Micromax guns for Samsung, expects to surpass its volumes in a few quarters

Vinay Kamath Chennai | Updated on March 12, 2018

Vineet Taneja, CEO, Micromax Informatics Limited.

With smartphone sales soaring, Micromax has offerings for every segment

Micromax, which has been in the Indian market for six years, expects to overtake market leader Samsung in mobile phone sales volumes in a couple of quarters.

“I think in the next few months, in a couple of quarters, we should be able to gain volume leadership. We don’t share volume numbers but we are the Number Two player now. In some States, we are already Number One in volume, and in some States in value terms as well,” says Vineet Taneja, Micromax’s CEO, who joined the company from rival Samsung in May, where he headed the mobile phone business.

Samsung has a share of 17 per cent of the overall mobile phone market, while Micromax has 14 per cent. The India mobile phone market stood at 63.21 million units in Q2 2014. Speaking to Business Line on market trends on the sidelines of the 13th MMA students convention here, Taneja said smartphone sales are zooming, growing at 60-80 per cent this year over the last.

App, data use

“The amount of app usage and data usage is going through the roof. A lot of things are going mobile first. Earlier, people like you and me would do our work on the laptop and do a little bit on the mobile, but now people are doing everything on the mobile; they open the laptop only to do hard computing work. E-mail, Twitter, e-comm… everything is now mobile first. This has happened in the last 12-18 months. Nobody expected the market to flip over so quickly,” explains Taneja, an alumnus of IIM Calcutta who cut his marketing teeth at HUL. Taneja says it has now become a virtuous cycle. As people do more on the phone, more smartphones are bought. “And app developers and people like us are catering to that demand,” he adds.

Even though feature phones form the bulk, or the belly, of the market in volume terms, smartphones are the ones seeing scorching growth. There are clear segments emerging in the mobile phone market, says Taneja. There is the value-seeker, who is looking for features at a certain price and others who are looking at aesthetics or those who want a thin phone or a large screen.

“We have been able to address most of the segments and have some offering for each,” he explains. Recently, Micromax launched a phone which, in terms of specs, he says, is best in class. The Canvas Nitro, with all the bells and whistles, sells for ₹13,000. Micromax also made a foray into TVs a few months ago. The focus, says Taneja, is to participate in the entire market and establish the brand.

“We have not made it as widespread yet, partly because we don’t have enough stocks; but the offtake has been better than we thought,” he says. Priced between ₹8,000 and ₹40,000, with up to 50-inch screens, Micromax intends to take the TVs to the metros and mini-metros. The TV components are imported from China and assembled locally.

“It’s too early to have gained much share as it’s been a few months, but response has been good. We put some advertising behind it and it did pretty well. We are not looking at other categories at this stage,” adds Taneja.

Published on November 02, 2014

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