Affordable smartphone segment unavoidable for any brand to stay in game

0
47

With the massive influx of handsets into the country, India has become one of the fastest growing smartphone markets in the world. Presently, with more than 2000 new devices launched every year with more and more brands entering into the market, the market dynamics are changing drastically. And in the recent times, many established and new brands are looking into the sub Rs 5K and Rs 5-10K segments to gain market share and play in volumes. It is very much evident that the cost of making smartphones is going down year by year and at the same time the competition in the market is going up month by month. And thanks to budget smartphone manufacturers, who are creating a completely new market of 4G devices, this situation is destined to look up in the coming  year with many more innovations and services in the offing.

In their interactions with Mobility magazine, some prominent handset providers share their views.

Importance of the sub 5K and 5-10K segments

Now it has become essential for every handset provider to play their level best in the sub 5k and 5-10k segments to win a share and stay in the market.

Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies, asserts, “India is a geographically diverse country and the demand for smartphones coming from markets beyond the metros and Tier 2 & 3 cities. The Indian market is price-sensitive but consumers don’t mind paying a little more for better quality so our objective is to bring the best quality products at competitive prices. Keeping this in mind, it is important to have a product portfolio that caters to a wider range of requirements. Being an Indian brand, we have always brought innovative products at competitive prices for all. We believe in providing consumers with the best quality at competitive prices. Since inception, Intex has positioned itself as a brand that empowers masses with the latest technology at affordable price-points. We understand consumers and their requirements well and so, have been recognized for democratizing smartphones in India.”

 

Syed Tajuddin, CEO, Coolpad India Pvt Limited, states, “The below 10K segment is very important to vendors because most of the buyers in India are first time users; a good experience can make them loyal and a bad experience vice-versa. This segment is highly competitive also because users want more power packed at affordable price-points and this is where the largest proportion of buyers are present.”

 

Rajesh Dusarlapudi, Country Manager, STK Devices – India, opines, “This price segment has the max potential. In India with a huge middle class population, the mid-segment phones are the most sought after in the market. When we combine luxury to affordability, we get noticed.”

 

Vineet Mahajan, Product Head at Videocon Mobiles, says, In the Indian mobile handset market, the devices in the sub 5K and 5-10K price categories cover over 60% of the total smartphone sales. Currently this is the segment where the revolution is taking place. Today, the mobile phone industry is seriously looking forward for new trends and innovations in this affordable price range. While India is a price-sensitive market, the initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’ have further boosted the confidence of local players; consumers today are more inclined to buying locally manufactured smartphones in this price range. In general, it is very difficult for smartphones manufacturers to tap a particular smartphone market segment, as there is intense competition in each segment. However, the focus has always been on the affordable category, which is the main area of the smartphone adoption in markets like India. Videocon is a brand focused on this mass segment and we believe in coming up with the latest technology for the consumers at the right price-points. We have recently launched Krypton3 smartphone in this price segment and plan to come up with more devices in this price range.”

Deepak Kabu, CEO, Ziox Mobiles, states, “It will be safe to say that in general every provider is now approaching consumers who socially occupy the ‘value-for-money’ space and the mobile industry is no different from the FMCG category in following this trend. The sub 5K and 5-10K segments occupy prime position in the Indian mobile industry as this is where the volume & value proposition play out in their full potential. In an increasingly commoditized market, the devices planned across the industry have roughly the same features & specifications – the edge then lies with devices and brands, which offer the right mix of features, price and service that will attract & retain consumers for the long run.”

