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By Punyadeep Singh
PRN 59, MBA 09-11, SIOM
The mobile phone market in India is worth 130 million handsets annually. While the big boys like Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson make up for 70% share, the market has of late seen a slew of domestic firms such as Micromax, Karbonn and Intex making large inroads and new established brands like Videocon and Onida entering the field.
Among the domestic firms, one of the most promising brand is Micromax. Few years ago, when Vikas Jain’s firm was delivering computer printers and monitors across India, he saw first-hand how pervasive Nokia had become.
Just as in Europe, where most people’s first mobile phone was made by the Finnish giant, it had repeated the trick of getting in first and carpeting the subcontinent with its no-frills handsets.
Despite Nokia’s dominance, the Indian mobile-phone market was far from being saturated. Jain saw his chance. From a standing start two years ago, his company, Micromax, is now churning out 1 million phones a month. He believes that next month it could overtake Samsung, with 11% of the market, and seize second place in India.
“When Nokia or Samsung roll out a new model they do so from its global portfolio rather than launching something specifically for India,” said Jain, who set up the company in 1990s along with three friends from engineering college--Rahul Sharma, Rajesh Agarwal and Sumeet Kumar, all of whom are in their mid-30s to early 40s.
Micromax, started operations in 1991 as an embedded software design firm, but was incorporated as a company in 1998, when it branched out as a distributor of computer peripherals such as printers, monitors, scanners from manufacturers such as LG, Sony Inc., Dell Corp.
Today, Micromax is one of the leading Indian Telecom Companies with 23 domestic offices across the country and international offices in Hong Kong, USA, Dubai and now in Nepal. With a futuristic vision and an exhaustive R&D at its helm, Micromax has successfully generated innovative technologies that have revolutionised the telecom consumer space.
Micromax, as they claim on the company’s website, is on a mission to successfully overcome the technological barriers and constantly engender “life enhancing solutions”.
Micromax’s first innovation was a handset with 30 days of standby battery life — crucial in a country like India where power failures are common. Next there was a dual memory card phone, priced at £26, for callers who like to juggle the cheapest tariffs.
The company’s vision is to develop path-breaking technologies and efficient processes that incubate newer markets, enliven customer aspirations and to make Micromax a trusted market leader amongst people.
Micromax has a lot of interesting and thoughtful products to its credit on their versatile product portfolio. It was the first to introduce:
1. Handsets with 30 days battery backup
2. Handsets with Dual SIM / Dual Standby
3. Handsets Switching Networks (GSM - CDMA) using gravity sensors
4. Aspirational Qwerty Keypad Handsets
5. Operator Branded 3G Handsets
6. OMH CDMA Handsets, etc.
With a 360 degree advertising and marketing strategy sketched out, the company has an optimistic outlook for the telecom consumer space. Currently present in more than 40,000 stores across the country, the company plans to have an aggressive market incursion to reach out to its customers through 70,000 operational stores in the coming year.
One of the major aspects that contribute towards the substantial monthly growth of Micromax is its 80% sales in the rural areas.
After building a...