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Mobile Subscribers Yearwise comparision

Intex Technologies: Affordable and innovative offerings drive growth

September 05, 2017

Intex Technologies: Affordable and innov...

The handset industry has witnessed several innovations as technology has progressed from 2G to 3G and now to 4G. Opportunities have grown as has the competition, with a number of global and local players entering the market and vying for a share of the handset pie. In recent years, the competition has intensified manyfold with low-cost Chinese phones flooding the market. And now, JioPhone’s entry promises to shake up the market further.

In this overcrowded space, only a handful of handset companies, which have the right set of strategies in place, will be able to survive and grow. Intex Technologies is one such player that is optimistic about its long-term growth and sustainability in the handset space. Currently operating in the low-price segment, the company counts its key strengths as continuous product innovations, competitive pricing and a robust distribution network, all of which have helped it survive  the competition.

Strategies to counter competition

According to Nidhi Markanday, director and business head, Intex Technologies, “The country’s handset ecosystem is evolving in response to the growing uptake of high speed data services and changing consumption patterns. There have been significant innovations in offerings and features, ranging from dual cameras and improved battery life to advanced photography. We at Intex aim to deliver practical and utility-based features at affordable prices. Further, we are providing value-added services as a part of our digital services ecosystem to acquire and retain consumers. Our products are not heavy on the pocket and provide almost similar features as high-priced products do.”

In fact, affordability is the centrepiece of the company’s strategy and product innovations are often modelled keeping this in mind. For instance, the company recently forayed into the 4G space, by announcing the launch of a feature phone called TURBO+ 4G. It offers some advanced features, that allow users to get a smartphone experience. According to Markanday, “We want Tier II and Tier III markets that use basic phones to experience an advanced smart experience. The smart feature phone will act as a bridge for users who have been sceptical of switching directly to a smartphone and will enable them to experience high quality voice calls and seamless internet at an affordable price. This will give a boost to the feature phone segment as the shift to smartphones will slow down. For Intex, it will help in increasing our share in the feature phone market and expanding the consumer base.” The smart feature phones are also likely to help Intex take on potential competition from JioPhone, which is expected to be available at a zero effective cost, and other local manufacturers like Micromax and Lava have planned similar offerings.

Intex is also exploring the option of partnering with operators to make bundled offers. To this end, it has tied up with Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited and its smartphones will come bundled with Jio plans, offering additional data to consumers as well as preloaded apps such as JioTV and JioCinema.

The company has also been making inroads into the mobile accessories segment. In 2016-17, the mobile accessories division hit the Rs 1 billion revenue mark. As per Markanday, “While we are focusing on increasing our brand’s connect with consumers through our mobile devices and stores, in the past 12 months, accessories too have played a vital role in this.” During 2016-17, the company’s overall revenue stood at Rs 43 billion, of which the mobile division contributed Rs 30 billion, close to 70 per cent.

Future plans

Bullish about its presence in the feature phone space and its recent foray into the 4G segment, Intex is targeting to increase its revenues from mobile services by 45 per cent in 2017-18. It has recently launched eight 2G feature phones as well as a 4G feature phone, keeping in mind the basic requirements of consumers. “Intex’s long-term strategy is broadly woven around product customisation, manufacturing and joint ventures, which will help in strengthening our presence in the mobile market in the years to come,” says Markanday.

Further, the company has recently announced investments worth Rs 15 billion in its Greater Noida plants in Uttar Pradesh, to expand capacity across different assembly lines, over the next two to three years. So far, Rs 6.5 billion of this planned investment has been injected in Phase I and production is likely to start soon. The plant will manufacture a range of products, including mobile phones, chargers and batteries.

Outlook

These are exciting as well as challenging times for the Indian handset segment, with new players entering the market  and consumer preferences changing at a fast pace. In such a dynamic environment, Intex will have to keep reinventing its strategies and offerings, without compromising on its fundamental proposition of affordability to attract and retain a loyal consumer base.

 
 

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