000 to cater to the huge Indian market especially the first time smartphone buyers.
Spice also enhancing distribution and service strength across India to reach out to a larger audience. In the coming year, company planning to partner with more international technology partners to offer the best technology to their customers.
Talking about the ‘Make in India’ Prashant Bindal said, “This campaign has been a significant move in this regard and it will empower the sector by attracting investment bids from national and international players. By creating a mobile manufacturing hub in the country, the government can make the sector even more attractive for new and existing players to enhance investments”.
India’s sixth-largest mobile handsets company Celkon based in Hyderabad believes in creating offerings for every person. In developing countries such as East and West Africa, and Srilanka, this model has worked for them. Company provides the best-in-class quality to all customers. Little innovations like local language support developed in tandem with customer insights give the edge over international brands.
Celkon currently have own R&D and design centre in Shenzen China. The stateof-the-art facility has the capacity to design high technology and feature rich products. Celkon is currently present in 12 countries, including Sri Lanka, Nepal, Singapore, Zimba- bwe, Zambia, Nigeria, Senegal, Kenya, Ukraine, Georgia and Turkey. Company will be strengthening their focus in the existing international markets and North Indian states like Rajasthan and Punjab. They also look at expanding to countries like Rwanda, Bangladesh and Europe.
“In my opinion the shift is more towards budget phones. Ultra premium category has its set of loyal customers. But with brands launching phones at extremely competitive prices, the market is shifting towards a budget phone. Majority of the customers today do not believe in the midrange. Moreover, even after buying a premium phone, one would prefer to have a budget phone as a secondary device. In the coming years, only the ultra-premium category will prevail, rest all will merge into the budget category” said Murali Retineni, Executive Director, Celkon Mobiles.
Supporting the initiative of ‘Make In India’, Celkon will benefit tremendously as the scale of smartphone consumption will grow exponentially. According to the company, The Government has shown its intent to create a business friendly environment and boost the ’Make in India’ initiative. However, what is needed is investor friendly policies and initiatives to promote the manufacturing eco-system in India. Reduction in customs duty and subsidies on materials imported for assembling can improve affordability to consumers by manufacturing in India.
“We have the capabilities to scale up to that extent. In fact, the trend has already started setting. We are expecting our smartphone to feature phone ratio to be 60:40 this year” he added.
LENOVO: THE DARK HORSE PUSHING FOR
It was towards the moddle of 2013 that Lenovo got busy in the Indian smartphone marketplace; interestingly, the company started by implementing a strategy that involved avoiding the pitfalls other international players in the market had faced earlier.
The company, which initially introduced six of its phones to the Indian market, signed deals with three national distribution chains (including giants Ingram Micro and Redington) while forging a partnership with HCL Care for after-sales service. It also tied up with mobile retailer UniverCell— a move aimed at capturing a foothold in the Southern market.
In addition to this, Lenovo kicked off a multi-crore advertising and marketing campaign that was aimed to, in the words of Sudhin Mathur, Director Smartphones, Lenovo India “convince the Indian customer that Lenovo is more than just a PC company.” “Understanding the Indian market is important… to that extent we stated offering EMI and buyback schemes right from the beginning,” he added.
Two years down the line, the efforts seem to be bearing fruits for Lenovo. According to IDC, Lenovo today is the number four smartphone maker by volume at 9.5% in India, and number three by value at 11%. While there have been several factors, two reasons mainly accounted for this spectacular jump? One was the mobe to buy Motorola from Google, thus igniting its smartphone strategy in what is now the hottest market for these devices in the world. The Moto line, which includes first and second generations of the E, the G, and the X models, has sold
millions of its units to Indians, popular for their attractive specifications at modest prices, dependability, and ruggedness, making them the easy value-for-money pick in the country.
Another pivotal reason for continued momentum this year is its success with online sales of its entry level, affordable 4G smartphones. Sales of its A6000 ($116) and A7000 ($130) devices have been on fire, helping it grab a 30% share of the 4G smartphone market in the country, according to Counterpoint Research. Considering that almost 50% of all smartphones shipped in India were under $100 in the last quarter compared with only one-fifth of them in China in the same period, aggressively pushing these phones has been a very smart strategy. A point in support of this aggressive pricing is the recent launch of K4Note for ` 12,000 and with its VR device variant for about 1k more.
There are other plans on the anvil that should push up Lenovo’s marketshare. It has tied up with Flextronics to assemble its phones in the latter’s 40,000 square feet Chennai facility and is targeting a doubling of production to 10 million units annually in India from next year. It has also combined the sales teams for Motorola and Lenovo in the country and is planning on launching products here first before launching them globally
Lenovo also intends transplanting its popular phone customization programme Moto Maker after launching it in the US and Brazil. This ranges from allowing its fans to tinker with the back panels of their phones and even perhaps tweak things like RAM or screen size in the future.
