“Karbonn Celebrates Simplicity and Indianization”: Shashin Devsare, Executive Director

by July 10, 2017 0 comments

Authored by Anushruti Singh

In an interactive session during the launch of BHIM enabled ‘K9 Kavach 4G’ smartphone, Shashin Devsare, Executive Director, Karbonn Mobiles shared some business insights and roadmap of  Karbonn for the coming time.

What is Karbonn USP?

Karbonn’s motto is to celebrate simplicity. The things that are relevant to Indian users should be in the most simplified manner. What we are planning now is to enable artificial intelligence.

What’s the update in Karbonn as there is quarterly shifting of market shares?

These quarterly shifting of market shares don’t really affect the long term and season players like Karbonn. Our investments are planned on multiple quarters.

In the Indian mobile phone market scenario, we still have to work a lot in terms of strategy and market size.  It can only happen when you can understand the issues like affordability requirements, localization, and the relevance of the services to be offered. It is not going to be a homogenous expectation of the hardware specifications; it’s not going to happen in just the way it happens in the developed countries.

In terms of localization, Karbonn is working on 8 different languages. The languages to be covered are Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Bengali.

Our expectations as far as price point is concerned are the fraction of the kind of specifications that the leading mobile companies bring in their products.

What are the languages that the company is working on? Also highlight the relevance of language based services.

The languages are selected based on the coverage of the Indian population. We cover 70-80% of the population.

If we talk about the relevance of the language based services; We have already launched a device called “K9 Smart”, the USP of this device is that it supports the input/output of the local languages,  the users were able to see the menu in the local language, and the keyboard was there in the local languages, but that was not enough. So we felt that the smart telephony services are expected by the local users as much as by English literate people. So, we handpicked certain services which were driving the data traffic and this is really surprising that 46% of our consumption was happening through local language.

We have partnered with Google to introduce Maps and YouTube in local languages and also with CricBuzz as cricket is religion for all of us. Then we have partnered with News hunt in regional languages as well. These combo went really well for us, as we were surprised with our  post sales analysis. More than 70% of the users had actually activated their local language on their device, and more than 85% of the users were data users, which means there is a big appetite for the consumptions of such services but you need to take the initiatives well. You need to come out with your proposition and need to reach them.

Tell us about product affordability on Online and Offline platforms?

Karbonn products are available through 1500+ distributors across the 40K outlets that we map other than this; our products are available on online platform too. The traction from online is little under the industry average, but we believe to reach out to larger population. We look more at the offline channel because online still has some limitations. Around 80% of our sales are done offline and 20% is online. We aim to be present right from about Rs 3500-4000 upwards to 10K+ in Smartphone price categories.

Talking about the localization of the content to reach out users/consumers, how are the cities like tier2 and 3 are seen?

We do not segment the markets based on geographies, because there are users/ consumers living in Delhi and Mumbai and there are number of users living in the rural areas as well. Their expectations and aspirations from technology are no ways different from yours and mine. That’s the reason our products are available throughout the country through our tier 1/2 partners. Yes, in terms of reaching out in the market, we surely reach tier2 and 3 cities.

How are the retail outlets being reached?

We have already done software integration for the channel management. Through that what we do is we map the primary sales done by primary distributors. The process is for distributor to the micro distributor and then from the retailers to the consumers. So when the user activate the device there is a report coming to us in the real time. There is a strong post sale analysis that we were able to do, through utilizing this entire network. For example, if someone asks me how many devices got activated in Pune in last one hour, I just need to look at my data.

Tell us more about the tier 1 distributors?

With respect to the distribution, we have adopted a very interesting strategy. We started off with the expansion in district level instead of starting with metro cities.

We have the distribution network that covers 90% of the districts in the country. We have 1500+ distributors around the network. Then there are 800+ service centers that cover the districts. We can proudly say this that the quality of the services and policies we have are really good unlike some players who try to play very aggressively online and are facing massive problems in services.

What are the trends which are expected in the market now?

I would say the mobile trends are to be driven by the global market. They are languages, AI and things that work on IOT, so we are focusing on usage by the Indian users and there relevance.

How is the manufacturing of the products seen?

We treat manufacturing as an independent business here. We have developed our infrastructures for expansion in terms of manufacturing. We will be focusing on maximization of the capacity of the factories.

What is your next roadmap?

We are focusing on many things. We will be working on Digital ID based services, e-government services; also we are looking at bringing usage of technologies like AI and VR by the Indian users in simpler ways. We believe that local language based services needs to be encourage more.


No Comments so far

Jump into a conversation

No Comments Yet!

You can be the one to start a conversation.

Your data will be safe!Your e-mail address will not be published. Also other data will not be shared with third person.