Karbonn in talks to buy Korean design house

Sushma U. N. Bangalore | Updated on March 12, 2018


Mobile phone maker Karbonn plans to acquire a Korean design house, to accelerate its growth in the smartphone segment.

“We were in discussions with a company and are open to acquiring other design houses as well. We are financially fit to make acquisitions now,” said Mr Sudhir Hasija, Managing Director, United Telelinks, which in part owns Karbonn mobiles.

This is part of the company's initiatives to drive smartphone sales. The low-cost mobile phone maker has “arrived in the feature phone market and will continue work on that, but will now focus more on smartphones,” Mr Hasija said. The Rs 1,500-crore company expects smartphones and tablets to drive revenues to about Rs 2,500 crore by the end of 2012. About 20 per cent of revenues this year will come from these two products, Mr Hasija said.

Karbonn will add about 100 people to its 50-member R&D team to develop smartphones pre-loaded with apps, Mr Hasija said. “We will make our products different by giving a range of apps and value-add features,” he said, adding that the company has tied up with a gaming company to develop games for Karbonn phones. “We have also tied up with other app developers and have acquired licences to provide different versions of apps on Karbonn phones,” he added.

Cloud-based handset

Mr Hasija said the company would soon launch a Rs 4,000 cloud-based Android smartphone next month, and is working on an 8-inch and 10-inch tablets also . Karbonn is also looking at entering the African market with its smartphones and is in talks to tie up with telecom providers there, he said.

According to Mr Hasija, the three-year-old company sells about one million handsets a month now, and will start manufacturing its products locally if Government policies fall in place, Mr Hasija said.

“We had even gone to the next stage of acquiring land in Chennai to set up a unit to make products for ourselves and other companies, but the project is on hold now” he added.


Published on June 15, 2012

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