Micromax on Tuesday re-entered the smartphone market in the country with the unveiling of two new devices under the ‘In’ brand as it looks to leverage the current anti-China sentiment in India, along with the push for ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’.
“In both our new devices, we are giving even better pricing than Chinese players and both are performance-oriented products,” said Rahul Sharma, the company’s co-founder. “We will not be making ₹4,000-₹5,000 phones... so the expectation that Micromax will make cheap phones etc... we will not do that,” he added.
The company launched the ‘IN note 1’ featuring a 48MP AI Quad camera, MediaTek Helio G85 Gaming processor, and a 6.67-inch display, with prices starting at ₹10,999, and the ‘IN 1b’ that comes with MediaTek Helio G35 processor and AI dual camera (13+2 MP primary camera + 8MP front camera) at ₹6,999 onwards.
Mr. Sharma said that in India, 90% of the smartphone market was between ₹7,000-₹15,000 and hence the company was entering this segment. However, the firm will unveil products in the higher price range (about ₹20,000-₹25,000) as well, soon.
“We are making phones in India. The software, which is the most important part, is done here… in hardware also, the idea is that we get the entire ecosystem to India gradually,” he said, adding that the company would have a ‘hero product’ in each category, but would not flood the market with products.
Replying to a query as to what gave him the confidence of success this time around, Mr. Sharma said in its previous innings, the company “took care” of brands like HTC and Sony and that when Chinese players entered the space, it could not compete on pricing, similar to other players in the market.
“This time, the PLI scheme will give a big boost to companies like us ...a 6% incentive is very big in our industry because it’s a high-value game. So, we will be able to compete on pricing. Next is marketing. I think the anti-China sentiment will help us there. I am not saying our phones will sell only because of that sentiment, but there will be a tailwind... And if we make good products, then nobody can stop us... that is one game I understand very well,” he said.
The company, which has earmarked investments of about ₹500 crore to be spent over the next 18-24 months, had also recently announced a tie up with Taiwanese chipset maker MediaTek to design and develop smartphone solutions.