Homegrown smartphone brand, Micromax on Friday announced its return to India’s smartphone market. The company has been out of the market for over two years now, having failed to battle against Chinese smartphone companies, which controlled the supply chain and brought the smartphone prices in India to an all-time low.
According to Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax, the company will not make low-cost smartphones anymore, something it has always been known for. “We will only come out with performance-oriented products. You won’t see phones worth ₹3000, 5000 from Micromax anymore,” he said.
Sharma said Micromax plans to play in the ₹7,000 -10,000 to ₹20,000 -25000 segment and will sell — both online and offline — from early next month, bringing out an entire lineup of In branded phones by the end of the year. He claimed Micromax will have better phones than Chinese brands in the same prices that they offer. “Whatever features Chinese brands are giving, we’ll give at the same price point or at a better price point,” he said.
The company will start with two In branded phones in the first week of next month, but Sharma says an entire lineup of products will be launched by the end of the year. Sharma also said the company won’t run ads on its phones, something users have criticized Chinese smartphone players for. “It will be a very clean experience. All the software has been done by us and all updates will happen from India,” he said.
Indian smartphone brands have been eyeing a comeback ever since the Indian government announced its production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for mobile manufacturing. Both Lava and Karbonn, two well-known Indian brands, are expected to start selling smartphones soon as well. The scheme gives 4-6% benefits for manufacturing phones in India, with foreign companies being allowed these benefits on phones with invoice value about Rs. 15,000 only.
“Everybody was looking to Chinese phones because they were coming down heavily on pricing,” said Sharma. This is where the PLI scheme comes in, which allows Indian manufacturers to battle the Chinese in pricing. “If you can get revenues up to Rs. 10,000 crore then Rs. 600 crore comes straight to your bottomline. I think this is a great cushion that has been provided to all the Indian companies, that will help us to fight these guys,” he added.
Micromax’s In phones will also be followed by other connected devices, including air conditioners and more.