Homegrown handset maker Lava plans to focus on sub-Rs 10,000 mobile phones with 6-7 models in its portfolio to capture a bigger pie of the market in this price segment. “We want to focus and dominate in the sub Rs 10,000 mobile phones segment with a portfolio of 6-7 models. Our strategy is to have limited number of products and drive volumes. With our R&D centre in Shenzhen in China, we are working hard to enhance customer experience,” Lava International Head Smartphones Deepak Mahajan told PTI.
The company, which has presence in 11 countries, offers 8-9 feature phones and 6-7 smartphones. Lava’s current market share, in the under Rs 10,000 price segment, is around 11 per cent. Mahajan expects India to be become a hub for IT and handset makers and sees global brands emerging from the country. He also expects a big opportunity for his company.
He gave example of how giants such as Google and Facebook made it big from the US, Sony in Japan, Samsung, LG and South Korea and Huawei and Oppo in China. He expects similar opportunity to arise from India. According to Counterpoint Research, under Rs 10,000 mobile phones contribute 59 per cent of the total smartphone sales in the country. Lava has operations in 11 countries such as India, Thailand, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, the UAE, Indonesia, Mexico, Myanmar, Pakistan and Egypt. The company reported a revenue of Rs 7,626 crore in the 2015-16 fiscal and 23 per cent growth as compared to the previous year.
When asked if the company is looking at foraying into new markets overseas this year, Lava International Senior VP Head of Product Gaurav Nigam said: “We will continue to grow and expand our business in new markets to make Lava products and services available to more customers.” Lava, which has a strength of 15,000 employees, plans to increase its head-count to close to 1 lakh in the next 8-10 years, Nigam said.
The company said that majority of the increased workforce will be in the manufacturing and field sales team. On the China R&D centre, Nigam said: “With our established R&D centre based out of Shenzhen, Lava is in the process of spearheading the R&D road map among Indian manufacturers in the country.