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Micromax pips Samsung to become India's leading mobile phone brand

India TV News Desk 06 Aug 2014, 10:19:25 AM IST
India TV News Desk
New Delhi: Silently and firmly homegrown handset maker Micromax has overtaken Korea's Samsung to become the largest mobile phone supplier in India in the second quarter of 2014, according to a report by Counterpoint research. It took Micromax a little over five years to surge ahead of Samsung.

Counterpoint research said Micromax's handset shipments share stood at 16.6 per cent in the quarter while Samsung's share was 14.4 per cent.

The third position was held by Nokia with a 10.9 per cent shipments share, followed by domestic brands Karbonn and Lava which had a 9.5 per cent and 5.6 per cent share, respectively.

In terms of smartphone shipments, Samsung still holds the top slot with a 25.3 per cent shipments share in the second quarter. Micromax stood at close second with a 19.1 per cent share, followed by Karbonn, Motorola and Nokia.

Micromax also led the domestic feature phone market with 15.2 per cent share ahead of Nokia's 14.7 per cent and Karbonn's 11.4 per cent share.

According to the Canalys report, Motorola shipped 955,650 smartphones in the three-month period, while Nokia shipped 633,720 smartphones.

According to the research, globally Micromax is the tenth largest handset brand in terms of mobile phone shipment volumes during the second quarter.

Micromax has come a distance since making its first mobile phones in 2008. There has been steady rise of Micromax, which started out selling IT software and telecoms gear. By understanding the Indian customer psyche the company was quick to launch quality handsets featuring two-SIM cards and large battery life – something Nokia was slow to match. To keep costs down, Micromax mostly used chipsets made by MediaTek and Spreadtrum, which tend to be cheaper than those made by industry leader Qualcomm Inc. It mostly outsources production to China and Taiwan. Vikas Jain, co-founder of Micromax, claims the company was the first to introduce dual SIM phones, QWERTY keypads, dual reception mode handsets, universal remote control mobile phones and more.

During its initial growth phase the handset maker primarily focused on the rural market and understanding the needs of the low-end segment which allowed the company to build a vast network of distributors and retailers, which has played a pivotal role in its rapid growth.

Jain attributes the success of Micromax to innovation, low pricing, unique features, strong product portfolio and a huge distribution network.

Delighted with the growth in the domestic market, Micromax has now entered the Russian market with a tie-up with VVP Group, a distributor known for introducing new brands. The partnership brings the brand's Canvas and Bolt range of smartphones in over 9,000 retail outlets across Russia. Micromax aims to launch 14 smartphones in Russia by the end of the year and set an infrastructure that includes more than 60 service centers throughout the country.

After Russia, the company has plans to target the Baltic countries, and then the big five states in Europe.

To improve its image on the global front and create a buzz for its brand, the company also decided to rope in Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman, as its brand ambassador, who is well-known for playing the role of Wolverine in the X-Men movie series. The company says an association with Jackman gave it the confidence to go ahead with our global launch for the brand.

As Micromax moves into the higher end, it competes more directly with international offerings in the Rs 15,000 and above price range, where brand matters more to consumers. In its ongoing effort, the company will keep on pushing further by offering budget smartphones that features faster “octa-core” processors, 16 megapixel cameras and high-definition screens. Clearly, there are immense opportunities in the domestic market which is currently going through a major upheaval as hundreds of millions of users in India and around the world upgrade from cheaper and less-capable feature phones to smartphones.