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India’s Micromax struggling Now

A worker displays a Micromax mobile phone inside a store in Kolkata in this December 4, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Rupak De Chowdhuri/Files

At a time when PM Modi is emphasizing on ‘Make in India’, India’s Micromax is struggling to survive and expand in the smartphone market.

By Himank Sharma

MUMBAI (Reuters) – A year ago, Micromax vaulted past Samsung Electronics Co Ltd to become India’s leading smartphone brand. Today, its market share has nearly halved, several top executives have resigned, and the company is looking for growth outside India.

In Micromax’s slide to second place is a tale of the promise and peril of India’s booming but hyper-competitive smartphone industry.

India is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. Shipments of smartphones jumped 29 percent to 103 million units last year.

Rapid growth has helped nurture a crop of local brands, led by Micromax, that outsourced production to Chinese manufacturers. Now, as Samsung rolls out more affordable phones, the same Chinese factories are entering the Indian market with their own brands, depressing prices and forcing Indian mobile makers to rethink their strategies.

“What the Indian brands did to the global brands two years ago, Chinese phone makers are doing the same to Indian brands now, and over the next year we see tremendous competition for Micromax and other Indian smartphone makers,” said Tarun Pathak, analyst at Counterpoint Research in New Delhi.

Micromax mobile phones are displayed at a mobile store in Mumbai in this December 4, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files
Micromax mobile phones are displayed at a mobile store in Mumbai in this December 4, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files


Micromax, which was founded in New Delhi by four partners in 2000 but only began selling mobile phones in 2008, built its market share by working with Chinese manufacturers such as Coolpad, Gionee and Oppo to offer affordable phones quickly. In 2015, it launched more than 40 new models.

In 2014, the founders brought in outside managers to lead the company at a time when Micromax was challenging Samsung to become the largest mobile phone maker in India.

But tensions arose soon after between founders and the newly hired executives, six former executives told Reuters. These conflicts undermined Micromax’s attempts to raise funds for expansion, say former executives. Last May, Alibaba walked away from a mooted $1.2 billion purchase of a 20 percent stake, citing a lack of clarity on growth plans, according to one executive involved in the discussion. Micromax co-founder Vikas Jain said in an interview with Reuters this week that the company and Alibaba disagreed on a future road map.

Alibaba declined to comment.

Former executives said the lack of fresh funding undermined a proposal by the new executives to move Micromax’s research and design operations, which had previously been outsourced, in-house. The move was intended to help Micromax differentiate itself from generic Android clones.

“We hired about 80-90 people in Bangalore to do in-house software and design, but with no money from the investors and little interest from the founders, that team fizzled away and that office has been partially shut down now,” said a former executive.

After Alibaba walked away, Micromax struggled to attract other investors who would have been key to Micromax’s plan to invest in software R&D and hardware design. The company was forced to scale down the in-house R&D project, a top executive involved in the fundraising plan said.

At least five senior executives have resigned since November. The latest was Vineet Taneja, chief executive since 2014, who quit last week.


Meanwhile, Chinese handset makers, including Coolpad and Oppo, to which Micromax outsources its manufacturing, were sharpening their focus on India. Samsung, too, began to introduce more affordable models there.

In 2015, Chinese brands doubled their market share to 18 percent, according to Counterpoint Research, taking away business from Indian budget phone makers such as Micromax, Intex, Lava and Karbonn. Indian brands’ market share fell from 48 to 43 percent last year.

“Right now the whole industry is suffering because of the Chinese phones,” Jain told Reuters. “We have seen large write-downs happening on inventory in China, and that inventory is being passed on to India at a markdown.”

Chinese phone makers including LeEco, Xiaomi and Lenovo have also partnered with e-commerce companies including Amazon India and Flipkart to sell phones directly to consumers, saving on distribution and sales and reaching new online shoppers directly.

In the final quarter of 2015, Micromax’s shipments fell by 12.1 percent, against growth of 15.4 percent for the sector, according to industry tracker IDC. Micromax’s share of the smartphone market fell to 13 percent in the fourth quarter from 22 percent at its peak in 2014, according to IDC.

Micromax, which is privately held and does not disclose financial information, maintains it is profitable. Founders Jain, Rahul Sharma, Rajesh Agarwal and Sumeet Arora still control about 80 percent of the company. They have raised nearly $90 million from investors in the last five years.

Facing competition from both Samsung and inexpensive Chinese phones, Micromax plans to increase production in India. Jain said that the company plans to double local manufacturing output from 1.5 million units to about 3 million units a month over the next six to 12 months.

Already a top-10 brand in Russia, Micromax is seeking a partner to help it expand further outside India and diversify into televisions and tablets.

