‘Motorola will continue to be an online-only player’

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 24, 2018 Published on May 04, 2015

Marcus Frost , Senior Marketing Director (Europe, Middle East, Africa andIndia), Motorola

Motorola re-launched its offerings in India in February last year. And till December, it sold over 3 million smart-phones with Moto E and Moto G being its top selling models.

Marcus Frost, Senior Marketing Director (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India) of Motorola, was recently in Kolkata to launch the Moto E (2{+n}{+d} generation) handset. He spoke to BusinessLine about the company’s online-only sales model, its device portfolio, facilitating servicing of devices and its ‘wearables’ strategy. Edited excerpts:

Like India, do you follow the online-only model in EMEA?

Globally, we look at different sales models. In Indonesia, for example, we are trying online only. In Malaysia, it is a hybrid model where we start with stores and then move to online.

Online is important everywhere. In the US, we partner with Amazon.

In the US, parts of Latin America, and increasingly in Europe – the UK, France and Germany – we have our own e-commerce sites. The pure online sales strategy (in India) means we can be very nimble in terms of distribution.

Are you exploring other sales model here?

No. We will continue to be an online-only player. And partner exclusively with Flipkart.

Motorola still has a slim portfolio of devices. Will this be the strategy for future?

When we see consumers out there, we see that there is a general move of price bands down the value tier. People do not put up with paying thousands of rupees to access experiences that you can now get on devices such as Moto E.

We are also looking at how the consumer segments are evolving. However, we believe that at the moment, we have the right offerings.

So, it means you will continue to have a slim portfolio?

Absolutely, yes.

Is there are particular price segment that you target?

We need to address the whole of the Indian market. There are consumers who have more disposable income and want an iconic device. We will continue to make those for them.

There are others who want better experiences, a good hardware or stable software, and we will cover these segments as well.

You are competing with Chinese and Indian brands that specifically target the youth. Who are your target audiences?

There could be three types of consumers for us. Maybe they are first users of a mobile phone and are young people who need to see value in what the smartphone offers.

There will be a second category of users who use feature phones and are yet to understand the value of a smartphone (upgrading).

They have limited requirements. And at a few rupees extra they can get Motorola phones.

Then there is a third smaller segment. They are existing smartphone users, but they need to buy a second handset where Motorola can step in again.

And the premium offerings are for a certain segment of consumers – those who are looking at customised offerings or a flagship device or cutting edge innovations built in.

Are you exploring manufacturing options in India?

We are aware of the ‘Make in India’ campaign. But there are no plans to share at this point.

How do you handle service queries?

Servicing is absolutely essential especially when you are selling online. And this is one thing that Motorola has emphasised on. There were 100 service centres already in place, before we even sold a phone. Today, we have over 150. We also ensure that none of the service centres keep customers waiting.

There is also a help app on the device that provides the details of the local service centre and so on.

We are now beginning to transform some of our service centres into experience stores. We tried one in Bengaluru, and, hopefully, there will be some more. But we don’t have any specific numbers to it. The other trial which we are doing is in Delhi; where some of the customers are finding it difficult to access these service centres because of their schedule. So what we are doing there is trial a number of Moto-Care vans that will provide customer service.

We have a number of such vans and the pilot had yielded fair success. The customer feedback has been encouraging.

Are you open to exploring the tablet PC and phablet categories?

When we started our journey, we were focussed on smartphones and wanted to get the strategy absolutely right. The results suggest we are doing well there. It was smartphones first. And then we complimented the experience with wearables. There are no other plans at the moment. But our parent company Lenovo has an array of tablets and PCs.

How are you dealing with the wearables segment, especially in India?

India is not hugely different from rest of the world; where we are still at an early stage of the wearable market exploding. There are early adopters and we see a strong appetite for Moto 360 (smartwatch) here.

India is also enjoying the early phases as parts of Europe and Latin America and North America and Asia Pacific. I must say, India is right up there when it comes to embracing new technologies.

Published on May 04, 2015
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