Intex, one of the largest Indian smartphone brands, has put in place its plan to foray into the R1,000-crore enterprise segment, which is dominated by Samsung. Keshav Bansal, director of Intex Technologies, said the company sold over 1.5 lakh units last quarter primarily due to its B2B associations and partnerships and sees this as an opportunity to increase overall business revenue.
Intex is one of the new entrants in the enterprise space, starting its B2B partnerships only in 2015. Now it has associations with major brands like Meru Cabs, Dulux Paints, Berger Paints, MPSEDC, Michelin Tyres, Bata, Pidilite, Tata Group, MAX Life and Sun Pharma. However, a bulk of the numbers here still come from corporate gifting while government tenders and canteens, customised software solutions and BYOD bring up the other half.
“There is definitely potential in this business vertical, but we have just entered. Still we have seen some tremendous response. If I talk in numbers, we sold 1.5 lakh mobile phones in the JAS quarter. This is much more than what even market leaders in this space do in a quarter,” adds Bansal.
Intex currently claims 9.8% of the total market share in overall mobile sector. The company is already in talks with Ola Cabs, Nerolac and JK Tyres for enterprise partnerships and has a clear brand strategy to eye brands and government initiatives to boost its enterprise business. Bansal said the plan was to push up this number to 2,00,000 units in the coming quarter.
However, demonetisation could throw a spanner in the works. Bansal backs the government’s demonetisation move, but says sales fell by 90% in the first week after the announcement. “It has recovered and the dip is now about 60-70%. We think it will take time to recover,” he said, adding that this quarter will have certainly show the impact.
“The impact will be huge in the short term in terms of sale numbers. I do not see that recovering for at least three to four months,” he said, adding that the maximum hit has been on the feature phone segment and the Rs 4,000 to Rs 6,000 smartphones, all of which are purchased primarily using cash.
Incidentally, Bansal also sees it as an opportunity since the “move towards digital money will increase the penetration of mobile phones”. In fact, Intex has already launched a wallet of its own called Intex mRUPEE in collaboration with Tata mRUPEE.
Intex is also branching off into other businesses to reduce its dependence on smartphones, a business that has been under increasing pressure thanks to new entrants. The company is also ready with its foray into e-commerce with wishnbuy.com while it already has an office furniture business by the name IntexStyles.