“Micromax needs to diversify geographically and also needs to diversify product lines,” said Neil Mawston, executive director of the global wireless practice at London-based research consultancy Strategy Analytics. How well it manages that diversification, Mawston says, will be key.

(Reporting by Himank Sharma; additional reporting by Paul Carsten; Editing by Alexandra Harney)

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Top 5 Cell Phones on Amazon

Mobile phones are like that messenger which brings good news and glory to all yet can be the cause of the catastrophe that you invited all along.

Smartphone. Flickr

Man has always been a social animal, from the ancient era of communication through sign languages till date Wireless, it had been worth the journey. Nostalgia does make us feel charmed but lets not waste it when Amazon offers you the best of cell phones that you truly deserve to have. From verbal to non-verbal communication, ecstasy to sorrow this little non-human assistant of us can do miracles for the morrow.

Essential phone in Halo Grey- 128GB Unlocked Titanium & Ceramic phone with an edge-to-edge display

When avant-garde shook hands with technology and trend, out came this gentle beast from the makers of android, the Essential phone has all the features you care about most without a bunch of gimmicks. A large edge-to-edge display, 128GB of storage, all day battery life, fast charging and more. It’s sophisticated. It’s simple. And it’s yours.

  • More screen, less phone: The biggest screen to body ratio of any phone! With a stunning 5.71’’ edge-to-edge Quad HD display, you get a large screen in a phone that still fits comfortably in one hand.
  • 13MP dual RGB along with a mono rear camera with Portrait mode and 4K video recording. Get the best of natural shots and enjoy with incredible high resolution video.
  • 3040 mAH to fuel your activity round the clock and 128GB internal storage to carry them all along. Long gone the headaches of NO SPACE DISPLAY!
  • Wireless charger at its best. No cables. No adapters. Just rest your phone and let science and technology take care of it with the latest Click connector operated by magnetic lines of force. No fear of leakage. Fast charging and you can party when you wake up.
It’s sophisticated. It’s simple.
  • Android Oreo 8.1 and Alexa to cater all your needs with brilliant yet optimised performance with a smile will only leave you asking for more!
  • Revolutionary MQA technology to serve treat for your ears along with a 90 days Tidal Hifi subscription for all those new and existing customers to make the most of thousands of MQA tracks available.
  • Amazon offer price on this model is $419.12(only phone) or $530.69(along with 360 degree camera).

Samsung Galaxy S8 unlocked 64GB- US version Midnight Black- US warranty

Amazon’s choice under cell phones from Samsung brand surely has a reason worth it. The revolutionary design of the Galaxy S8 begins from the inside out. Deducing every part of the phone’s layout to break through the confines of the smartphone screen so that all you see is pure content and no bezel. It’s the biggest screen on Galaxy smartphone ever built and it’s pretty easy to hold in a hand and play.

  • Infinite Display: Beyond the bezel with an infinite display sets a new standard for uninterrupted, immersive experiences. It enables an expanded screen size without necessitating a larger phone. So while the view is grander, Galaxy S8 feels small in your hand, making them easy to hold and use.
  • The big screen that feels small along with a comfortable grip of smooth curves, that allow you to hold the cell when it matters the most. Shortcuts along the edge just to sweep when needed.
  • The soothing silhouette that compliments both front and rear eyes deep seated for the moment but also providing a visually tranquil experience for the user who gazes amidst the varieties.
It enables an expanded screen size without necessitating a larger phone. Flickr
  • IP68- Water Resistant in up to 5ft of water for up to 30 mins. With a battery of 3000mAh and the availability of fast charging, this is one device to serve you night and day. Feather light weight of just 152g, play and party round the clock and when you get tired just plug her into wireless fast charging and wake up in the morning to find it’s ready for you.
  • For all who value privacy, this cell is unlocked and portable with any valid GSM connection along with external memory worth 256GB to capture all you wish to!
  • Amazon offer price $499.99. Just grab it and live the amazing things you truly deserve.

Honor 7x factory unlocked phone with 5.93’’ screen- 32GB-Black (US warranty)

How does it feels to use luxury at half the price! Awesome, isn’t it! Honor offers you the same that too at an affordable price of $199.99 with all those latest features and technology which were only available in all those branded cell with double the price.

