“You can’t become a brand unless you start caring for your customers” – Ankur Singla at MobileNXT 2013

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Mobile NXT was a two-day conference organized by The Mobile Indian and Afaqs on November 14-15, 2013 at the ITC Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi. The aim of the conference was to “capture the dynamics of the telecom space between the operator, the handset marketer and the content provider”. The agenda of the first session on day 2 was ā€œ<strong>Can Indian mobile brands ever dominate the Indian market?</strong>ā€. Last decade has been a fascinating journey for Indian mobile brands – from nondescript beginners to significant market forces. Will they be able to continue with the momentum to dominate Indian market? <a href=”http://blog.tapzo.com/wp-content/uploads/4.jpg”><img class=”size-large wp-image-586″ alt=”Can an Indian brand dominate the mobile market? – The MobileNXT Panel” src=”http://blog.tapzo.com/wp-content/uploads/4-1024×680.jpg” width=”584″ height=”387″ /></a> Can an Indian brand dominate the mobile market? – The MobileNXT Panel <strong>The panelists included (L-R) Lloyd Mathias (ex-CMO, Tata Teleservices), Jitendra Dabas (McCann), Ashwini Gangal (Afaqs), <strong>Shubho Sengupta (brand consultant), </strong>Sanjay Kumar (GM, Intex) and <strong>Ankur Singla (CEO, Akosha)</strong>.</strong> The panelists spoke about what a “brand” meant and what does “dominate” mean and what does “Indian” mean (since everything is manufactured in China – right from Apple to Intex). Over the arguments, it became clear that a brand clearly meant that there was a promise – a promise which meant that a) you get the quality of the product you paid for, and b) that in case there was any problem in the future, we will fix it for you. Nokia was a good example – it made good solid phones, with good after-sales service and people went back to buy it. “My dad owned 5 Nokia phones back to back – the brand was just too strong” was how one panelist put it. “With people changing phones every 9-12 months, one way to think about the phones business is that it is actually a subscription business. People subscribe to the Micromax brand and they want to come back and buy another Micromax. When you look at it as a subscription business, you realise that service is a fundamental part of repeat usage, and LTV (life time value) of the customer depends on how you treat him after the sale”, said Mr. Ankur Singla. <img class=” wp-image-545″ title=”Ankur speaking at the MobileNXT conference, 2013 in Delhi” alt=”Ankur speaking at the MobileNXT conference, 2013 in Delhi” src=”http://blog.tapzo.com/wp-content/uploads/Optimized-DSC_0032.jpg” width=”1200″ height=”797″ /> Ankur speaking at the MobileNXT conference, 2013 in Delhi Mr. Singla made the point that mobile phones are the entry level product into a household’s life. From mobile phones, most of the these companies would aspire to enter phablets, tablets, LCD TVs or whichever other consumer products evolve in the next few years. And that really is the whole point of building a “brand” which fulfils its promises. Overall, there was consensus among the panelists that of all the Indian brands, probably Micromax had the best chance of building a brand which could dominate the Indian market for a long time to come, provided it got its after-sales service right.

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