Micromax is a name that almost every Indian who has been aware of the smartphone industry in India for the last decade is familiar with. The company is making a comeback with its new sub-brand ‘in’ to the market. Micromax has planned to invest Rs 500 crores initially for building new products. The new brand ‘in’ has been positioned to compete with the Chinese smartphone manufacturers which once forced Micromax to go off the market. One thing worthy to note here is that this will be the third time Micromax will be entering the smartphone industry. For the unaware, the second time was with ‘YU’. Let’s take a look at the history of the company and what went wrong.
‘Micromax Informatics’ was incorporated as an IT software company which focused on developing embedded devices such as chipsets and processors. The company using the knowledge and resources it had pivoted to the mobile handset business. In 2010, Micromax had become one of the largest domestic companies engaged in low-cost feature smartphones in the country. Further, in 2014, Micromax even surpassed Samsung in terms of sales. In the same year, the company became the first Indian smartphone brand to sell in Russia. All this contributed to making Micromax the 10th largest smartphone vendor in the world in 2014.
Then on December 18, 2014, Micromax started a subsidiary company called ‘YU Televentures’. It was a joint venture between Micromax Informatics Limited and Cyanogen Inc. ‘YU’ introduced the Cyanogen OS for the users with the company also holding the rights to the third-party version of Android in India. The OS was later discontinued in December 2016 when things didn’t seem to be working out for the company.
What Went Wrong for Micromax?
So after all these achievements and success, what went so wrong that it forced the company to go off the market. The reason wasn’t so much what Micromax was doing wrong but what it wasn’t doing. Chinese smartphone brands such as Xiaomi and OnePlus had come to the market and by 2016 they were gaining popularity at a rapid pace.
The users started getting attracted to the price point that these Chinese smartphone manufacturers were offering. No one’s denying that Micromax wasn’t offering its smartphones with power-packed features. But when compared with what the Chinese companies were offering, it became a little lacklustre deal for the consumers.
Micromax didn’t have any competitive advantage on its hand. However, fast forward to 2020, there are a few things the company can do on its comeback which can put it ahead of the Chinese brands.
What Can Micromax Do to Be Successful Again?
One of the things that Micromax can do with its comeback brand ‘in’ is market its smartphones as in support of the ‘Make in India’ initiative of the government. A lot of consumers are preferring Indian brands over Chinese brands because of the recent border tensions between the two nations.
Another thing is to release 5G supportive feature smartphones at a low cost. Micromax will have to offer users smartphones that have flagship features like OnePlus and Xiaomi do at a low-cost. It can benefit the company in a major way since it is an Indian brand. Micromax can also partner with telecom companies such as Jio for releasing low-cost 5G smartphones in the future like Google has.