Beetel builds in "Voice of the Customer" in the products!
Executive Director & CEO,
Beetel Teletech Ltd.
What has been Beetel's contribution to the mobility industry since its inception?
According to me, the mobility industry in India is very buoyant. Today, India sells almost 150 million mobile handsets per year and the growth in the Indian manufactured or Indian provided mobile phones is the fastest at almost 35 to 40 per cent and it has already cornered one-third of the market. Beetel decided to enter the mobile business as a natural extension to be in the communication business. Over the last six months, we have created a pan-India network for phones. We have provided good servicing facilities for our mobile phones with almost 400 service outlets. Our products have been well received and our philosophy to offer affordable mobile phones with additional features compared to other competitors has worked in our favour.
Share your views on the trends of the communication industry?
15 years back, presence of telephones in India was in decimals and in 1996 when the mobile phones entered the Indian market, we still had less than 0.5% teledensity in the country. Over the last 10-15 years, the growth in the mobile phones service providers has ensured that teledensity has moved up to an average of almost 65 to 70%, with large cities in India accounting for sometimes approximately 100% teledensity. Obviously, the landline phone industry has not seen the same kind of growth for some reasons - one being mobile is a mobile device. Almost every member of the family tends to use one. There are not more than one or two landline phones at home. Laying the mobile infrastructure through towers or through microwave or through fiber is less cumbersome and requires less capex as compared to the landline infrastructure. Also, I think the government policies have been very favourable for the growth of the telephone in the country. All this has accelerated the growth of communication in the country.
Do you agree landline has its own charm?
I think Beetel has a lineage that lies in the landline phones. We started two decades back as landline phone manufacturers and even till date remain as India's largest landline phone provider. Beetel sells landline phones not only in India but in the emerging markets like Africa, SAARC and Latin America. Though volume growth in landline phones has slowed down, the value growth in landline phones continues to remain. And how Beetel is contributing to the landline phone growth is that we have moved our focus from basic instruments to feature-rich landline phones. We are putting a lot of focus on product development into cordless landline phones and cordless phones with different colours, aesthetics and DSL. As fixed line DSL is also helping the growth of landline phones, I think innovation can really keep the landline phone market buoyant which Beetle is totally committed to.
What kind of distribution network you have?
We have established pan-India distribution network for our mobile phones and other Beetel consumer products. Our aim is to cover each and every state of the country. We work through distributors, city dealers and retailer channels. It is either a 3-tier or 2-tier distribution depending upon where we are located. We also sell our products through schemes. We launched phones with various service providers to bundle in minutes along with our phones. So, we try to explore all possible ways and means to reach the potential consumers as we would like them to patronize our products. We are engaged in the distribution of data cards and were very successful in the distribution of 2G cards.
We are now exclusive distributors for Airtel and BSNL for 3G cards, and also sell Beetel branded 3G cards in the IT channel that we cater to. The advantage of Beetel lies in the fact that we are fashioning ourselves as a technology device player in the country. So, we not only have the distinct channel available across devices but also see a lot of overlap within the product segments. And, that is the advantage of Beetel to anybody who would like to distribute a technology-based device through Beetel.
Any concrete plans for the next five years?
Beetel has got very big plans for growth. We are already a close-to US$200-million company, which makes us amongst the top 100 companies in the country today. We are establishing ourselves as a large player in the consumer segment both through Beetel brand and global brands. We want to establish ourselves as an admirable distribution company with a huge focus on establishing the Beetel brand, though it is a known brand already. We are fully committed to meeting the needs of our consumers, both existing and future consumers through world-class services as well as the products.
Today, India is not only restricted to top four metros or ten cities. I think India's GDP growth is unlike china a little more diverse in the sense that we could probably see 60% growth in the top ten cities of the country but at least 40% growth does come from outside the top ten cities. So, it is our responsibility to ensure that our products reach tier-II and tier-III cities. The future in our country is going to be on devices. And, applications will run on devices. Thus, we are well positioned and committed to bring better and more robust and more application-oriented devices to service the masses in the country. By virtue of nature, most of our products are mass products. So, we believe that Beetle is here to service the masses and take technology to the people at large.
For more contact: Syeda Beenish
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