3G, Facebook, innovation drive Micromax smartphone growth: Rahul Sharma

Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma says 3G Internet, social media like Facebook and innovation are driving Micromax’s smartphone growth.

In January-April 2013, the home grown Micromax has grabbed 19.3 percent share in the Indian smartphone market, less than half of Samsung, the market leader with 40.7 percent.

The 19.3 percent share and the #2 rank, ahead of Nokia, Apple, BlackBerry, Sony, LG, etc. is significant as Micromax started focusing on smartphones around 18 months ago.

Micromax’s Rahul Sharma, in an interaction with TelecomLead.com’s Baburajan K, said that there is lots of demand for smartphones from 3G users. Both 3G and the smartphone demand are happening across the country. Most of the feature phone users are migrating to a smartphone which can accommodate data connection.

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Besides the availability of innovative and cost effective smartphones from Micromax, data bundling offers from telecom operators also attract new 3G users. “3G driven Internet, social media like Facebook, budget smartphones are adding to the aspiration of the Youth,” Sharma says.

Kevin D’Souza, country growth manager, Facebook, earlier said the social media giant’s growth in Indian market is driving 3G driven Internet access. Three out of every four people on Facebook send a message on the mobile platform each month; making messaging one of the most popular activities on Facebook.

Social media has had a significant role to play in the 3G uptake, especially among the youth, as they look for uninterrupted connectivity to post pictures and share videos among friends. With youth driving majority of the internet usage, social media still remains one of the leading use cases among 3G users.

Currently, smartphones contribute 50 percent of Micromax revenue. In terms of volumes, smartphones make around 40 percent, while the rest comes from feature phones. “But smartphones are growing faster and there will be change in revenue mix soon,” Sharma added.

Analysys Mason says 3G SIMs are expected to grow from 35 million in 2012 to about 272 million by 2017 as more and more high-end 2G users upgrade their services in India. The current data usage on 3G will almost double to 890MB/sub/month by 2017 from 475MB/sub/month in 2012.

“Since we are aiming for #1 position in the Indian smartphone market, we will be expanding our phone and tablet products — including more 3G smartphones at different price points — and geographical reach in coming quarters,” Sharma added.

In less than 5 years, Micromax has achieved presence in more than 560 districts through 125,000 retail outlets in India. In the month of April 2013, Micromax achieved smartphone market share of 24.3 percent as per CMR. The Indian mobile phone industry feels that Micromax is a long-term player and will continue to grow thanks to its initiatives to bring in new smartphones and its ability to address market demands.

Brief profile of Rahul Sharma, co-founder, Micromax Informatics:

Rahul is the driving force behind Micromax’s commendable position in the Indian mobile handset market. Leading the product and sales strategies in Micromax, Rahul encompasses an enriching work experience of 13 years.

Besides being an entrepreneur, Rahul is a sports enthusiast with a passion for fast cars and Formula 1 racing. He spends his free time reading autobiographies of successful leaders. Rahul is a mechanical engineer by profession.

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com