“Lava Focus is Always on 10K Range”: Gaurav Nigam, Lava

by August 1, 2017 0 comments

Gaurav Nigam, Senior VP, Head of Product, Lava International shares LAVA journey in an exclusive interview with PC Quest

Gaurav Nigam, Senior VP, Head of Product, Lava International, Lava mobiles, Indian smartphone brand

Gaurav Nigam, Senior VP, Head of Product, Lava International

How did the LAVA journey started?

We are a 8 years old organization. We started our business with feature phones and then moved to smartphones. Right at the starting of this journey which started around 2009-2010, we understood that we cannot survive only by being the manufacturers of the handsets. Around 2009-10, we also created another organization in China, which is again a LAVA entity which was primarily focused on design and development. From then our entire R&D happens in China, this is the biggest USP that LAVA has. No other smartphone player has R&D in China and that to when sales are done in India. We invested there for the R&D and today we have 700 engineers who work for us in China. Because of the R&D arm in China, we are able to do much more quality control over our products. Its all because of the R&D center that we are able to innovate more with our products.

Where Lava is positioning in feature phone category?

When we started there were 30-35 models in feature phone category. Now we have modified the strategies and brought the models down to 9. As per the market share perse, the feature phone is still giving us more than smartphones i.e 65% and the rest is the latter.

What are the targeted segments?

What we have done over these years is that we have been competent in the segment of phones which are less than 10, 000 rupees. We want to invest our energies in the working which will be at market operating prices. Our focused areas for future will always be within 10K. With this fixed range, we try to meet the customer’s need. We are working on their needs like battery backups, breakage support , storage, display, long life etc. That is how we identify the customer needs. We want to be relevant to the market and industry, that’s how our product portfolio change and get designed.

How do you plan to innovate with the 10K range of products in future?

The replacements might happen in this range only. The number will be the same that is 6 products.

What is your branding strategy?

We have one single brand ambassador as of now; MS Dhoni. We don’t have any body else in focus right now. We use him for our own company’s branding and not for a particular product or a handset.

What are the distribution models that LAVA follows?

This is the another USP of LAVA. There is only LAVA, distributors and the retailers in the process. No multiple models are there. Our presence is across the country. I am delighted to share that we are also present in Leh Ladakh and Andaman. We also have service centres in these areas as well. All the territories are worked upon by at least 1300 partners. Right now we are having 1.15 Lakh retail points in the country and 1000 service centers are there.

How do you compete with other Chinese competitors?

The distribution and retailer’s policies are that we treat them as employees. We are a very new company as compared to other players in the market therefore we do not compare in terms of R&D as we are still learning, but our core focus is retail and distribution. We want to be the best in that. We transfer the money to the accounts of the retailers directly and thus there is a direct link to LAVA on that matter. We have area re-tailer officers to educate retailers. Also we keep our prices same offline and with online to take care of retailers. Xolo and LAVA is there for online. Xolo is completely online as we understand the importance of online. We address offline and online in different ways. Our single moto is to be best in retailers and distribution in the world.

What is next coming for the customers?

Apart from latest technologies and innovation, consumer finance options is one thing that we are working on, so that every consumer can afford our product who aspire to own a smartphone.

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