Micromax, the country's second largest smartphone seller after Samsung, is looking to earn $1 billion in sales in FY14 on account of its performance in the Saarc markets. The company had recently launched handsets in Russia. In an interview with Anand J, Micromax cofounder Vikas Jain speaks about the company's plans for an IPO, upcoming devices on the Windows operating system and the new wearable devices Micromax is planning. Excerpts:
How successful has the Rs 10,000-plus price point category been? How has it helped your margins?
We have never played purely on pricing. We are looking to add value to our portfolio of products to remain profitable across segments. It would be wrong to assume that the margins are lower on feature phones. One segment does not make for the expenses of the other segment. Our average selling price (ASP) for phones has gone up from Rs 1,700 to Rs 2,800. Instead of pushing the older technology, we are more interested in upgrading the technology and maintaining those standards.
With the handset market so commodified, where are you investing?
We are looking as to what experiences we can give to the consumers. We are also looking at what a consumer wants in a 4.5-inch or a 5.5-inch display and are working on providing value additions to the consumer. Simultaneously, we are looking at user interface (UI) and software aspects. For instance, how a camera app can help create an image that is a replica of one's personality. The integration of the ecosystem of Google with the phone is also being taken care of.
What can we expect from the Windows phone coming from the Micromax stable?
What happens is a lot of ‘me too’ players, who want to launch similar products and probably play on the price part of it. In doing so, they take away the consumer experience. Hence, there is enough caution at Microsoft about the minimum experience they want to offer on a Windows device. You need a certain RAM to run Windows apps. We are looking at 1GB of RAM and more, depending on what kind of apps we see people using on those handsets. We are enthused by what Microsoft is doing. Both the companies were willing to come together and go to market together, provided both can add value to the consumer.
You said Micromax might touch $1 billion sales in FY14. What next? Are you looking at wearable devices?