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Indian made mobiles a rage

Last updated: 24 December, 2009
Pradeesh Chandran, Bangalore, Dec24, (DHNS): 21:45 IST

Having realised the potential of one million handset (sales per month) Indian mobile phone market, a number of domestic handset manufacturers have entered this space in the last 12 to 15 months, creating fresh competition in a market otherwise dominated by foreign manufacturers.

In what could be a positive trend for domestic players, a market dominated by brands like Nokia, Samsung and other global giants, is slowly accepting Indian brands. For example, domestic brands like Karbonn, Intex Technologies, Micromax, Videocon and Lava have all entered into the market and believe that there is enough space for them. Currently, even as research and development for domestic brands happen in India, handsets are all manufactured either in China or in Taiwan, but with further technological enhancement, India may also become a manufacturing hub.

Also helping these brands is the Centre’s directive to block handsets with no or false International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) —— which has put over three million illegal Chinese handsets in the market on silent mode.

Delhi-based IT Hardware & Electronics company, Intex Technologies entered the mobile phone business in 2007 and has done a business of over Rs 200 crore. “Currently we have a strong presence in Bihar, UP, Haryana and MP and are now planning to establish a strong presence in the southern part of the country. We are seeing a huge demand for dual sim phones and our major market share is from the Tier II and III cities,” Intex Chief Marketing Officer Naved Chaudhary told Deccan Herald.

The biggest advantage of Indian handsets is low price, even high-end smart phones come within a price range of Rs 1,500 to 6,000.

Lava Mobiles Co- Founder & Director Hari Om Rai said “ With mobile phones becoming a personalised device and symbol of social status we are able to offer all features like radio, camera and battery life with affordable price to customers looking for trendy phones within their budget,”

“The tariff war between telecom providers has led to an increase in the sales of SIM cards and now subscribers hold multiple cards and are looking for dual SIM mobile phones to use the various offers provided by service providers. The new entrants are well equipped with cheap dual SIM phones with GSM-CDMA, GSM-GSM and CDMA-CDMA handsets,” says Praveen Bhadada of Zinnov Consulting.

Branding initiatives
Further, Indian handset manufacturers are also looking at branding in a big way to ensure sustained growth. Micromax mobiles, which sells around 65,000 handsets a month, is planning to invest Rs 100 crore for brand building initiatives.

Karbonn, a major player in the market is spending huge amount in cricket advertisements. It was a major sponsor of South African team Cape Cobras in the recent Champions League and is the main sponsor for India-Sri Lanka ODI series.

“Even though we are selling phones at a cheaper price we are witnessing a steady growth in business and profits. We are planning to sell one million handsets by March and open a manufacturing facility in Himachal Pradesh,” says Micromax Business Director Vikas Jain. The companies are looking beyond the Indian market and plan to enter other emerging markets like Nepal, Saarc countries, Africa and Latin America.
DH News Service

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