Amidst the rising belligerence from China and the continuing stand-off between the Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control, the Indian mobile phone manufacture Micromax on Friday announced its comeback in the Indian market currently flooded by Chinese manufacturers.
The announcement of Micromax’s return to the Indian market was made through a heartwarming video shared by the company’s official Twitter account that featured co-founder Rahul Sharma, who in the video announced the Gurugram based organisation’s re-entry into the Indian mobile phone market with a new range of locally manufactured ‘IN mobile phone range’ against the Chinese counterparts.
“We’re #INForIndia with #INMobiles! What about you? #IndiaKeLiye #BigAnnouncement #MicromaxIsBack #AatmanirbharBharat,” the tweet by Micromax read.
In the approximately 2-minute long video, Sharma shared the company’s journey and how it was among the top 10 mobile manufacturers in the world before losing its market share to the Chinese mobile manufacturing companies. Sharma candidly and honestly admitted to the mistakes made by the company during its first innings that propelled its downfall and ensured that the organisation has learned from its past mistakes and will launch competitive products to take on the Chinese mobile companies currently dominating the Indian smartphone market.
Talking about the recent conflict between Indiana and Chinese forces at the LAC, Rahul Sharma said that what happened at the border was not good, and after the incident, people in the country appealed the company to make a comeback to counter the Chinese phone makers amid the calls of boycotting Chinese products.
Sharma also mentioned in the video that when PM Modi called for a push towards self-reliance (Atma Nirbhar), Micromax found a new purpose to revitalise its fight against the Chinese mobile phone companies. Towards the end of the video, Sharma flashes a sky-blue box of a mobile phone with ‘IN’ written on it, which is believed to be the company’s new range of smartphones with which it will re-enter the Indian mobile phone market.
Besides, Micromax has also pledged an investment of Rs 500 crores for expanding its local manufacturing capabilities and research and development operations as it gears up for its comeback in the Indian mobile phone market.
Indian government launched the PLI scheme to boost local manufacturing of electronics goods
To grab the market share of the mobile phones currently dominated by the Chinese and American companies, Micromax is seeking to avail benefits that the Indian government has announced with the schemes like PLI. The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) was introduced by the Modi government in the electronics manufacturing segment in April this year under the National Policy on Electronics (NPE) 2019 that aims to incentivise companies that manufacture their products locally and which will ultimately position India as a global hub for Electronics System Design and Manufacturing (ESDM).
Proposals by 16 phone makers under the Production Linked Incentive Scheme (PLI) for Large Scale Electronics Manufacturing was approved by the Ministry of Electronics and Information and Technology earlier this month, including Bhagwati Products Ltd, the maker of Micromax phones and other consumer electronic products.
Speaking about the PLI scheme, Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma said, “The new PLI scheme balances out foreign and Indian players. The support of 6 per cent is big and with the government support, we will be able to fight Chinese brands fiercely on the pricing front.”
In addition to encouraging companies to manufacture locally, the government has also hiked up import duties on smartphone components like displays, thereby raising difficulties for the foreign manufacturers to keep their prices competitive and providing another incentive to manufacture locally.
Chinese mobile phone companies shunted out Micromax from the Indian mobile phone market
True to its tagline “nothing like anything”, Micromax disrupted the Indian mobile phone market a decade ago with its unique value-for-money products. The company quickly captured the market share from the then market leader Samsung by offering the same features as the Korean brand gave but at half the cost. However, this dominance of the smartphone market was short-lived as Micromax was strangled out of the Indian mobile phone market following the advent of the Chinese mobile phone companies.
The company which once commanded an impressive 22 per cent of the mobile phone market share in India in 2015 was reduced to an inconsequential player by 2018 as more and more number of Indians embraced Chinese mobile phones made by companies such as Oppo, Vivo, Xiaomi, One Plus and several others. Chinese mobile companies flooded the Indian market with glitzy new products packed with a ton of features at affordable prices which played an instrumental role in Micromax’s undoing.
As India now moves towards a more self-reliant economy with PM Modi’s clarion call to be “vocal for local”, the Indian mobile phone manufacturer is poised to take the heat on its Chinese counterparts.