Sanjay Kalirona, CEO, Zen Mobile, elaborates, “The smartphone industry in India has undergone a dramatic change where affordability has been one of the prime drivers. Currently, 60% of the smartphone users prefer to buy smartphones under 8K and the smartphone players are constantly competing over specifications, features and pricing. With the rising number of the first time smartphone users, the lower segment and mid-segment will continue to see growth. In order to have a strong market presence and cut through the clutter in this segment, it is vital to have a robust distribution network. We at Zen, one of the oldest brands, are constantly working towards offering devices that are a perfect amalgamation of features and price which is lucrative to customer. We have been focusing on adding high quality display and working towards increasing battery optimization which continues to be a pain-point for the customers. Being an Indian brand, affordability is an imperative for us. We now have 6 devices in the range of Rs. 2000 to Rs. 6000 giving consumers more options to choose from, based on their preferences and purchasing power. Before Diwali, we plan to launch more than 5 smartphone models. We are also planning to strengthen our distribution network by appointing 400 more partners in the next 6-8 months along with 50,000 retail points. Additionally, we plan to directly reach out to 1000 towns across India where we have sales and service network.”

 

Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles, explains, “There is still a huge untapped growth potential for smart telephony in India to bring the next billion users under the smartphone-fold. Focus on consumer experience over hardware specs and building local language support are going to be the upcoming trends that will drive growth in diverse markets. All these packed at affordable prices will be a must for every smartphone vendor to target their desired markets.”

 

Shripal Gandhi, Founder & CEO- Swipe Technologies, reveals, “India is a developing country. Not every person can afford overpriced products like a premium smartphone. If we look into the Tier 3 or 4 markets, the price of a device does matter. Swipe being a technology-based brand, we mainly target the Tier 2 & 3 markets. The industry has a massive, fast-paced environment where products are constantly updating & changing. Some of the characteristics that consumers consider are aesthetics, features, price, hardware & software functionality but most important of them is the price. Looking at it from a business point of view, the most important aspect to build budget-friendly smartphones is to attract the users and expand our market share. Our faith is to create new technologies within an affordable price range. Hence, we build smartphones that are pocket-friendly and easily accessible.”

 

Best features and services the brands can offer in the affordable segment

India is a price-sensitive market and providers have to pack as many features as possible in their handsets and offer the best possible services to stay in the market.

Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies clarifies, “At Intex, our aim is to be present where the consumers are and we have successfully catered to the needs of consumers across price segments. We are giving the best in terms of dual-SIM, long-lasting battery, smartphones with big screens & high-end processors, Matrabhasha (mother tongue) phones that enable communication in 21 Indian regional languages, big data saver, women safety app, Sashakt, etc. Intex has always focused on consumers’ needs. We are one of the first players to enter 4G/LTE segment and have already launched our affordable 4G series. Ours is an innovation-based company offering competitive prices backed by strong offline and online distribution & robust after-sales service. Intex’s robust distribution network is up to Tehsil level. To further strengthen our network, in 2015, we had opened our exclusive branded stores – ‘Intex Smart World’ experience zones expanding our reach and consumer satisfaction. Currently, Intex has more than 75 Smart World stores covering 50+ cities across the country. The approach of Intex is to work towards improving the quality of life of consumers by providing superior quality products at unique price points.”

Syed Tajuddin of Coolpad adds, “Coolpad Note 3 and Note 3 Lite disrupted the market, being the perfect smartphones in the below 10K range, and also set the bench mark for other players. With the launch of Mega 2.5D, yet another benchmark is in the making, a 7K product with a 5.5 HD screen and a 3GB RAM. We don’t load our devices with whatever resources that are available at our disposal, instead we add features that are relevant to the segment we are targeting and try to satisfy them with our quality and commitment.”

According to Rajesh Dusarlapudi of STK, “Design of the right phone is our first differentiator. ‘STK Care’ and free insurance are among several services we provide to the consumer through our in-built app STK OFFERS.”

Vineet Mahajan of Videocon reveals,With world-class R&D and manufacturing capabilities, Videocon is coming up with smartphones which not only stand under the affordable price segment, but also offer the latest features and utility led specs for all. As new trends like 4G and VoLTE are making their way into the industry, Videocon is also coming up with smartphones that are in-line with these trends. Our recently launched Krypton3 is packed with 4G VoLTE network support, 2GB RAM, Android 6.0 Marshmallow and 3000 mAh battery with 20% faster charging. Going forward, Videocon will be coming up with more such feature-packed smartphones in the coming months. To achieve this, we will keep investing in our mobile devices business and building up the brand in the market. We are committed to become one of the most technologically respected mobile players in the Indian handset industry.”

