Micromax breaks into local market
|Date Added: January 03, 2011 08:53:10 PM|
|Category: Business Services|
Just over two months into its regional launch, the mobile handsets maker Micromax is starting to find space on quite a number of retail shelves.
Having already introduced an Arabic-enabled handset with Android-enabled smartphones to follow, the brand is sending a clear signal it's here to stay.
"We had the launch during Gitex, but didn't have the Arabic-enabled phone at the time," said Vikas Jain, business director at Micromax Informatics.
"In November we rectified that and since then the brand has had a fair showing in the local retail space."
Overseas territories are a relatively new experience for the brand, which has built itself around offering feature-rich, quirky coloured and low-priced models for its home market in India. Recently it has attained the highest growth rates for a brand in the Indian mobile handset category and has been slugging it out with the global majors.
But what has worked in the Indian marketplace does not immediately translate into a good showing overseas. In Micromax's case, it would have to do with the perception that it's a volume brand and handset retailers' concerns about how long a particular model will be able to sustain interest. But Jain was quick to assert that the early trends were favourable.
"Our entry into the smartphone category is central to our evolution in the high-end handset space," said Jain. "Micromax will do that by being able to blend the clear differential between a smartphone and a feature-rich handset."
Having just launched the smartphone in its home market, there are plans to have another three models before March 31.
Moreover, to ensure the current traction continues in these markets, talks are on with telecom operators for some form of association. "We are in touch with both operators in the UAE to find out how the brand could have a role in their strategies to acquire new customers and retain existing ones," said Jain.
Telecom operator tie-ups are being considered for some of the other GCC markets where Micromax is available. At the same time, an entry into Saudi Arabia is being worked on. The market, with its vast blue-collar workforce, also presents an opportunity to get momentum going for the volume models.
Even for that market, the intention is to nominate a single distributor who will then work the retail channel on the brand's behalf.
"The Kingdom can be a tricky marketplace for a newcomer, which is why we want to get everything right the first time itself," said Jain. "In a month to 45 days, we would have confirmed the distributor. In fact, the whole agenda of my trip today is to close that."
Western Africa is another territory that figures in the brand's gameplan. On whether it would make better sense to grow the market from Dubai, Jain said: "We do have some stocks headed there already. But we want each of our markets to have its own distribution arrangement."
Back home, an initial public offering beckons. Its size is awaiting clearance from the concerned Indian regulators.
Following the IPO, some funds will be used to set up an assembly plant in India.