‘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.
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