“Chai­walas, Pan­wadis, Dood­hwalas, Subzi­walas and dab­bawalas are sell­ing De­tel”

Yo­gesh Bha­tia, MD, De­tel, speaks about the busi­ness phi­los­o­phy be­hind launch­ing eco­nom­i­cal phones and TVs for the com­mon peo­ple

PCQuest - - CONTENTS - Jy­oti Bha­gat jy­otib@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

Can you tell about the ori­gin of Dig­i­tal In­dia and your track record prior to the launch of De­tel fea­ture phones?

As the Founder of Dig­i­tal In­dia, I have been con­nected with mo­bil­ity from the very be­gin­ning. When the first mo­bile SIM card was sold in my area, we sold the Scrut­tle Vital SIM card. The price was Rs 5500. Af­ter that we sold the first Nokia, first Re­liance and first Tata in our area. Look­ing at our tele­com busi­ness strength, it came out to our mind to launch a prod­uct that is suit­able for un­con­nected pop­u­la­tion of 40 mil­lion peo­ple in our coun­try. This is in sync with the Govern­ment of In­dia’s con­nect­ing In­dia cam­paign.

So De­tel was the end re­sult of this dream. Can you elab­o­rate on the phones that have been launched?

We have given a gift to the un­con­nected pop­u­la­tion of In­dia on Au­gust 15 with DE­TEL D1, the cheap­est fea­ture phone. If you search on Google for the world’s most eco­nomic fea­ture phone, DE­TEL D1

comes as the re­sult. We have sold 100,000 units of that prod­uct from dif­fer­ent sources to un­con­nected peo­ple with the aim to bring com­mon con­sumers to use mo­bile phones and stay in con­tact.

Con­sid­er­ing our own re­tail busi­ness phi­los­o­phy, now we have launch DE­TEL D1 Plus at the price of Rs 399 on the 26 Jan­uary as the Repub­lic Day of­fer. This has fea­tures like Dual SIM, Blue Screen, 3d Speaker Sound, TubeLight, Mul­ti­me­dia Mem­ory Card, a browser, long press 0, bat­tery saver mode turned on amongst oth­ers. We are sell­ing fea­ture phones there­fore in a smart way. Th­ese prod­ucts are avail­able in seven col­ors.

What is the dis­tri­bu­tion strat­egy you are fol­low­ing for DE­TEL D1 and D1 Plus?

We have tied up with BSNL to reach more and more peo­ple un­der the Govern­ment of In­dia’s Con­nect­ing In­dia cam­paign. On De­cem­ber 29 last year in Chen­nai, we launched a mo­bile on a tea stall and a mes­sage was given that the tea-seller can also sell the mo­bile.

On Jan­uary 5th in Hyderabad, we launched this ina 5-star ho­tel and con­cep­tu­al­ized pan­vadi’s shop and tell that a pan-seller can sell mo­bile too.

In Lucknow we made a con­cept of veg­etable mar­ket and told that the veg­etable seller can also sell the mo­bile.

In Haryana, we launched mo­bile with a con­cept of milk drum. When a milk­man goes to give milk to peo­ple’s homes then he can also sell the mo­bile.

In Bom­bay we told the dabba-wala com­mu­nity that they can also sell mo­bile.

We have also signed the agree­ment with Barista In­dia whereby you will find our prod­ucts at ev­ery cof­fee shop of Barista, from which en­try level cus­tomers, mid­dle level cus­tomers, high level cus­tomers will be able to see and pur­chase all our prod­ucts.

In ad­di­tion, when we launched this prod­uct, we had cre­ated Dig­i­tal Au­tho­rized Agents; now we have launched a Dig­i­tal Dis­tri­bu­tion Pol­icy since Fe­bru­ary 1. All those part­ners who want to come and work with us are warmly wel­comed. Come on our dig­i­tal board. We will give them a dis­trib­u­tor­ship of an ex­clu­sive area and we will work with them en­sur­ing a good mar­gin.

As on­line shop­ping is the trend nowa­days, have you thought of bring­ing your prod­uct on­line too?

We are de­liv­er­ing th­ese prod­ucts to Deep Pock­ets through B2BADDA. If you talk about B2C, be­cause our prod­uct are worth Rs 400-500, it does not make eco­nom­i­cal sense and we will not be able to ful­fil our ex­pec­ta­tions. That’s why we are tak­ing full help of a B2B com­pany and they will fully sup­port us in de­liv­ery.

Which prod­ucts are you go­ing to launch this year? And any plans for smart­phones?

In Fe­bru­ary, we launched 7 su­per­star mod­els. Th­ese will be very eco­nom­i­cal priced with unique fea­tures. Our work on smart­phones is go­ing on, but by the end of 2018 no prod­ucts will be launched. As per our eco­nom­i­cal busi­ness phi­los­o­phy, we have to make an eco­nom­i­cal prod­uct.

What are your plans on the TV front?

We have launched three mod­els in TVs. Firstly we launched the 24-inch FHD with global Panda panel and non-Panda panel. The tag line for our TV is “In­dia ka TV, har ghar TV” and for smart TV is “Banega In­dia Smart”. Those peo­ple who have not yet pur­chased smart T’s be­cause they are ex­pen­sive, they can now buy DE­TEL TV. The dif­fer­ence be­tween our TV and the rest of the brands is that they come with 200 LED Lights, tand hat’s why their pic­ture is not clear- cut. We also have a plan for 65-inch TV, be­fore the end of this month we will give a TV of up to 65 inch.

What are your man­u­fac­tur­ing and ser­vice net­work plans?

Now we are man­u­fac­tur­ing with 3-4 dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies; we have a tie up to them. Mem­bers of our R & D team are go­ing there and keep­ing an eye on the com­plete man­u­fac­tur­ing of our prod­ucts. In the com­ing year, we are go­ing to in­tro­duce our own man­u­fac­tur­ing plant, ei­ther in Andhra Pradesh or in UP.

Now we are run­ning 300+ ser­vice cen­ters in In­dia and we can in­crease th­ese in-fu­ture if needed.

YO­GESH BHA­TIA, MD, De­tel

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