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Unknown Turf

As Chinese players increase their dominance over the Indian smartphone market, Micromax hopes to regain some of its lost glory

Vishal Koul

silent revamp has been in the works at Micromax over the past few months. Its market share had eroded significantly from 19.1% in 2014 to 5.3% in March 2017, pulling down the company from its erstwhile number two spot and out of the top five selling smartphones brands in the country.  On the other hand, Chinese players who were nowhere in the picture in 2014-15, today make up for around 43% of the smartphone market according to research by Counterpoint Technology Market Research. A strategy overhaul was definitely overdue. 

Micromax, currently in sixth position in list of smartphone manufacturers by market share, is now looking to reclaim some of its lost glory through new product launches and a dual brand strategy that helps them address all segments in the smartphone category. 

Brand makeover
During its initial years, Micromax had been on a dream ride. Kicking off in 2000 as distributors of leading mobile phone brands, the company reinvented itself as a mobile phone manufacturer in 2010. In just a matter of four years, it saw itself taking on giants such as Samsung. In Q2 2014, the homegrown brand overtook Samsung in becoming India’s leading mobile phone maker with a market share of 16.6% as against Samsung’s 14.4%. In the smartphone segment, the company was in the second position, right after Samsung. 

However, the infiltration of multiple Chinese players like Vivo, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Oppo in the market has tipped the balance against Micromax. This has been largely enabled by the data overhaul spearheaded by Reliance Jio and the exponential adoption of 4G across the country. While the Chinese had their 4G handsets ready, Micromax still had its 3G and 2G stocks to be sold. And by the time Micromax emerged with its 4G range of phones, its competitors had already race ahead capturing a large chunk of the market.

Currently, Micromax has around 15 to 20 models of feature phones bringing in around 20-25% of the revenue. The remaining revenue is contributed in the ratio 50:30 by budget smartphones and premium ones respectively. The form

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