Micromax is an Indian electronics giant and one of the leading manufacturers of mobile handsets in the world. The company was established in the year 1991 as an IT software firm focused on selling computers, software courses and ‘fixed wireless’ public phones. It ventured into mobile phones market by 2008. It aimed at providing its customers with affordable handsets without compromising on the quality and soon became a popular brand among mobile phone users across the country. The success of the company can be attributed to two key factors- a deep understanding of the consumer needs and the ability to swing their supply chain.
The success story
Micromax entered the telecommunications arena at a time when big brands like Nokia and Samsung was dominating the Indian market. But in just five years the company has managed to become the third largest selling mobile phone brand in India. The company, which has its head quarters in Gurgaon, is now a force to reckon with in the mobile phone market and is the 12th largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world. This tremendous success was achieved through lower prices, wide variety of attractive models and innovative technology. Aggressive advertizing campaigns also helped them create a large customer base. Today micromax has a worldwide presence and operates in countries such as Bangladesh, Nepal, UAE and Brazil. Since its foray into mobile handset market, the company has expanded its horizons to smart phones, televisions and home theatre systems.
One significant move that helped micromax enormously in its journey to success is the outsourcing of production to china. The labor cost advantage and the production flexibility that China offered helped micromax to churn out low end products that became popular with Indian consumers. According to Rahul Sharma, the co-founder of micromax, the strategy is to create high volumes, reach the customer base through effective distribution, give them products that are innovative and cost-effective. And thus establish a strong brand.
Micromax captured the imagination of its consumers with innovative products. They realized the importance of market research and as a result were able to launch revolutionary products. Some of the ‘first of its kind’ devices by micromax are:
First Long Battery Life Phone with 30 days battery back up
- X1i Marathon Battery phone with 30 days standby time & 17 days Talk time
First Dual SIM Dual mode active Phone (GSM+CDMA)
- Micromax GC700 is the first GSM + CDMA Mobile phone
First Gaming Device
- G4 Gamolution phone with motion sensor gaming like Wi-fi
First Women’s Line of Devices
- Q55 Bling phone- First women’s phone with a swivel form and Swarovski navigation keys
First Universal Remote Control Phone
- X235 With Universal Remote Control for TV, DVD, AC in your phone
First phone with built-in blue tooth
- Micromax X450 Van Gogh – A stylish phone that integrates a detachable Bluetooth headset in its sleek design
First Superfone with Gesture Control
- Created a new category called ‘Superfone’ with Gesture Control, powered with 1GHz dual core NVIDIA Tegra 2 Processor
The Company offers mobile phones and wireless data cards, including GSM and CDMA, dual SIM, QWERTY chat, music-touch, lifestyle and utility phones. Micromax launched its new pocket 3G wireless router, called MMX400R, in 2011. The wireless device is relatively low priced and can connect up to 5 Wi-Fi users and 1 USB user at a time. Micromax entered the world of the tablet industry by launching Micromax Funbook in 2012. And currently leads the tablet market in India ahead of giants like Samsung and Apple. For its tablets, Micromax’s approach has been to concentrate on education and entertainment. The funbook has tie ups with Pearson, Everonn and Virti for education related digital contents. For customers on the lookout for entertainment, the funbook comes equipped with Bigflix, Hungama, Indiagames and Zenga. Micromax has come up with Aisha, a voice –controlled personal assistant similar to Apple’s Siri.
The journey to success has not been a cake walk for Micromax. It has had its fair share of stumbling blocks along the way. It has faced lawsuits from Ericsson for patent infringement. Its Chinese connection that has helped the firm manufacture low cost mobile phones might well be another major problem. The minimum wages in Shenzhen in China, where most of China’s largest manufacturers are located, the wages are set by 1.3 3 % soon. This move could have an adverse effect on micromax whose USP is affordability. The company also grapples with supply chain issues. With its recent entry into tablet and LED TV market, micromax has too much in its kitty and should stay focused on cost effectiveness without compromising the quality. The higher radiation levels of micromax mobile sets are also another cause for concern.
Micromax is planning to expand its product portfolio across segments that include higher end smart phones and a new tablet PC range. It aims at being a player across all price range. The company is also exploring the possibility of a new operating system for its new smart phone series. Currently all its smart phones operate on Google’s android OS. Though at present, it is concentrating on domestic markets, global expansion is definitely on the cards. Micromax realizes the potential market in the youth segment. It understands their psyche and is concentrating on catering to the whims of this volatile group of mobile phone users. Micromax is also exploring the possibility of expanding its manufacturing infrastructures in India.
What sets micromax apart from its competitors is the speed at which it has been able to put its products up in the market and its tremendous reach. All said and done, micromax’s success remains an inspiration to the numerous startup ventures in our country. It has proved to the world that no matter how many competitors and vendors are available in a particular market, there are still possibilities to be explored. With the right understanding of the target consumers and their needs, you can be assured to achieve a good annual turnover.