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Micromax may sell smartphones in China by 2017: report

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Indian smartphone maker Micromax said that it plans to start selling handsets in China next year, reports The Wall Street Journal. The report mentions that Micromax also plans to raise money in the next two years through either private investors or by going public.

Note that Micromax’s share of the Indian smartphone market declined in Q4FY15 to 14.1% from 18% in the same quarter last year, as reported by IDC. Overall, Micromax’s shipments fell 12.1% year-on-year, with only about 38% of the smartphones sold in the country from Indian vendors. Samsung and other smartphone makers like Lenovo (including Motorola), are eating into Micomax’s local market share.

Expanding to China will let Micromax compete in one of the largest smartphone markets in the world, which could increase the number of smartphones it sells. However, the Chinese market is already saturated with iPhones and locally made Android phones, and it will be tough for the company to make a breakthrough. Interestingly, an IDC report mentions that Chinese users are increasingly buying higher tiered devices, something Micromax doesn’t yet specialize in.

Manufacturing in India: In April, Micromax inaugurated its manufacturing plant in Telangana where it would manufacture mobile phones, LED TVs and other electronics products. The company has made an initial investment of 100 crore to open the plant which it expects will manufacture 1 million devices every month. Note that the phone manufacturer had outlined its plans to develop 3 manufacturing plants in the country at an expense of Rs 300 crore, in December last year.

Management changes at Micromax: In January this year, Micromax chief executive officer Vineet Taneja resigned from the company. Taneja was appointed the CEO in May 2014, and was responsible for global partnerships and strategic alliances along with consolidating Micromax’s presence in the market. Note that in August last year, chairman of Micromax Sanjay Kapoor exited the company only a year after his appointment. Kapoor was hired to spearhead Micromax’s foray into other international markets in the near future and also handle their existing international business.

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