Editorial: Window of opportunity

Jan 10 2014, 03:07 IST
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SummaryIt makes sense for other Indian smartphone-makers to follow Micromax into the international markets

When Indian smartphone manufacturer Micromax announced its new gimmicky tablet, running both the Android and Windows 8 operating systems, at the Consumer Electronics Show, the world’s largest tech show, in Las Vegas, it was just reiterating its intention to start selling its brand of affordable devices in other parts of the world. There was no surprise in this positioning though, for the company had already recruited a Hollywood star for its ads, making its global outlook amply clear. The choice of the product for the global launch is also interesting—a geeky dual-boot tablet, a far cry from the ‘value for money’ devices the brand is known for. If that wasn’t indication enough, the company has announced its Europe entry through Russia.

Other Indian players, too, have global ambitions and could soon start looking beyond their pocket boroughs in Asia and Africa. Most think of Africa as a growth area, but the volumes there might not be backed by larger margins. And even the volumes are not there at the moment. That is why Europe and the Americas are crucial. It won’t be that easy to take on these markets, but Indian companies have a clear USP that has not been tested in these geographies before—their very Indian price points. The opportunity is not limited to Indians. The affordable devices that they will make for the global market could be the first big mass market push for Windows 8 on the tablet form factor. Similarly, silicon giant Intel might use this vehicle to be the more dominant player in the mobile market that it wants to be. It is truly a Window of opportunity.

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