  • Honor 7x offers you 3GB RAM along with 32GB internal storage for the smooth running of your precious phone. You can play Asphalt or brace your patience with a crossword, Honor will provide you with the best you deserve.
  • With a 5.93’’ display along with 82.9% screen-to-body ratio and 18:9 long aspect ratio, Honor provides you with the elegant viewing experience that too amidst the traditional display size. Split screen display prevails enhanced multi-tasking options for all that is supported. Edge-to-Edge all screen design along with 2160*1080 FHD+ resolution provides you with the ultimate viewing experience.
  • Honor consists of the first in class dual camera with 16MP+2MP rear lens and 8MP front lens. Fitted with beauty mode for enhanced selfie capture and providing the best image solutions for your special clicks. You can use palm gesture to activate the camera while taking a selfie and in built shake reduction and anti-blur measures just make sure that you deserve the best of it.
Honor consists of the first in class dual camera with 16MP+2MP rear lens and 8MP front lens. Flickr
  • Advanced security features like rear mounted fingerprint sensor lock. In case of emergency, when your cell would play the most crucial role, just one touch and your phone pops into action.
  • With a battery power worth 3340 mAh and the power saving 16nm Kirin 659 chipset, this cell can tolerate more than your patience. Play, party, record, stream and all you can think of and you shall have the best of performance Honor thinks you deserve truly.
  • This cell is truly made for the geek cum multi tasker who believes in saving some extra bucks by compromising on brand Tag and embracing quality.
  • Available in BLACK from Amazon at an offer price of just $199.99 using Amazon Coupons

Huawei Mate SE Factory unlocked 5.93’’- 4GB/64GB octa-core processor| 16MP+2MP dual camera| GSM only| GREY & US warranty

Where communications supports connectivity, HUAWEI manifested. The 6th largest IT company in the world and service provider brings you the best of cell phones through Huawei Mate SE. Though humble in size yet dazzling in appearance, armed with the latest of technicalities and features, this cell is a must for all who want brand and quality but in an affordable bargain.

  • The Mate SE features a compact 5.93’’ display yet has the luxury of incredible edge-to-edge view along with a screen-to-body ratio of 18:9 all-in-all to provide you with the best of the viewing experience.
  • Huawei also offers the luxury of a rear dual lens of 16MP+2MP along with portrait mode not only to beauty your looks but also enhancing the unflawed you.
  • Next level performance with Octa-core processor and Kirin 659 chipset, which powers Huawei’s inbuilt EMUI 5.1 mobile OS(analogue of Android 7).
  • 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage to support the thirst of your inquisitive mind for there are no more fear of NO MEMORY.
The 6th largest IT company in the world and service provider brings you the best of cell phones through Huawei Mate SE.
  • Flexible dual sim cum microsd options in the Huawei Mate SE. YOu can use 2 nano sims in the provided slot or 1 nano sim + microsd card up to 256GB storage.
  • And you are a selfie geek yet been let down with all those sub-standard lens quality. Use this Huawei mate SE with 8MP front mounted selfie camera along with all those latest sticker applicable not only to click you beautiful but also to highlight the beautiful you through path breaking technology and subtle tailoring of the lens.
  • The phone is sold unlock which means no more mutual harassment of subscriptions and an endless problem with portability. But the phone supports only GSM connections and can be used internationally with a valid service provider.
  • Amazon offer price for Huawei mate SE is $219.99

BLU VIVO 8- 5.5’’ Full HD, 4G LTE smartphone, 4GB RAM, 64GB ROM- BLACK

True meaning as the company sounds, BLU: BOLD LIKE US and here they offer you BLU VIVO 8 for all who wish to leave a bold statement in life.

  • Crafted with precise engineering, the VIVO 8 provides 87% metal-to-body ratio and equally reliable without compromise to design. Color matched glass provided to form a rather aesthetically superior model.
  • Gorgeous 5.5’’ Full HD in-body display along with the elegant 1080*1920 resolution and 401 ppi providing high contrast and vivid display makes the viewing experience worth the DREAM WORLD!
  • VIVO 8 provides unparalleled performance with MediaTek Helio 10 chipset and 2.0 GHz processor and a powerful 4GB RAM to take care of your daily dramas.
  • 64GB inbuilt memory and optional microsd worth 64GB can offer plenty for all who know how to use it. Endless clicking of selfies and recording of HD videos and still much left to be filled. Ultra quick 9V/2A charger and a whooping 4010 mAh battery is enough to take care of all you need to by ease and grace.
Amazon offers BLU VIVO 8 at an offer price of $179.99
  • PHOTOGRAPHY IS TRUTH and VIVO 8 provides the state of art 13MP rear camera with Sony IMX258 sensor along with a 16MP front mounted selfie camera. When it matters the most to click, you will never be less than satisfied.
  • LTE connected for the latest in cellular along with the BLACK colour only makes it more feasible. HOLD IT! FEEL IT! USE IT!
  • Amazon offers BLU VIVO 8 at an offer price of $179.99 and the best part this is AMAZON’S CHOICE!

Technology has always been our faithful friend and the latest cellular devices have helped us only to strive for perfection. Mobile phones are like that messenger which brings good news and glory to all yet can be the cause of the catastrophe that you invited all along. But a wise person knows the difference between use and misuse, and let us strive to be wise for the best of best happens through it.

Buy these latest phones from Amazon at discounts and make your life special for that is all you are working to be.