 

Deepak Kabu from Ziox states, “At Ziox, it is our principle to innovate as a matter of routine and not as a sudden urge. Having introduced devices across screen sizes with a myriad of features, we are constantly challenging the industry in making luxury features as hygiene in Ziox devices. Having made the LED torch and memory card slots standardized across all our devices, we are in the process of implementing SOS functions (panic button), 8 GB in-built internal memory and other such features as standardized. We are in the process of rolling out some devices in the market which will have these features.”

Shashin Devsare of Karbonn explains,Karbonn Mobiles has been working towards offering affordable smartphone devices and will continue to do so in the near future. We have successfully launched smartphones integrated with highly intuitive features and pre-embedded apps which makes the usage easy irrespective of users’ digital proficiency. With the recent launch of our new products (Karbonn Quattro L52 and Karbonn Titanium Mach 6), we have made foray into virtual reality segment because this is the next big growth area in consumer segment. We have also recently announced our foray into Artificial Intelligence with the visual e-commerce search app – Fashion Eye and are extremely excited to venture into this exciting space. Soon, we shall be coming up with our range of Smart TVs, specifically designed for the Indian consumer. At Karbonn, our endeavor is to continuously work on innovating technologies for the masses at affordable price-points. Packed with technology, all our devices will surely be the best budget gift for your loved ones.”

Shirpal Gandhi from Swipe asserts, “At Swipe, what keeps us going is a sense of creating something new every day and to make things happen. Our strategy is to differentiate ourselves and create a strong brand loyalty. We focus on innovation, R&D and we have become so attuned to consumer characteristics and value that we can predict their wants & needs ahead of the curve. The principle of offering the right price, quality & performance of the products is at the core of Swipe’s marketing strategy to retain the brand loyal customers and win new customers. Technology is something that should be available in every nook and corner of the world. Today, the latest technologies are easily available in the market round the globe. However, the fact that there is no convenient reach implies that each and every person cannot afford to own these products. We work on an easy mantra, i.e. build ideas that are at a pocket-friendly range. A fusion of latest design and topnotch service at affordable prices is something where we can differentiate ourselves from the rest of the competitors hence making an impact.”

 

Challenges and opportunities in the sub 5K and 5-10K segments

 

According to Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies, “The industry is going through a lot of changes in terms of acceptability; marketing spends and demands of the customers. The main challenge today is the rapidly changing needs of mobile users across the country. The way Chinese factories are entering the Indian market with their own brands; depressing prices are forcing the Indian mobile makers to rethink their strategies. Another key challenge is to garner space in the consumer minds and to maintain consistency in the quality and pricing of the product. Needless to say, the Indian market is very competitive in nature. Having said that, I am happy to share that we are seeing a great traction for our devices and we are overwhelmed by the response to our innovations. The biggest advantage with Intex is that we have a legacy of a 20-year-old brand. We have been in the industry for a longer time than most of the brands and thus we have a better understanding of the customers and their needs. We understand the pulse of the consumer better and we have a strong distribution network. Online continues to grow, but still in India the mobiles are sold more through the traditional trade model. As well known, currently we are the largest speaker brand in India.”

Syed Tajuddin of Coolpad believes, “There were many challenges when we decided to build note 3 and note 3 lite but we managed to overcome the difficulties and build products that made smartphone companies think differently. Innovations on their own are not the only resolve, but the company has to think like the customer; thinking from the customers’ perspective is the biggest challenge I believe. The best way to build trust in the customer is to handhold them till the end. Right from the time a customer makes a purchase, it is the company’s prerogative to help them at each step namely with sales, after sales and even after the end of the product cycle, and continue to engage with them through innovative communication channels.”

 

Rajesh Dusarlapudi of STK thinks, “The biggest challenge will be to keep pace with the latest innovations and try to give them to the consumer at affordable prices. ‘BIG FEATURES at BUDGET PRICES’ will be a great challenge and also a great opportunity.”

