Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, TRANSSION India

TRANSSION India’s smartphone brand itel is one such company that has taken a number of measures to not only connect people, but also spread awareness about the pandemic through various digital social outreach campaigns. In an interview with, Arijeet Talapatra, chief executive officer, TRANSSION India, talks about the changing digital communications landscape, itel’s offerings in the Indian market and its initiatives to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Excerpts…

How has the communications landscape changed due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic?

The unprecedented pandemic has brought about a paradigm shift in the communication landscape. As people are working from home, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of digital mediums, resulting in accelerated engagement on online platforms. With the lockdown and social distancing being implemented, brands are realigning their communication approaches around human lives and their sensitivities. While some brands are driving responsible messaging on their digital platforms around various aspects of the pandemic, others are entertaining users with engaging content to keep up their morale. As social media becomes the most accessed platform, itel being a mass brand decided to leverage its social media handles to create innovative content based on a novel communication approach, which is not only limited to the target audience but also connects with different age groups through relevant and positive messages.

What have been the key trends in the digital space?

The work-from-home regime is driving consumers to access their phones or laptops to stay in contact with their colleagues, relatives and friends. This has led consumers to spend more time online than before. As consumers are exploring new avenues of entertainment and recreational activities at home, entertainment options like video streaming apps, gaming and popular social media apps are being increasingly used during this period. Popular musicians are turning to video-conferencing solutions to host live shows for entertaining their followers. Even emerging influencers from different regions are switching to social media platforms to create informative videos around safety measures to fight the pandemic.

What are itel’s key offerings in the Indian market? What are some of your recently launched products?

In a hyper-competitive Indian market where incumbents get replaced through the ranks every quarter, itel has continued to hold sway as the leading offline smartphone brand in the segment it operates. The recent products offered by itel include the itel A25 model launched in January 2020, which has a 5-inch HD IPS full screen and a 3,020 mAh battery, among other features, and supports multiple languages. Further, the company launched the itel Vision 1 model in February 2020, which offers a waterdrop full screen with a 4,000 mAh battery and other features.

What initiatives/campaigns has the company launched to fight the Covid-19 pandemic?

With information consumption registering growth through various media channels, itel is leveraging its digital platforms to connect and engage with its stakeholders – employees, customers and partners -through a unique and differential communication approach. Through its innovative consumer outreach campaign, itel took on the task of spreading positive messaging and developed engaging content through multiple short videos, information snippets, contests, fitness and wellness challenges. Brand itel also raised awareness among its customers through its social media handles around different aspects of prevention such as maintaining social distance, staying away from fake news, doing responsible communication, sharing tips on taking care of senior citizens and respecting the lockdown. Under its CSR initiative, itel launched the #TogetherWeHelp campaign, an initiative that focuses on engaging the audience through interesting games, challenges, interactive activities while they are at home during the lockdown period. Through this campaign, itel strived to empower customers and its fans to engage with the brand and earn points, which are further being used towards contributing to society. The company has tied up with GiveIndia to support the financially challenged community across the country by providing them with daily food essentials in a structured manner. Also, itel is running various employee engagement campaigns focused on fitness and well being, sharing effective tips on working smartly from home, encouraging direct connect programmes by taking stock of its employee and channel partners to ensure they are safe and doing well during this lockdown situation. Apart from this, as a gesture of good faith and to ensure our customers get an extended warranty period without paying any additional charge, itel announced the extension of the warranty period by two months for all its models amidst this lockdown.