micromax_logoMicromax will start selling its devices in Russia this December according to Business Line. Since Google apps don’t work in Russia, it has tied up with Russian search engine Yandex for apps.

The company had roped in Hollywood star Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador last week, hinting at its plans to take the brand global. Micromax Co-Founder Rahul Sharma said that their end goal was to go global as an Indian hardware brand. Micromax currently has 23% smartphone market share in India, just behind the market leader Samsung.

Android devices dominate the smartphone market in Russia making up around 70% marketshare followed by Windows devices. Android’s share has increased by 39% in a year making it a very attractive market for players such as Micromax. Russia is also a comparatively safe market for the company as it does not have enough patents to defend itself against bigger players in western markets. By selling in Russia, it gets a taste of European market without placing themselves in the line of fire.

Micromax has been selling its phones in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and is currently among the top three phone brands in both the markets.The company believes that they will be able to expand its operations to the rest of Europe of they crack the Russian market.

More than hardware

Sharma also said that they want to takeover a software company to work on some “massive thing”. As Micromax becomes a bigger player, it makes sense for them to create its own apps especially because of the firm hold Google has over the ecosystem. Though the Android OS is open source most of the Google apps are closed source. This means that OEMs cannot go against Google without serious repercussions.

In markets like Russia where Google does not have much say, Micromax would want to create its own apps and services to make its devices look more attractive to prospective buyers. They might be inspired by Samsung which ships its own version of every Google app in its devices. These custom apps help Samsung standout in the otherwise crowded market.