Vineet Mahajan of Videocon elaborates, “Indian market is flooded with the foreign players in the affordable smartphone segment. There is a lot of action going on in sub 10K category. While the visibility and action of the foreign brands is noticeable, Indian manufacturers are giving a tough competition in 5K and 10K price bracket. For high-end technology, many companies in India are not equipped with the engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Videocon stands tall when it comes to offering power-packed devices at affordable prices. After a huge success of feature phones in semi urban and rural India, now, there is a huge scope for the smartphone acceptance. However, these areas are price-sensitive where only affordable range can create a huge market for mobile players. The challenge for all the players is to reach out to mass consumers in a strategic manner and keep pushing the limits of innovations with limited margins. Affordability and quality being the pull factors here, the need of the hour is to introduce a mass portfolio of smartphones and bring top features at highly affordable prices, thus acquire a large market share.”

Deepak Kabu from Ziox elaborates, “The biggest challenge is meeting the demand in this segment. No matter what numbers are manufactured or rolled out, it will always be found short of the requirement in the market. As responsible manufacturers, we want to make sure that each and every individual device that goes out from the Ziox factory is as per our rigorous quality checks, meeting all compliances. And so, while we take some time in rolling out devices in the segment, we make sure that it will be a device completely satisfactory to our consumers. The biggest opportunity in this segment is the constant need for innovation and demand for better products which drive us to design efficient & effective products. While sheer numbers of this segment allow for almost any brand to sell, it is an entirely different ballgame when one needs to be a true partner to consumers and not just a seller. For being a true partner, the right products with the right values and the right brand connect for consumers are of paramount importance.”

Shirpal Gandhi from Swipe comments, “The segment of the Smartphone market that caters to high end smartphone users is reaching a saturation point. In the years to come, the growth of this industry is expected to be based on significantly decreased prices. As smartphone penetration moves from the early adopters to mass market & laggard consumer segment, the smartphone as a product will be less dependent on technical superiority & more dependent on reliability & value. Products can become redundant or they can lower the demand for existing products by almost cannibalizing another product. The industry can regulate this challenge by influencing the introduction of new technologies and the consumers’ ability or willingness to conform to the new technologies.”

 

Winning the customer confidence in T3, T4 cities is a challenge for smartphone providers

As Tier 1 and 2 cities getting saturated, the Tier 3-4 cities are emerging as main attractions for mobile providers. The Tier 3 and 4 cities being high in number and most consumers are in the process of switching from feature phones to smart phones, these cities offer enormous opportunities.

 

Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies feels,Intex Technologies has witnessed accelerated growth in the last few years with a CAGR of 82% over the past 3 financial years. Today, Intex is one of the leading mobile handset companies in India as per the industry analysts. In last 15 years, Intex Technologies’ revenue has grown manifold from INR 32 crore in 2001 to INR 6231 crore in FY2015-16. This phenomenal growth has come on the back of innovative products, strong service & distribution strategy and aggressive marketing to connect with the target audience. As a consumer-oriented company, Intex has always focused on consumer satisfaction and on maintaining a robust distribution and retail presence through ‘Intex Smart World’ stores across the country. Our aggressive and customer-friendly approach has enabled us to grow consistently and we are confident of continuing the trend. Being a domestic handset player, Intex has always kept pace with technological developments and market demands. The industry today is transitioning to 4G-LTE and Intex was among the first to foray into 4G segment in 2015.”

In the words of Syed Tajuddin of Coolpad, “The more a brand engages with customer, the more loyalty the brand gains. These customers will eventually become that brand’s advocates. So it is essential for a brand to build these brand advocates, trust is just the first step.”

Rajesh Dusarlapudi of STK briefs, “The trust comes from the quality of our phones at affordable prices and from the services we render to the consumers, for example, FREE Insurance.”

