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Videocon Mobile proving its mettle

By VARINDIA    2013-07-23

Jerold Pereira,
CEO, 
Videocon Mobile Phones  

 

The “Smartphone Revolution” proved to be a win-win situation for Videocon Mobile and they knew exactly how to cash in on this new opportunity in front of them, recounts Jerold Pereira, CEO, Videocon Mobile Phones  

In terms of market share, the company could be just about 2% nationally, but it is their approach and reach that make Videocon stand out in the crowd today. For instance, over the past year, they have set a target to focus on certain markets and set acceptable levels of market share and reach there, before taking on more areas. In such markets, Videocon would be between 4% and 7%. But their quest does not end here and the subsequent developments  soon become a boon to the brand and they start leveraging it to their utmost advantage.

 

The Smartphone/Tablet Shift 

While the Videocon brand is present across all three segments – feature phones, smartphones and tablets, the shift towards smartphones did act as a catalyst for Videocon to leverage its brand connect and technology access. “In terms of overall volumes of smartphones, we have shown growth in line with or better than industry averages,” opens up Jerold Pereira, CEO, Videocon Mobile Phones. However, in terms of value, Videocon has witnessed growth that is much higher than the industry – fuelled primarily by the traction they have had in the smartphone segment.

Tablets being a newer concept, the company currently has a limited range. To this, Pereira adds, “The tablet segment has seen a lot of activity in the past one year – starting with the Wi-Fi tablet, then moving onto 2G calling tablets and now 3G tablets. For us, we have found greater acceptability in the calling tablet space and have met with considerable success in the 2.75G segment, which we are now hoping to replicate in the 3G segment.” The brand has done limited products in the Wi-Fi tablet segment – both with 7” and 10” tablets, but are not focussed on these lines of products since they find the barriers-to-entry relatively low.

In the feature phone segment however, Videocon has a good representation catering to the varying requirements in the market.

But then the next big challenge for Videocon was to streamline distribution to get to D and E class cities – as they are reasonably represented in C class and higher cities. The fact that the brand recognition is extremely high across all town categories pan-India worked incredibly in their favour  and so it has been more an issue of creating awareness about their presence in the handset segment in these currently un-serviced towns and the duly support by distribution reach. 

With the growing contribution of smartphones and tablets, Videocon does have seen a shift in terms of its channel strategies. For smartphones – particularly in the Rs.5,000/- and above segment and the tablet products, the presence of organized or modern trade counters is a must, while their feature phones continue to move to vanilla retail counters through Videocon’s standard distribution channels. Further, with the onset of smartphones, there has a good pickup through online channels also.

But these channel and retail strategies do not alone determine their brand success. There are these ongoing marketing and promotional activities carried out at different levels and medium by Videocon that considerably needs worth mentioning.

“Marketing happens at three levels – nationally through national and regional print and television channels, on-ground through BTL activities like in-store branding, POP collateral, etc, and now virtually – having a presence on the internet. We do regular print campaigns, particularly in the states that we are focussed on. And now, with the increase of smartphone business, we will get more visible through television and the internet,” says Pereira.

 

In the end…

There is a whole lot to achieve and many new markets to get introduced to, and it is this undaunted feeling creeping into the minds of everyone responsible for building the Videocon Mobiles brand that keeps it going, in search of new opportunities and prospects. 

samrita@varindia.com 

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