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Spice phones make southern debut with Chennai launch

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Mr Kunal Ahooja (right), CEO, Spice Ltd, and Mr K. Muzaffar, Head (Sales), at the launch of Spice Mobile phones, in Chennai on Tuesday. Bijoy Ghosh
Mr Kunal Ahooja (right), CEO, Spice Ltd, and Mr K. Muzaffar, Head (Sales), at the launch of Spice Mobile phones, in Chennai on Tuesday. Bijoy Ghosh

Our Bureau

Chennai, Dec. 20

SPICE Ltd, a group company of M Corp Global, a $250-million transnational group, will look to redefine value at the entry-level segment with its new line of cellular phones, according to Mr Kunal Ahooja, CEO of Spice Ltd.

The four models being launched in Chennai are the S 500, a monochrome phone; the S 404; the S 555, a true-tone true-colour GPRS phone; and the S 600, a 65,000-colour GPRS phone with an MP3 player.

Speaking at the launch of the models in Chennai, Mr Ahooja said that while the company was concentrating on the phones in the entry-level segment, it would eventually come out with a full range of mobile phones to cater to all market segments.

He also said that the Spice mobile phones would be marketed as an Indian phone manufactured to suit Indian conditions. The architecture of the microchip has been designed at the Spice facility in Noida, while the phone has been manufactured in Taiwan.

The phones have a presence in Northern and Eastern parts of India, and Chennai is the company's first entry into the South.

Mr K. Muzaffar, Head (Sales), Spice Ltd, said that the company would cover 1,400 outlets in 30 districts of Tamil Nadu, with one regional distributor and micro-distributors dedicated to each district. Spice has also set up a customer service centre in Chennai.

Mr Ahooja said that since the launch of the product in the North in June 2005, the brand had become the second best in terms of sales behind Nokia. He refused to comment on the actual number of units sold.

Ms Priyanka Chopra, actress and former Miss World, is the brand ambassador for the product.

The prices of the phones range from Rs 2,499 for the entry-level black and white handset to Rs 5,799 for the S 600 MP3 player phone.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 21, 2005)
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