 

In the words of Vineet Mahajan of Videocon, “Videocon is a trusted brand in the country and consumers understand our product value. We are a market leader in major consumer categories and this success is the result of our constant effort to offer quality products at affordable prices. Videocon products are widely appreciated for groundbreaking innovations and value for money positions in the market. As we cover almost all the major markets whether it is Tier 3, Tier 4 cities or metros and with our aggressive marketing, promotion and retail presence, we have been able to attain a strong reach in these regions.  I would also like to add that we have a wide service network, retail presence and vast consumer base in the Tier 3, Tier 4 and small cities.”

 

Deepak Kabu from Ziox states, “As I mentioned before, the target for Ziox isn’t to have more buyers, it is to have and to be true partners. Tier 3 & 4 cities are not to be treated as cash-cows but as fields where Ziox can truly harvest the seeds of sound productivity, efficient manufacturing practices and thorough product development. The brand Ziox has to be a partner to consumers. Ziox is progressing well on this front.”

 

Shashin Devsare of Karbonn reveals,As India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, the smartphone industry in India is growing very fast. Today, the smartphone has become an essential part of personal and business life. There has been a continuous increase in disposable income in the country and the attitudes and aspirations of the consumers are changing rapidly. Today consumers are very price-sensitive and aspire for products which bring them the best in quality at the most affordable price point. It is here that we come into the picture and offer them the best quality mobile technology at a price which is well within their reach. We believe in pricing our products as per our consumers buying capability and thus bring to them the best value-for-money offering. Our high-end smartphones have top specs and they come at half the price of similar products offered by our competitors. Our principle is to bring world-class technology at local pricings and to take innovative technology to the masses. With products that are more tuned to the emerging needs of consumers, we have been able to tap our target audience significantly in the fast-growing Indian mobility market. Today’s smart consumers aspire to own a budget device with maximum features and we have continued to meet the rising expectations of the consumers.”

Shirpal Gandhi from Swipe feels, “It’s normal human belief that lower priced products cannot be used for a longer time period. Swipe as a brand focuses more on the Tier 3-4 cities because that is the market where people want the latest technology at affordable prices. We offer products designed with comprehensive expertise at budget-friendly rates and that gives us an edge thus making the consumers to build trust in our brand. Tier 3 and 4 segment is characterized by quickly evolving technology & designs, short product life cycles, aggressive pricing, technology advancements and highly price-sensitive consumers between the age-group of 18-35 years. Since the youth is one of key drivers of smartphone adoption in the country, we continue to innovate and introduce products and services that keep them engaged.”

 

To expand their reach & scope

Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies clarifies, “Our channel strategy has always been a vital part of our growth plans. With a strong network of partners and our focus is towards reaching the consumers across the country. We have 80,000 retail partners and have a running program of distributor meets & training that perfect them in learning our technology and strategy. Providing experience with the expertise thru in-shop demonstrators and product specifications detailing are part of reinforcing the sales efforts. At Intex, we make sure that we give them special schemes to motivate and sustain their performance.”

Syed Tajuddin Coolpad says, “We are an online brand and have only recently started an offline retail pilot program. We are expecting good results.”

Rajesh Dusarlapudi from STK confides, “We very closely coordinate and work in tandem with retail chains. We understand their cost of doing business and ensure the right margins on our brand keep them happy. We intend to invest our bit in setting up SIS units for their stores; we invest on co branded boards for these chains.”

Deepak Kabu of Ziox shares, “The physical brick-and-mortar format will be our focus channel for the near future. The need to be connected and to know our consumers personally is very strong for us. Investments towards this channel in maintaining the confidence that the channel has placed in us will be important to ensure that our last mile visibility, read visibility as our need for consumer-connect, is top notch. It is the personal connect with our last mile team and through them our consumers that we will know what they want, straight from them and will be able to make better products & services.”

