Indian consumer electronics and smartphone manufacturer Micromax has announced massive plans for dethroning Chinese smartphone companies of their present hegemonic control of the Indian market. Sharing his company’s future plans, Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma unveiled the new ‘In’ range of smartphones which are being projected as an offering by the Indian company to take on Chinese counterparts like Xiaomi, Vivo, Redmi, Oppo, among others. Micromax’s fortunes have taken a severe hit over the past four years, from being India’s number 2 smartphone maker in 2016 to now being completely run over by Chinese brands.
In a moving video message, Rahul Sharma invoked Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative. He said, “What happened at the border, that wasn’t right. I thought a lot. And now whatever I do, I will do for India’. He added, “Life has given me another chance and Micromax is coming back.” As a company which was doing what it was doing for the first time, Rahul Sharma also graciously accepted that they might have made some mistakes which resulted in Micromax’ near wipe-out from the Indian markets. With its ‘In’ range of smartphones, Micromax is aiming at resuscitating its fortunes in India.
— Micromax India (@Micromax__India) October 16, 2020
Speaking to PTI, Rahul Sharma shed light on his plans to drive a sweeping comeback of Micromax. “Our new ‘In’ brand is not just aimed at cashing in on the sentiment…We wanted to come back with a complete strategy, backed by feature-rich products…we will invest Rs 500 crore over the next 12-18 months in research and development (R&D), marketing and sprucing up manufacturing,” he said. The ‘In’ range of smartphones, he said, will be manufactured in the company’s two facilities in Bhiwadi and Hyderabad that have a capacity of 2 million units a month. The company is also working on a war footing to strengthen its retail and distribution network across the country to hit the markets with a bang during the festive season.
Rahul Sharma was optimistic about Micromax’s future and said that the balancing of Indian and foreign players due to the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme and a 6 per cent support given to electronics manufacturers under the same, will ensure that, with government support, Indian brands can aggressively take on Chinese smartphones on the pricing front.
The time is opportune for Micromax to make a dent in the Indian markets once again, and join the fight to kick Chinese brands out of India. Chinese smartphone brands saw their market share in India fall to 72 per cent in the June 2020 quarter from 81 per cent in the preceding three months of 2020 – a result of strong anti-China sentiment prevalent among Indians. Micromax, in any case, produced decent products during its time in the market in the past, and with a commitment of spending Rs. 500 crores on R&D, while also raising money, it seems the company will unleash a completely new avatar of itself soon.