“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
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