Shashin Devsare of Karbonn explains, “Karbonn is one brand which takes consumer satisfaction very seriously and aspires to offer the best pre-sales and post-sales services to the consumer. Karbonn today services the consumers via a well-spread out network of over 85,000 retail partners and 900+ service centers across the country, which is amongst the highest for any mobile brand of the country. As part of our strategy to simplify technology, we have established a strong presence through retailers of various sizes to reach out to the deepest pockets of the country. The belief is that without this reach and presence, marketing money spent is ineffective. Apart from inventory management in this channel, Karbonn also focuses on various programs and promotional offers to energize the channel, including the use of new media like LED screens for branding. Finally, retailer training is an important part of ensuring completeness in the consumer purchase experience. Karbonn understands that customer satisfaction is the most important factor for retaining customers, and when brands fail to satisfy customers, they lose them and lose sales. Thus Karbonn aspires to provide the best services to its customers to ensure their satisfaction and retain them in the family.”

Smartphone brands actively take part in govt projects and schemes

 

Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies clarifies, “Since the new government has assumed power, PM has focused on India Development agenda through Make in India, Digital India and Skill India. I believe all these policies will have to work simultaneously as they are interconnected and together if executed properly will surely give impetus to not only manufacturing but also to the overall economic development of the country and thereby create millions of jobs across sectors. We welcome PM’s ‘Make in India initiative’ and consider it as a watershed step towards unveiling the real potential of over 1.2 billion people and unleashing the manufacturing process of India. In line with the PM’s Make in India policy, Intex Technologies has been continuously increasing domestic manufacturing. Intex has been manufacturing in India since 2004. The company is manufacturing about 2 million phones per month in India presently. Currently, we have 5 manufacturing facilities: in Jammu (1), Baddi in HP (1) and Noida (3). As an industry player, we feel the government should create, encourage and facilitate an environment that incubates a complete mobile ecosystem that includes building a domestic component manufacturing and designing platform. The objective is to revive manufacturing capabilities and become a global manufacturing hub like we have for service industry.”

In terms of Rajesh Dusarlapudi of STK, “Certainly, we want to play an active role in the ‘Make in India’ project of Indian Govt. We are planning to set up manufacturing units in India.”

“Being a truly Indian brand, our devices are manufactured in India itself. We are the only brand, which has its own better engineering capabilities, as compared to the several other domestic brands in the country. Our future business strategies, market expansion plans, and manufacturing capacities, all are in line with the initiatives like ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’. We are designing market specific products to reach out to mass consumers, thus creating a new wave of digital revolution in the country. With our state-of-the-art production facilities and locally assembled devices, we have been able to provide mobile technology to the masses and are supporting the government to successfully implement the idea of digitally empowered India,” claims Vineet Mahajan of Videocon.

 

Deepak Kabu of Ziox says, “Though we have not yet taken initiatives, we are actively considering taking part in future in the govt. projects and initiatives.”

Shirpal Gandhi from Swipe feels, “In India, there are regions where large segments of population are still deprived of education and basic literacy. Swipe Technologies have thoroughly looked for such areas in order to fulfill their social responsibilities as a technology brand. Swipe Technologies is very keen towards its social commitment. We have associated with UNICEF in Rajasthan. The main objective behind it is to educate the rural women of Rajasthan on how to reduce the infant mortality. Therefore, Swipe has provided customized Swipe tablets to its customers. Such an approach will bring a little impact to the society.”

 

Major future Outlooks of different brands

From the consumers’ perspective, Tier 2 & 3 markets play a vital role for us. It’s very important for us to reach out to the audience in these markets. Our marketing strategies of hiring regional brand ambassadors have worked really well in these markets and we have received tremendous response from the consumers. In the face of increasing consumer demand in India and the company’s strong emphasis on innovation, the company has a suite of novel marketing plans in its roster and we aim to focus more actively on after-sales service for customers,” feels, Keshav Bansal of Intex Technologies.

Syed Tajuddin from of Coolpad, states, “We have already started a pilot project with Amazon to retail products offline, by year end you will see many Coolpad products in the offline space as well.”

Rajesh Dusarlapudi of STK maintains, “Though we are a UK brand with Indian Heritage, we will be giving a very local experience for the Tier 3-4 cities. Our software will be talking in the regional local languages and, we want the smaller towns to feel at home with our user-friendly menu.”

