The company,which is also the world’s 11th largest mobile phone brand now, started its Russia operations this week through a partnership with VVP Group, one of the country’s leading distribution houses. The move is expected to provide good reach for the brand across the large counrty.
The company will start with 14 devices in the Canvas series of smartphones and Bolt series of smart-feature phones. For service, Micromax is setting up 60 centers by end of the month.
Co-Founder Rahul Sharma used the launch to reiterate the company’s resolve to democratise technology for the masses. But it is obvious that the company is eyeing the high value European market through its Russia entry. “Our initial focus in the Russian market is to replicate the success witnessed in our other markets in the last couple of years,” he said, adding that they wanted to be the first Indian hardware brand to go global.
The company had made its global intentions clear when it chose to launch a tablet, running both the Android and Windows 8 operating systems, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest tech show, in Las Vegas. Earlier, it had recruited Hollywood star Hugh Jackman as brand ambassador, making its global outlook amply clear.
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Micromax is not alone. Other Indian players live Lava had clear global ambitions and could soon start looking beyond their pocket boroughs in Asia and Africa. Most think of Africa as a growth area, but the volumes there might not be backed by larger margins. And even the volumes are not there at the moment. That is why Europe and the Americas are crucial. It won’t be that easy to take on these markets, but Indian companies have a clear USP that has not been tested in these geographies before—their very Indian price points.