“The Indian market is receptive to new technology”
What is your perspective on the Indian navigation market?
We have been in India for last 10 years making maps of places and geographies. It was only last year, we focused on the quality of our product in the Indian context as it is a market with huge untapped potential. With time, we have realized that first we need to create awareness and need for the services and then acquire clients.
We are extremely hopeful of the Indian market as people here have great ability to adopt new technology and market is very receptive and experimental, which is a perfect situation for us. We will promote safe driving and will limit erratic movement through our product range.
Therefore we launched 3 products customized for the Indian market in September 2011.
How do you plan to tap the Indian market?
We have chalked out 3 crucial things that we plan to do in India—estimate precisely the potential of the Indian market as navigation is in its nascent stages here, educate the masses about the importance and utility of navigation, and bring our expertise in designing and making high-quality software and hardware navigation products and services.
We are far ahead of our competitors as Tomtom is the only company in the world to have expertise in designing and making hardware as well as software navigation products and services.
What are the challenges you have faced in this market?
Indian geography is very different and difficult as 70% of its streets do not have names. In India, navigation is done through landmark identification. So we bought people to work on the Indian geography and built ‘Tomtom landmark navigation’—product customized only for the Indian market.
What is your marketing strategy in India?
We have devised a channel strategy to build up a strong distribution channel through tie-up with channel partners and dealers to push our products. We have also tied up with Reliance Digital, Reliance Autozone, and Carnation. We are also planning to collaborate with automobile companies to provide inbuilt navigation system and area maps for convenient and safe driving.
For example, we have tied up with Renault in Europe, where 1 mn cars are integrated with our navigation system and maps. With high quality and customized navigation products and services suiting the Indian geography, Tomtom is hopeful to create awareness and need for navigation in India.