According to Deepak Kabu of Ziox, “Our plan of action for the near future is to increase our visibility. Visibility is not just about setting up signages & placing advertisements, it will be about being present wherever our consumers are present.”

 

In the words of Shashin Devsare of Kabonn, “Karbonn’s main target audience is in the Tier 2 & 3 cities, where there is a great demand for world-class budget devices. Our recent launches are focused towards developing a language ecosystem and we are also targeting the ambitious millennial generation from the Tier 3 and 4 cities who might not be proficient in English language but are as talented and aspirational as their metro counterparts.”

Shirpal Gandhi from Swipe feels, said, “In semi-urban and rural areas, there is a huge potential user base that needs relevant and affordable content, connectivity and 4G devices. Today, there is a growing requirement for devices that can meet the burgeoning demand for data, so we have entered into a strategic partnership with Indus OS to meet the varied data needs of the regional language speaking citizens through innovation, simplification and localization. This year, we have an exciting line-up of 4G-enabled devices. The market is expected to grow rapidly and we believe that consumers will value our differentiated offerings.”

 

At last

Now it is imperative that if a smartphone brand wants stay in the market for long time and cut a share, they have to play in the below 10K segment and to be specific in the sub 10K segment. Over 80% handsets are sold in this segment. In this segment, price is just one thing where competition is intense and brands are going out of the way to woo the customers with top features and great schemes. For smart phones, T1 and T2 city segments have reached saturation levels and T3 and T4 are getting ripe for exploitation as people have just started to switch from feature phones to smart phones. Now these are areas where the game is played. Then everything being more or less the same, a brand that offers the top class service will be the winner. With festive season round the corner, we are going to see many attractive launches in the sub 10K segment.

 

BOX WITH PHOTO COMMENTS

 

Mr. Keshav Bansal, Director, Intex Technologies

 

Intex’s strategy of hiring regional brand ambassadors gave us tremendous response from the consumers. Our brand’s strong emphasis on innovation, vibrant distribution network, novel marketing plans and active after-sales service helped us to penetrate even into difficult markets.”

Mr. Syed Tajuddin, CEO, Coolpad India Pvt Limited

“The more a brand engages with the customers, the more loyalty the brand gains. These customers will eventually become the brand’s advocates. Coolpad’s market strategy is founded on this principle.”

 

 

Mr. Rajesh Dusarlapudi, Country Manager, STK Devices – India

“The trust comes from the quality of our phones at affordable prices. Trust comes from the services we render to the consumers, for example FREE Insurance.”

Mr. Vineet Mahajan, Product Head at Videocon Mobiles

Videocon is a trusted brand in the country and consumers understand our product value. Videocon products are widely appreciated for groundbreaking innovations and value for money positions in the market. Videocon has a wide service network, retail presence and vast consumer base in the tier 3, tier 4 and small cities.”

 

Mr. Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles

 

“There is still a huge untapped potential for smart telephony in India. Segment-specific hardware features, local language support, affordability etc are going to be the upcoming trends that will drive the Indian smart phone markets in the near future.”

 

Mr. Sanjay Kalirona, CEO, Zen Mobile

“We at Zen are constantly working towards offering devices that are a perfect amalgamation of features and price lucrative to customer. To strengthen our distribution network we are going to appoint 400 more partners in the current financial year and want to directly reach out to 1000 towns across India through over 50,000 retail points.”

Mr. Deepak Kabu, CEO, Ziox Mobiles

“The sub-5K and 5K-10K segments are the volume & the value play out in full potential. In the today’s increasingly commoditized smartphone market where most brands present roughly the same features, the brands that offer the right mix of features, price and services will have the edge.”

Mr. Shirpal Gandhi from Swipe

“To meet the burgeoning demand for data, we have entered into a strategic partnership with Indus OS to fulfill the varied data needs of the regional language speaking citizens through innovation, simplification and localization. This year, we have an exciting line-up of 4G-enabled devices.”