‘Don't lis­ten Kar dal’

In a con­ver­sa­tion with DQ Chan­nels, Sanjay Kalirona, CEO & Di­rec­tor, COMIO Smart­phones, tells about the jour­ney of Comio mo­bile and the fo­cus ar­eas for 2k18.

DQ Channels - - Channel pulse - SANJAY KALIRONA CEO & Di­rec­tor, Comio Smart­phones

WHAT ARE THE FO­CUS POINTS AND JOUR­NEY SO FAR IN THE LAST FEW MONTHS?

In the last six months, we have done our brand­ing in close to 6000 re­tail stores, cus­tomers will see COMIO’s re­tail sig­nage, in­side brand­ing in the stores. Talk­ing about the brand am­bas­sadors, we have taken a dif­fer­ent yet cre­ative route by hav­ing YouTube stars on board. We are work­ing with strat­egy and fo­cus; For Ex: Talk­ing about the prod­uct, we are not cater­ing to all the in­dus­try, we are fo­cus­ing on the mid-seg­ment cat­e­gory Smart­phones start­ing from 5,000-10,000. We had a clear vi­sion since the very be­gin­ning that we have strength in man­u­fac­tur­ing, fo­cus on off­line mar­ket. We are pri­mar­ily fo­cus­ing on Tier II and Tier III mar­kets.

IS THERE ANY PLAN TO OPEN LFR IN THE CITIES YOU ARE PRESENT?

There’s noth­ing to do with LFR in th­ese cities, it is just for gen­eral off­line trade. COMIO has their ma­jor fo­cus on off­line trad­ing and it’s one of the USP’s of the brand. Go­ing for­ward, in the month of April, we are launch­ing PAN In­dia, launch­ing our de­vices in South & East mar­kets. We are cur­rently avail­able at multi-brand re­tail stores, but start­ing Feb we will be cov­er­ing all LFR chains.

We are in­vest­ing 500 Cr. in three years. Al­ready started con­tract man­u­fac­tur­ing in Bawal where as­sem­bling of our prod­ucts is done. By the end of next year, we will have our own man­u­fac­tur­ing unit, some­where in North In­dia, still plan­ning on lo­ca­tion, plan­ning to open R&D cen­tre in the next quar­ter in In­dia for de­sign, lo­cal cus­tomi­sa­tion, test­ing wherein we will have close to 25 Chi­nese en­gi­neers and 15-20 In­dian en­gi­neers. We are in­vest­ing close to 150 Cr on Man­u­fac­tur­ing and 250 Cr on mar­ket­ing in the com­ing 3 years. Op­er­a­tional cost in­vest­ment is 52 Cr. In­vest­ing to­tal 500 Cr in 3 years in In­dia.

FROM WHICH RE­GIONS YOU ARE GET­TING MA­JOR SALES AND TRACTIONS?

We have ma­jor sales from Gu­jarat (15,000 monthly ac­ti­va­tion of phones), then MP, Ra­jasthan, East UP, Pun­jab, Ma­ha­rash­tra, Raipur, Nag­pur, etc. Since our dis­tri­bu­tion is very strong, we are get­ting good re­sponse for our prod­ucts over­all. We cur­rently have 4 mod­els- COMIO S1, P1, C1 & C2 and we are launch­ing two new mod­els in Fe­bru­ary. All the smart­phones are de­signed keep­ing in mind the price seg­ment, fea­tures, spec­i­fi­ca­tions, and our tar­get au­di­ence (Shar­ing the key specs and de­tails of all the smart­phones on email). Ba­sis the price seg­ment, high­est sell­ing is C1, then C2, then S1 and P1.

AL­MOST ALL BRANDS SPE­CIALLY CHI­NESE BRANDS ARE PRES ENT IN THIS RANGE? WHAT ARE YOU DO­ING DIF­FER­ENTLY?

1. Reach and dis­tri­bu­tion net­work 2. We are a new brand, our dif­fer­en­tia­tor lies in our unique of­fer­ings. We are very user friendly smart­phone that does not come with pre-loaded apps that bloat the phone. Se­cu­rity of our con­sumers is crit­i­cal to us hence all COMIO smart­phones are equipped with se­cu­rity fea­tures such as anti-theft and anti-virus. Ev­ery smart­phone user keeps their im­por­tant data, such as fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tions, fam­ily pho­to­graphs etc., the se­cu­rity fea­tures help to lock the de­vices, wipe the date re­motely in­case of theft.

3. Comio sup­port: · COMIO will be of­fer­ing 30-day re­place­ment, a spe­cial buy back and up­grade of­fer al­low­ing you to up­grade your old smart­phone.

