What do consumers want? Best quality products at cheapest possible rates. That’s almost an impossible target but not for Micromax. The handset maker’s calling card is high end phones at cheapest possible rates. The brand ventured into the handsets sector only in 2008, but has already emerged as the second largest handset manufacturer in India, after Samsung. Today, Samsung retains its lead with a 29% market share, while Micromax has an 18% market share. Launched by four partners, Rajesh Agarwal, Vikas Jain, Rahul Sharma and Sumeet Kumar, this brand was the first to phone in on demand in rural markets and in tier 2-3cities. Micromax came up with low budget handsets—one of the first launches was a phone with longer battery life and it worked like a charm in rural India which grappled with power cuts. Micromax recast Chinese handsets, with better design, features and warranty giving them instant acceptability amongst the masses. It also started looking out for niche and specific communities. For instance, an A55 Bling phone targeted women.
Soon, it went looking for the big scoop. Samsung was launching Galaxy Grand. Micromax‘s answer was the Canvas HD and it was launched a day before the Grand. Later, Samsung tried to launch the Galaxy S4. Micromax topped it with the launch of the Canvas 4. Soon the Doodle series came — launched in order to compete with the cheaper variants of Samsung’s Note series. Its strategy was combative and it scored over international competitors Nokia and Sony India, apart from Samsung. Micromax has also kept the brand appeal contemporary by getting Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar to endorse its handsets. More recent, it signed on Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman which gave the company a global appeal. Micromax has also stepped up on sponsorships, by acquiring the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) title sponsorship rights for international cricket being played in India in 2014-2015. The brand is touted to be paying R20.02 million per match.
Micromax today ranks higher in perception when compared to other low priced phone makers. It is considered in a higher league than other rivals such as Spice, Karbonn and Lava.
On the cards, is a new launch in January 2015—the Micromax Canvas Selfie. The new product will offer a number of software tricks that will help users edit their pictures.
Santosh Desai, managing director and chief executive of Future Brands says that Micromax operates in the dynamic technology led category, but as a brand has no inherent advantages. “Through agility and the sheer understanding of their consumer base, this brand has created ever growing room for itself,” he
Notes. Rama Bijapurkar says that as the strong number two player in its category, Micromax is shaping the Indian consumer’s consciousness. Seaking of both Samsung and Micromax, she says: “Watch out other categories, your consumer expectations are being driven sky high by this hyperactive and innovative duo.”