Gearing up to tap the burgeoning mobile phone market in the country, Videocon Mobiles is in the process of setting up mobile handset manufacturing plants in Hyderabad, Kolkata and Madurai, each with an investment of between Rs 40 crore and Rs 60 crore.
According to Videocon Mobile Phones, the company’s future business strategies and manufacturing expansion plans are in line with the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.
Since its inception, Videocon has traditionally been a manufacturing-led group. The group has its local manufacturing units at Aurangabad and Kashipur. In addition to put in more assembly lines in these two plants, the group is aiming at increasing manufacturing capacity at its plants in Telangana and Tamil Nadu in the coming time, in line with the strategy to have much deeper distribution in the south.
Talking about their Go -To - Market strategy, Company’s focus is to reach out to the consumers who believe in quality and innovation and confide in domestic brands. With understanding of local needs and market response, their go-to-market strategy always follows the consumer-first approach. With manufacturing legacy and existing capabilities, as well as focused-market approach, Videocon is very sure that in the coming months, Videocon mobile phones will become a recognized and respected player in the mobile handset space.
As consumers prefer affordability and rich features, domestic players like Videocon are catering to every segment whether its budget category or the premium segment. The transition in consumer behaviour for domestic players can be seen in the market as consumers have already established a huge market of premium budget smart devices.
Jerold Pereira, CEO, Videocon Mobile shared, “In the last couple of years, Indian mobile market has witnessed a significant shift from brand consciousness to affordability yet quality. While budget devices have been the biggest pull factor, consumers have created opportunities for several players to do business in India”.
Talking about the Dogital India, he expressed, “With our consumer-first approach, we aim to reach out to mass consumers and connect them with mobile and internet technology to bring the digital revolution in their hands. Affordability and quality being the pull factors of ‘Digital India’ initiative, we will continue to introduce a mass portfolio of smartphones and bring top smartphone features at a highly affordable pricing, thus supporting ‘Digital India’ in a strategic manner”.
As competition in the Indian smartphone market heats up, home-grown mobile handset vendor Intex Technologies looks to focus on marketing. Domestic handset-maker company Intex Technologies has planning to invest Rs 1,500 crore in manufac- turing and R&D in the next twothree years in order to contribute to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Make-in-India initiave.
Last year, Intex Technology entered into an agreement with Rajasthan State Industrial Development and Investment Corporation (RIICO) to set up a 50 acre manufacturing facility in Karoli in Bhiwadi region to make mobile phones, LED TV and allied products. The company already has two manufacturing facilities in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
The company also targeting simultaneously it would also generate 3,000 jobs in the country. It plans to invest ` 1,000 crore in manufacturing and ` 500 crore in analysis and improvement
within the subsequent two to three years.
However, the success of two television commercials (TVCs), where it roped in actor-director Farhan Akhtar as the brand ambassador and the focus on premium offerings, is likely to bring about a change.
According to Intex Technologies, its TVCs and branding initiatives doubled mobile phone sales over the last 10 months from 4-5 lakh pieces a month to around 10 lakh pieces a month.
Nearly 15 per cent of the handsets sold are smartphones. In this category, sales trebled to 150,000 from 50,000 (a month).
Intex Technologies has roped in Tollywood star Mahesh Babu as its Brand Ambassador for Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, to reiterate its commitment to South India’s telecom market. Mahesh Babu’s association coincides with the launch of the Intex Aqua Trend, which was introduced at an event in Hyderabad. Intex has fixed an operating price of ` 9,444 for this latest addition to its range of products.
Panasonic’s go-to-market strategy revolves around reaching out to the right target group and positioning of products accordingly. As a price-sensitive and value-for-money market, their customers are mostly first-time users or upgraders, so each product is designed as per the requirements of differentiated consumer groups. For example, Eluga Mark model is engineered for professional-users with its fingerprint sensor for added privacy and security, and Android-for-Work BYOD (bring your own device to work) support. Panasonic’s budget smartphones are aligned to serve the mid- and low-end segment, where major growth opportunities lie in India.
All the products of Panasonic are positioned across various customer verticals, to service the budget, midrange, and premium segments. Company has a portfolio of almost 30 Android-based smartphones in India, across three ranges –flagship Eluga series, T-Series and P-Series. Panasonic smartphones range from 3.5 to 5.5 inches in terms of display and all product launches since August 2015 have been 4G/LTE enabled with the rollout of 4G bandwidth in India. Company also offer feature phones under the EZ and GD range.
Talking about their channel strategies, Panasonic cater to both offline and online channels, but primary focus has been on the brick-and-mortar ecosystem. Though India remains a retail-dominated market, Panasonic have adopted various e-tailing channels to open avenues for growth in the distribution network. With e-commerce gaining traction in the smartphone marketplace, company has planned to place emphasis on the online channel in the New Year to strike a balance between both.
