Philips Mobile is waking up to the Indian smartphone market and its immediate target is to be among the top 10 brands in terms of volume and value. According to SS Bassi, country manager—SAARC region at Sangfei Mobility, which brings Philips smartphones to the Indian market, India is one of the largest markets for mobile phones globally and there is a super fast shift happening towards smartphones. “We are working towards building a smartphone ecosystem that caters to a variety of market segments and trying to offer customers specifications
of high-end phones at convenient prices,” he says. Recently, the company launched two new phones, the Xenium I908 and S309. The I908 is priced at R11,799 while the Philips S309 is a budget smartphone and will target the entry-level market. “We are aggressively investing in various marketing and sales activities to reach our key target markets in the country,” he tells Nandagopal Rajan in a recent interaction. Excerpts:
Where does Philips see the opportunity in the Indian market?
India is one of the largest markets for mobile phones globally and there is a super fast shift towards smartphones because of the ever-changing technological advancements that it brings with it. We are working towards building a smartphone ecosystem that caters to a variety of market segments and trying to offer customers specifications of high-end phones at convenient prices. Also, we constantly innovate and try to develop smartphones with a longer battery life using the power saving Xenium technology. We have also developed a range of feature phones targeted at
What are the new phones being launched in the India market?
The Xenium I908 has a sleek 8.8 mm form factor and leather-like cover which makes it easy to hold. It comes with an octa-core 1.7 GHz processor and the phone is equipped with a 2 GB RAM operating memory plus 16 GB internal memory. The I908 has a 5-inch full HD screen, a 13 MP rear camera and a 5 MP front camera.
Philips S309 is a budget smartphone with a 4-inch capacitive touch panel (CTP) with multi-touch capability. The phone has a 5 MP rear camera and a 0.3 MP front camera. It is powered by a dual core 1.0 GHz processor and has an internal memory of 4 GB ROM. The phone has micro SD card support upto 32 GB.
Which segment of the market does Philips want to cater to?
We want to cater to anyone who is looking for quality and innovative products, whether in the feature phone or the smartphone segment. For instance, with our flagship smartphone that was launched in June last year, the Xenium W6610, we took the most common grievance consumers have with smartphones—that of battery life, and innovated to solve this problem. With the help of the 5300 mAh battery and its power saving Xenium technology, the phone is able to last a consumer upto 4-5 days without charging. This is something that is unheard of in this day and age.
Since 81% of the market today is looking for sub-10k products, this is somewhere we want to be big. We are aiming for quality innovation at lower costs.
What will be the company’s go-to-market strategy?
We have currently tied up with Redington and have a national presence in over 8,000 retail stores. We are aggressively investing in various marketing and sales activities to reach our key target markets including Delhi, Rajasthan, Kerala, Puducherry, Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, West Bengal, Guwahati and Coimbatore where we are currently seeing a lot of market traction for our brand. The focus for the last one and a half years was to set up a strong distribution network across the country. We have managed this successfully. Now the focus is to go more aggressive in terms of our marketing activities.
What kind of market share are you looking at?
Our immediate target is to be among the top 10 brands in terms of volume and value. While our products are already available online, in the future we aim to tie-up with e-commerce sites for specific products.
What will be the USP of your new offerings?
Our top USP is to provide quality for consumers through innovative products that come at a very convenient price. Our new products reflect this USP.