Mobiles & Tablets

Chinese firm itel sees ‘sweet spot’ in sub-₹10,000 handsets

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on October 14, 2016

Handset-maker itel Mobile, which made its India debut in April this year, is looking to make a mark and dominate the “bottom of the pyramid” segment.

Owned by China-based Transsion Holdings, the company will focus on the sub-₹10,000 range of handsets as its sweet spot; with rurban (semi-urban and rural) customers as its focus in the coming days.

According to Arijeet Talapatra, Senior Vice-President – Sales & Distribution, “itel” Mobile has already sold 4 million plus devices till September. However, a little over 80 per cent of those numbers are from feature phones.

“For us, the sub-₹10,000 range would be the focus. In terms of customer base, the lower end of Sec C and Sec D and E are the target ones,” he told BusinessLine.

At present, the company has a national presence with Odisha being amongst the latest States where it has expanded its footprint.

“itel” has five manufacturing units – three in China and two in Africa. Interestingly, it has a strong presence in 34 countries of the African market.

Competition

Currently, majority of the devices sold by “itel” in India are in the sub-₹5,000 range. Feature phones are priced below ₹2,000. The plan is to ensure that users upgrade in the days to come. And accordingly branding campaigns are being worked out.

As of now, the company is relying more on value for money offerings and offers such as ‘100-day replacement guarantee’ and ‘12-month warranty’ along with after sales services to break into the highly competitive handset market.

Around 23 million devices are projected to be sold every month. Of this 12 million handsets are feature phone and the rest are smartphones. The number is expected to change in favour of smartphones over the next two years.

While Indian handset vendors have been strong in entry level smart-phones (₹3,000 to ₹7,000), market sources indicate that they faced perception problem when it came to upgrading to high and mid-end (₹8,000 and above) offerings. And, ceded market space to Chinese competition.

“itel” incidentally plans to get around this problem with 360 degree marketing campaign. A leading marketing communication agency has also been roped in.

“We are a six-month-old brand. But we do intend to have a full fledged branding campaign in the coming days. It will look to cover ATL and BTL segments,” Talapatra added.

Published on October 14, 2016
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