By Salony Satpathy:
The Indian mobile phone industry has seen great changes in terms of the preferred brands recently. The consumers are no longer the lot who buy their handsets with the sole consideration being the brand name. Today, the buyer wants value for money and has shifted its attention from big names like Nokia, Samsung, LG etc towards the Indian counterparts like Micromax, Spice, Karbonn etc.
The attractions of the Micromax mobiles, with 10% market share (2010), include handy features like in-built mosquito repellent, dual batteries with longer lives, dual SIM card readers, fake currency readers. The best part is that these features are available at cheaper prices compared to the foreign based brands. Before Micromax came with its QWERTY phone for Rs 5,000, such phones weren’t available for less than Rs 10,000. Lava as well as Micromax are working overtime to launch 3G as well as smart phones for less than Rs 6,000.
These Indian companies continuously strive to make the latest technologies available to the markets in the least possible product development and marketing time. They take advantage of setting up manufacturing units in the hubs like China and Taiwan, just like the foreign based brands, so as to pay more attention to the design and marketing strategies. The manufacturing units will be set in India very soon, when these companies will become completely Indian in every sense.
An important aspect that contributes to the success of these handsets are that they have targeted the bottom of the pyramid, which is rural India first and then stretched their hands towards the urban markets. The low prices and attractive features are the key factors for their success in the villages. These companies have well researched data and plans that have led to better differentiation of markets and better customer satisfaction as well.
In the advertising sector also, these companies are not far behind. They have signed many Bollywood stars as their brand ambassadors and some like Micromax and Maxx mobile have invested heavily in the Indian Premier League, which has brought them into notice of the consumers all over the country. These strategies are aimed at attracting even more population into purchasing them and also increase the overall popularity and acceptance of these brands.
Although the foreign brands have completely dismissed the fact that they might be replaced by these Indian brands, the statistics show an altogether different situation with more and more people shifting towards the emerging brands. Now that the bricks have been laid on the path, time will show exactly how far these Indian brands are going to reach.