Panasonic roadmap for the future is focused on conversion to 4G devices. Year-on-year innovation is raising the bar in the industry, encouraging a 100% conversion from 3G to 4G smartphones, as the rapid advances of 4G technology are lowering the costs of 4G adoption vis-à-vis 3G devices. In 2015, Pankaj Rana, Business Head, Mobility Division, Panasonic India says, “we enjoyed a first-mover advantage, having released 4G/LTE smartphones with the advent of 4G telecommunications in India. Moreover, we are developing software differentiators to create better user interfaces and camera resolutions and features at par with DSLRs. In 2016, curved and full HD displays biometric-based sensors, and higher RAM and memory storage and will be our key R&D focus areas. Our focus has always been on the utility and ease-of-use for the customer, as we believe in empowering the consumer with increased functionality and efficiency and allowing users to do more with their smartphone devices in a connected environment”.
Talking about their branding strategy, Varun Dhawan has been brand ambassador since May 2013 for the smartphones.
Panasonic support the ‘Make in India’ campaign and are looking forward to its actualization. Company has plan to assemble smartphones in India through contract manufacturing and are aiming towards fullfledged manufacturing.
Established in the year 2003 as Pacetel Communications and then in 2009, the company was renamed Lava International are operating in a very competitive category and their GTM strategy varies for different products. As a brand they ensure that the products are developed in line with consumer needs and insightful communication is created for those.
To take the message to the target audience, Lava deploys an integrated media mix for most of their campaigns with TV being the lead medium for flagship products. Outdoor and Cinema are used in selected geographies to reinforce the message.
Digital is a key part of Lava’s strategy as it plays an important role in the consumer’s purchase cycle, be it awareness, influence or pur-
chase itself. A lot of research happens online even if a consumer buys the product from offline retail. Depending upon the brand & communication objective, digital gives us the ability to customize approach in reaching out to the desired target audience with customized/ contextualized messages. While on one hand company use social channels to drive engagement & build affinity towards the brand, on the other hand Lava use search & display advertising to influence consumers who are in the active purchase cycle. In addition to this, Lava also plan activities across key touch points in retail to capture consumer’s and retailer’s share of mind.
Talking about on their product categories, Lava’s endeavor is to make valuable technology accessible through differentiated products that are great on experience and empower people to do more, and be more. Lava has a wide product portfolio encompassing tablets, feature phones and smart phones with various models in bar and touch form factors at multiple price points to suit all segments of consumers. The portfolio starts at INR 900 and goes up to INR 12000. All products are designed & developed basis consumer needs and these change as company move up the price ladder. Pricing ultimately balances the product benefit being offered to the consumers and that is done keeping the competition landscape in mind. Currently, Lava also working on offering a series of 4G smartphones across multiple price segments.
Navin Chawla, Sr. Vice Presi- dent and Head-Product, Lava International says. “Lava is the only company in India with 100% single layered distribution as against all our Indian competitors that have multiple lay- ers. It comprises of 1115+ distributors and 101441+ retailers. The company has made sig- nificant investments in its sales and service distribution network, which comprises 1060+ service centers throughout the country, and a unique & reliable sales and service distribution (SSD) network com- information to the customer” he added.
Talking about their branding for their products, as of now Lava do not have a brand ambassador. They are evaluating all options and shall comment on this at the appropriate time.
Asking on the Make in India’ campaign, Lava aim is to bring the entire component ecosystem here in India so the country is self-sufficient as a global manufacturing hub. Lava have set up two manufacturing units in the country. One in Noida and other one at Tirupati. Lava will invest ` 2,615 crore over the next seven years for its manufacturing functions. The units will have a combined capacity of 18 million handsets per month.
Mike Wang, CEO, OPPO Mobiles India
Peter Chang, Regional Head, South Asia & Country Manager, ASUS India
Vijender Singh, MD, Pantel Technology
Alex Feng CEO, Vivo India
Kevin Xu, CEO, Zopo
Cao Kai, CEO, ZTE Terminal India
Pradeep Jain, MD, Karbonn Mobiles
Prashant Bindal, CEO, Spice
Sudhin Mathur, Director Smartphones, Lenovo India
Murali Retineni, Executive Director, Celkon Mobiles
Keshav Bansal, Director, Marketing Intex Technologies (India) Ltd
Jerold Pereira, CEO, Videocon Mobile
Pankaj Rana, Business Head, Mobility Division, Panasonic India
prising 59+ CFAs. Recently, Lava was declared as the most trusted smart phone brand in product quality and after sales service amongst all Indian brands by Silicon India”.
“We believe that our singlelayer distribution model enable us to be very close to the customer and hence have full control on the product. We are better positioned to communicate product benefits to retailers who in turn pass on the right product
Navin Chawla, Sr. Vice President and Head-Product, Lava International