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Editorial: The Rise of Indian Mobile Phone Brands In Recent Years

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Let’s rewind the clock to five years back. Brands like Micromax, iBall etc. understood the demands of the average Indian customer and delivered value for money like no other International manufacturer could. Of course, those brands were not close enough to the Indian market to realize where some of them went wrong in their business strategy. Taking a risk and making a generalization, the average Indian wants to use a gadget (everything from phones, laptops to mice and keyboards) for a certain period of time after which s/he doesn’t care about it anymore. Almost always, such gadgets are deemed as hand-me-downs. Indian manufacturers noticed this trend and capitalized on the market by exploiting the very fact. Soon enough, customers realised the flaw in this model since they were aimed to not last more than a few years, which meant it would, in practice, last even less. This lead to the brands getting passed off as low-end to mid-range segment manufacturers in the Indian market, with most people being cynical about such products.

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In more recent times, however, international brands have started seeing India as a market with a lot of potential, even (relatively) good quality products have started becoming cheaper, making it more difficult for domestic companies to compete with tech giants such as Microsoft, Samsung, etc. This is where, presumably, things started to change. Since cutting down on profits a bit was getting more and more affordable, domestic companies started to work on the only flaw that they did have, quality of their products.

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The rise of Chinese electronics manufacture only helped Indian brands in holding the high ground that they possess today. Since warranty is the only thing Indian consumers are truly mad about, the Chinese rebrand coupled with a local warranty was a strategy that had success written all over it. And now, that Android is the word on the common man’s tongue, an affordable yet good quality smartphone fulfils the dreams of the young and old alike. Since the phones must be unique among the local brands themselves as well, they work on adding in a few extra goodies, such as apps that can actually be handy as in the case of XOLO. Or the blow air to unlock feature, seen in the latest iteration of the Canvas series from Indian biggie, Micromax.

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But then the issue of quality of service arises. There have been numerous complaints about service centres not being good enough and living up to the mark. For the sake of the argument, let’s assume that is true. What people fail to understand is it’s only now that customers have started expecting highly of the Indian brands since they’ve recently caught up and even become mainstream players alongside international brands such as Samsung and HTC. It would definitely take time for various quality checks to be passed while hiring employees at the service centre. It should be kept it mind, no one is born perfect.

Earlier, domestic manufacturers were just an alternative for people who wanted to have cameras or QWERTY keypads at lower price points but those days are long gone. They have managed to shed off their image of ‘just another Indian brand’ and the proof lies in the fact that these products are being reviewed thoroughly, everyday! Comparisons are even made with high end phones such as the Galaxy line up from Samsung. Of course, such success can only mean more investments into the products and if the scenario continues to be headed the it is right now, a few years down the line we may even see devices that are conceived and produced entirely in India. Given the potential Indian youth possesses, who knows what great idea might just be lurking around the corner. One thing is for certain though, with their success and the smartphone market growing stronger by the hour, endowments being made will certainly keep increasing. For Indian brands, the spiral only goes up. The next big thing, might just be Made in India!


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