BlackBerry India new MD Sunil Lalvani’s fresh challenges

Telecom Lead Asia: BlackBerry India has appointed Sunil Lalvani as the new managing director, amid fears of challenging times in the smartphone market due to pressure from Samsung, Nokia and Apple.

Sunil will replace Sunil Dutt, who stepped down as the BlackBerry India MD in March.

Sunil, who was responsible for BlackBerry’s enterprise sales in India since 2009, will have a major task to take on Apple, Samsung, Nokia and Indian smartphone companies such as Micromax, Karbonn, etc.

His experience with the enterprise and government sales will be handy to handle the competition. But BlackBerry does not have several fresh phones to offer to Indian mobile users.

Samsung, on Wednesday, kicked off a special enterprise campaign in the U.S. market. This means, Samsung will be more serious about its business with enterprises in India as well.

Recently, IDC noted that Apple’s India shipments saw surge in Q4, sending it to the second spot in terms of revenue in the smartphone market. The surge in shipments can be attributed to the channel restructuring and the launch of iPhone 5 in Q4. With the newly appointed National distributors – Redington and Ingram Micro, Apple reached out to a consumer base bigger than ever before.

Sunil Lalvani will be responsible for driving the overall business strategy and growth for BlackBerry in India. Though BlackBerry does not want to play in the mid-and-low-end smartphone market, it will face pressure from India’s Micromax and Karbonn.

In the Q4 2012 smartphone data for India, according to IDC, BlackBerry does not have a place. Top 5 smartphone 5 vendors in India are Samsung, Micromax, Sony, Nokia and Karbonn – based on shipments market share.

Manasi Yadav, senior market analyst in the Client Devices team at IDC India, said in March 2013: “Local vendors have remained dominant in sub-US $100 price band while they pose serious competition to the global vendors in the US$100-US$200 price band. These two segments emerged as the most vibrant and the fastest growing smartphone price band segments in the Indian market.”

Sunil Lalvani said: “We are driving the adoption of its next generation of mobile computing platform with BlackBerry 10, and India is a key market for growth of the powerful platform.”

Hope BlackBerry India will have a better market conditions.

Baburajan K
[email protected]