Over a short period of time, Micromax has grown into the largest selling Indian cell phone manufacturer. We uncover their secrets.
Q. What do you have to say about the phenomenal success of the Micromax brand?
Ans. The success of Micromax is beyond the branding. It is the way we have differentiated ourselves with the product. If it was only about the branding, then it wouldn’t have worked. The products also have to perform. So whatever we have been able to create on the branding part had to also be followed by the product delivery.
Q. Whom do you keep in mind as your target customer?
Ans. We basically look at powering up mobile phones to make them more utilitarian, push their capabilities beyond voice, SMS, data applications, and at the same time have them perform well for generic utility. For example, if you see the X235, it is beyond a mobile phone; it acts as a wireless remote control for your air conditioners, your DVD players, and even your television. Then there’s the G4, which is our gaming phone that apart from the other features, doubles up as a wireless gaming console to play games using Bluetooth.
Q. Do you feel that design scores over other features for cell phone buyers in India?
Ans. Personally, I don’t believe in that. If that was to be true, then Micromax would not have been as successful as it has been. So I think it is the design that needs to be supported by the features. In a way, both these things are equally important.
Q. Tell us more about Gamolution and the response it has received from Micromax users.
Ans. Gamolution has proved to be a pretty decent phone, which is selling about eight to ten thousand units per month. Since it is a concept right now, it will take some time to be taken in by end consumers. But I think people who’ve used the Gamolution phones have been excited about the whole thing.
Q. Did you receive any feedback from the users?
Ans. We have a sales and support team which is spread across the different geographies of the country. They reach out to our consumers and take responses from them regarding what they liked and didn’t like about the product they purchased.
Q. How did the Micromax H360 come about? It was slated to be the most affordable 3G handset in India.
Ans. We partnered with Qualcomm and MTNL for the H360. At that time, there was an urge from the market for a a product which could make it to the masses with 3G support. The partnership with Qualcomm and MTNL made it possible for us to off er the phone to the Indian consumer for as little as Rs 5,500, thus ensuring affordability. And within the Rs 5,500 price, the customer also has an option of getting data usage and voice plans. So it was basically a brand tie up between Micromax, MTNL and Qualcomm.
Q. Has the idea of releasing a phone specifically for women (like the Q55 Bling) proved to be beneficial?
Ans. Bling is one of the biggest fashion accessories in India today. People can carry something like a BlackBerry while they’re on their way to the office in the morning, and a Bling in the evening when they just want to chill out with friends. With the Bling, it’s been more than a fantastic success.
Q. What are the future plans for the company?
Ans. I think if you talk about technology, Micromax should be playing a very substantial role in rolling out 3G through our smartphones. From the utility perspective, as the data pipeline becomes more enhanced in terms of 3G, we will be looking to provide consumers the big screen experience so that they can actually see the clarity of the video. So you will soon find Micromax phones with larger display sizes, better quality screens, and higher resolution cameras, so that you can make the most of the video or 3G content on it.