· As a part of sup­port, be­sides the ear­phones and pro­tec­tion case, we are also of­fer­ing a tem­pered glass which is de­signed to con­tour el­e­gantly with all the mod­els.

· Warranty sup­port for 12 months + 100 Days, DOA -30 days, Up­grade as­sur­ance for all cus­tomers within 12 months of this pur­chase

· The COMIO up­grade of­fer al­lows you an as­sured 40% re­turn on your old COMIO phone (not more than 12 months old)

· Plat­forms for COMIO Af­ter-Sales sup­por­t­on­line and off­line

· On­line chan­nels- First re­sponse for all calls is within 24 hrs, Re­sponse medium is voice call & mail to end user.

· Off­line chan­nels-We are pro­vid­ing ser­vice through GSP( Global Ser­vice Provider), Aprox 500 ac­tive SVC’s , All are multi brand. Ex­clu­sive are in plan­ning mode & roll out is ex­pected by end of 1st Qtr 2018.

· Time­line of re­pair op­er­a­tion at the ser­vice cen­tres.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR MAR­KET­ING INI­TIA­TIVES?

Our first and very suc­cess­ful cam­paign- ‘Don’t Lis­ten Kar Daal’ was in­spired by the con­fi­dence and at­ti­tude of to­day’s youth. Over­all the cam­paign has done ex­tremely well in cross­ing all in­dus­try bench­marks in terms of so­cial en­gage­ment and CTR.

COMIO en­gaged with next gen­er­a­tion of en­ter­tain­ers to pop­u­larise the cam­paign, in­clud­ing in­ter­net singing sen­sa­tion- Shrad­dha Sharma, multi-tal­ented ac­tor and singer- Dar­shan Rawal, In­dia’s no. 1 prankster group – Funk You, and YouTube star - Anisha Dixit aka Rick­shawali. Com­ple­ment­ing the core of the cam­paign, the brand am­bas­sadors brought on board are the em­bod­i­ment of this youth­ful ‘Kar Daal’ spirit. The cam­paign mix was fo­cussed on youth me­dia con­sump­tion habits with a ju­di­cious use of dig­i­tal, out­door, ra­dio and a high fo­cus on on-ground youth con­gre­ga­tion ar­eas as well as us­ing blog­gers and in­flu­encers who had a span reach­ing out to youth in our se­lected ge­ogra­phies.

As the cam­paign pro­gressed, new and dif­fer­ent ques­tions were raised to en­gage with the youth like “Kya girls ko late night ba­har nahi nikalna chahiye? Kya phone pe

chipke rehna time waste karna hai? Pad­haayi ke bina kuch nahi ban paaoge? The cam­paign mo­ti­vated peo­ple not to hes­i­tate and voice out their opin­ion no mat­ter how dif­fer­ent it is. Over the course of the cam­paign, COMIO In­dia had ex­e­cuted high­en­gage­ment ac­ti­va­tions with its tar­geted au­di­ence by shar­ing in­spir­ing tales of the four-young dig­i­tal sen­sa­tions. The brand has been do­ing ex­cit­ing on­line and off­line. Through this cam­paign, we have re­ceived over36000 story sub­mis­sions from In­dia’s youth.

Fo­cus­ing on the non-metro youth, we are talk­ing about the ex­pe­ri­ence rather than prod­uct specs. We have 7 lakh views on the web­site per month. We have also fo­cused on mark­ing our pres­ence through hoard­ings, brand­ing on tele­vi­sion shows, re­tail ac­tiv­i­ties, In­shop demon­stra­tors etc. We have cre­ated a large in­fra­struc­ture and will ex­pand it go­ing for­ward.

Cur­rently our monthly sales is 1 lakh pieces from North and West. In March and April we will launch in south and east.

WHAT IS YOUR FO­CUS FOR 2018?

This year, we will be launch­ing our smart­phones in South and East mar­kets. Our aim is to po­si­tion COMIO as a strong emerg­ing brand in the smart­phone seg­ment. We are pri­mar­ily go­ing to fo­cus in gen­eral trade/off­line mar­ket and aim to gain con­sumers’ trust and be­lief. COMIO will be highly fo­cused at en­sur­ing that its con­sumers get the best prod­ucts and are sup­ported by its elab­o­rate, well equipped and ef­fi­cient team of ser­vice per­son­nel. We plan to have 30,000 re­tail­ers and 800 dis­trib­u­tors to strengthen brand pres­ence in the mar­ket. We will also in­crease our af­ter-sales touch points to 800+ cater­ing to 500-550 towns.

SANJAY KALIRONA, CEO & Di­rec­tor, COMIO Smart­phones

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