Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Micromax: India’s largest rural mobile manufacturer

Indian mobile market has gone a wind of changes since the introduction of Android phones. Nokia which once enjoyed a market share of over 70% has now tanked to 38.2%. Samsung and Apple have seen huge increase in the market share, but apart from these two global giants, there has been a rise and rise of a local player: Micromax which currently has the third largest market share in mobile handset vendors in India and 12th in the world. The reasons for the rise can be attributed to some smart strategies and focused target customer segment. They have only targeted low-income groups especially in the huge rural markets of India with their USP being extensive features vis-à-vis their competitors and at a lower price.

Let me delve into some of the reasons for their success and how have they managed to create such a compelling supply chain. First and foremost, they sourced their handsets from China, ensuring low manufacturing cost. It tied up with world-class manufacturers such as FoxConn, who had experience in manufacturing for Apple and Samsung. This ensured that the quality of the handsets is maintained at the global standard.

Secondly, they adopted Android very early. They realized the potential of the Android OS and switched completely to it. They were able to deliver amazing features at low prices and there by attract youth and early android adopters. I have personally seen and operated the Micromax Canvas Doodle A111. It was amazing to see all the features today’s Android smartphones have such as the Google Nexus 5, but comes at a price half as much.

Micromax Canvas Doodle A111

Thirdly, they have made their distribution channel very efficient in such a way that whereas a big international brand typically requires 18 months to launch a product, Micromax can do that in a month or two. It has achieved this by performing a thorough analysis of the needs of their customers and identification of their markets. Initially they used to source pre-built handsets from China, but now they source just the components and assemble them in India, customizing them to the needs.

Micromax is basically on a path to glory. It has been challenging the global companies such as Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and others ever since its inception. I believe Micromax has achieved this huge success primarily by identification of the right market, thoroughly understanding the needs of those markets and catering to them with world-class products. Here is a link to a commercial showcasing the features of Micromax Canvas 4: 

Question: Can Micromax further refine its supply chain by considering good product design principles as we saw in case of the iPod and Rio music players?


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