The increased adoption of smartphone among users have revolutionized technology innovations across the world. In India, the smartphone market is flourishing rapidly has become the fastest growing market across world. The smartphone companies are bringing premium smartphones at a reasonable price point that has helped this industry to grow further. The smartphone brands who are catering to this market are putting all their efforts to consolidate their position and build a large customer base. DT spoke to Aniruddha Deb, CMO, Mobiistar India, a known brand in the budget Mobile Phone market in India, to know more about the industry.
DT: How do you see the latest innovations happening across global smartphone market?
Mr. Aniruddha: Across the global smartphone market innovation plays a very big role. Brands adopt new technologies which are in demand by consumers globally. Companies are adopting newer technologies like fast charging, artificial intelligence in camera, shrinking the bezels etc. in smartphones. The same brands need to focus more on innovation around the consumers need, as innovation is an evolving process and it helps the market not become a stagnant playing field. Young people across the globe are coming- up with out of the box ideas to help brands gain visibility among consumers by creating and integrating technologies which will help their brands stay one step ahead of competitors in the market globally.
DT: How are you approaching Indian smartphone market? What is your GTM strategy for tier I and II cities?
Mr. Aniruddha: The smartphone market in India is growing rapidly, as a result of the leaps made in 4G technologies and affordable internet, there are too many brands competing and want a share of the market. Mobiistar is exclusively present in the sub INR 10,000 price band. This is because in our research we have found that in this segment there are very limited players who are providing affordable smartphones with good features. In India today more than 50% of the population is still using feature phones and we see a very big potential to enter this market and aim to convert the users in to smartphone users. Mobiistar’s strategy from the start has been to focus on our offline reach by establishing a strong dealer and retailer network in Tier I and Tier II cities and also provide feature loaded affordable smartphones at a great price point in the sub INR 10,000 category.
DT: Please brief about your strategies to build strong offline presence in India.
Mr. Aniruddha: Mobiistar has a strong focus towards the offline market that contributes to about 70% of its sales while 30% of the business comes from online sales. Mobiistar’s target audience resides in tier II and III cities which is why we have created a solid distribution and dealer network pan-India especially in regional areas. We have also set up 1000 service centres across the country for post-sales support. Our launch campaigns have also been created in a manner that would resonate with the tier II and III audiences. So far, Mobiistar has already established more than 640 distributers and are present in 37000 multi- brand outlets. We are aiming take this number to 50000 outlets pan-India in the next 6 Months.
DT: How do you take care of the post sales service support? What is your commitment towards your loyal customers?
Mr. Aniruddha: At the time of its launch in India in May 2018, Mobiistar had already established 1000 service centres to strengthen our commitment towards our consumers and the country. The feedback from the consumers has been positive due to our stringent checks on product quality. Our service team has helped run “free screen replacement campaigns” in Kerala during the floods last year and we provide our customers with festive offers. So, our commitment to our loyal customers is intact and will stay intact in the coming time.
DT: What do you think are the major challenges for smartphone players today?
Mr. Aniruddha: Major challenges faced by brands will be brand visibility and maintaining relations with the consumers.Brands should tailor their products according to a consumer needs and not include features which may never be used by a consumer, as smartphone is a product whose price point must justify its value and benefit. Big smartphone brands have been concentrating in catering to the sub 15000 and above price band. Hence are neglecting the lower price band market.Brand visibility is another challenge which is faced in the smartphone industry globally. Bigger companies are investing heavily in advertising and due to this a lot of smaller companies are left out. This will cause an adverse effect on the market as it won’t be a level playing field for smaller brands and companies competing with established brands.
DT: Which are the top smartphones in your portfolio? Please brief about your upcoming product line-up.
Mr. Aniruddha: We currently have 9 models in the market. Our most affordable smartphone starts at INR 3799 i.e. the dealer price and the price goes up till INR 8499. Out of the 9 models, 5 models are priced between INR 3799 to INR 6000. We have this pricing because this was a very neglected segment and we wanted to carve a niche in this space.