On our sixty-fourth Independence Day, here is news we all Indians should feel good about.
In what is considered the second biggest market for mobile phones in the world, a desi brand is all set this year to beat Samsung to become the second most selling brand in India. The only urbanites in India and abroad who have become aware of this brand are the cricket lovers who were bombarded with ads from this brand during the recent matches. That is because this is a brand was launched first in the Indian rural markets and has made deep inroads (the promoters seem to have fully understood C K Prahlad’s fortune at the bottom of the Pyramid model) and is now headed for a similar glory in the urban markets. And this brand came on the scene just 30 months back! And how exactly did this brand get to this position? Merely by following the basics of what is expounded in the marketing textbooks. They segmented the market, decided to pitch on the rural segment in which there was low intensity of competition and therefore low entry barriers, studied what the rural consumer would look for and gave them that product. And that was what spurred the innovative streak in product design. For example, it was the first in India to have a mobile phone which had 30 hours of battery life and 17 hours of talk time! They were also the first to have both dual SIM and GSM/CDMA capabilities enriched phones. This brand Micromax is expected to have a turnover of Rs.1600 crores this year.
Another example: Chennai based Munoth Communications are planning to address the market for senior citizens. This phone will have a large key pad, bigger screen and torch like switch. It has a red SOS button on the back, which activates a loud siren to alert passsers-by of any emergency. Simultaneously, the phone sends out 10 pre-set SMS messages to relatives,doctors ambulance services and even to the insurance company. The mobile phone screen then freezes and displays the name of the person and a link to the website where the medical records of the user is stored. Through a GPS system, the person’s location is also known. And the price is expected to be around Rs 2500 ($ 60).
And next is a “community” based phone directed to the needs of the Jain community!! This phone is progrmammed with data on scriptures, festival dates, locator for the nearest Jain temple anywhere in the world and a tracker to keep track of the movements of Jain Acharyas!!
There are several other brands which are available and are making steady inroads: Karbonn, Lava, Spice and so on.Videocon seems to be the first player in the organised sector to jump on this bandwagon!
Jai Ho! Happy Independence Day!