With the ‘Make in India’ mobiles initiative, international smartphone brands tied up with local manufacturers in order to set up assembly facilities in India.
This can be regarded as a wake-up call for Indian mobile brands, as India is becoming a favorite destination for mobile development by Chinese mobile companies. In their domestic Chinese market, Chinese smartphone manufacturers have undergone saturation, and the new demand from their consumers is sophisticated and complex to satisfy. Therefore, since 2016, they have started winning the Indian markets.
How has China overtaken India?
Earlier (in 2015), Micromax was able to beat Samsung and become the number one smartphone brand in India. Since then, Chinese businesses have worked to improve their sales on the model of economies of scale. They produced millions of smartphones that reduced their production costs, and thus supplied good phones at a lower cost.
Xiaomi is a leading supplier to India’s smartphone industry. Indian mobile brands lacked innovativeness, efficiency and were focused on generating tremendous profit margins in a shorter period.
Therefore, back then, they lost the race to Chinese companies. Even when the “Made in India” initiative was launched by the Indian Government, Chinese companies began their production here, providing them with cheaper and easily accessible labor to minimize their costs. India does not produce Silicon chips and processors, and for the next 5 years, it will be difficult to get indigenous products in this field.
Where should Indian mobile brands concentrate in order to recover their market share?
There are a few steps that can be taken up by Indian mobile brands to create new possibilities for themselves. In the average Indian household, the low penetration of smartphones is where Indian makers need to focus. To spur their development, they can offer feature-rich smartphones.
In addition, most Chinese smartphone manufacturers lack good service and support for after-sales. This is where the ability to gain market share can be seized by Indian makers. Most Indian mobile mobile phones rely on an offline distribution network, while Chinese brands partner with online retailers to provide them with exclusive offers. To gain prominence and market share, Indian businesses should reach out to online stores and offer enticing offers.
Offering the latest in mobile technology is another field that can be understood by Indian smartphone manufacturers. For example, it will shift the direction of the game in favour of the Indian brands by offering the latest trends in features, such as multiple rear cameras, AR and VR compatibility within a reasonable price range.
What has been improving in the last 5 years?
In Noida, Samsung has established a huge facility where the brand can also produce PCBs and other critical components. Tata has also taken the initiative to invest in a production facility for electronic components in Chennai.
Many other businesses are participating in an incentive system linked to efficiency. Through this method, the businesses are unable to produce income before the manufacturer starts production.
This will encourage businesses to start manufacturing in India soon. India is now the second-largest smartphone maker. Furthermore, after the outbreak of COVID-19, India can take advantage of the consumer sentiment, where they prefer Indian-made products over foreign models, and attract more production units in India.
At this rate, the Indian market is heading towards profits, and it is likely that the country will be ahead of China in the development of smartphones in the next 10 years.
The Indian smartphone industry is rising year-on-year, but Indian mobile brands are still in a difficult situation at present. The other foreign smartphone brands are also taking away the opportunities available to the home brands, apart from the competition from the Chinese OEMs.
It will take longer for Indian smartphone brands to reclaim market share, but they can certainly find ways to survive in the intensely competitive market, with the name of the game being invention and innovation.
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