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Analysis

TeleAnalysis writes analytical stories on the telecom industry. It analyses the Indian as well as global telecommunication industry, the mobile phone industry, smartphone industry and the communication industry as a whole. It also does analysis on various digital platforms, social media, the impact of social media on human lives and how it is affecting the human race on a broader perspective. Basis various analysis that we do in TeleAnalysis, we come out with periodical reports and studies around the communication industry. Our analytical stories have found mention in multiple of respected and influential publications, both domestic as well as international.

Analysis

Idea Cellular May Topple Vodafone To Become 2nd Largest Telco

idea-cellular-subscriber-base

Idea Cellular may well become India’s second largest telecom operator after market leader Bharti Airtel in terms of total subscriber base and push Vodafone to the third position.

If how soon is the question then the Aditya Birla managed operator, it seems, will make this feat by March, if the current trends are believed.

Let’s see how the current top three operators are stacked. Bharti Airtel is positioned at the top with 263.35 million subscribers followed by Vodafone with 202.79 million. Idea Cellular is placed at No. 3 with 187.68 million.

Basis November subscriber base Vodafone is just 15.11 million ahead of Idea. Now let’s see how Idea is marching towards the goal.

In the month of November India added 10.18 million new mobile subscribers (excluding Reliance Jio) and out of this Idea Cellular alone added 7.43 million or more than 70% of the total additions.

If we consider the operator wise growth over previous month, taking the total mobile subscriber base in to account, then Idea Cellular registered the highest growth. While growth of all other ooperators falls below 1%, Idea grew by 4.12%.

For the last 3 months Idea’s net subscriber additions are 1.91 million, 1.44 million and 7.43 million. And for the same period Vodafone’s net additions were 0.53 million, 1.18 million and 0.89 million for September, October and November respectively.

If we look at circle wise user acquisition Vodafone saw degrowth in 7 circles and low number of new user additions in another 6 circles. This shows increassing customer churn in these circles. At the same time, all 22 circles have seen new user additions for Idea Cellular.

In terms of market share Idea is placed at No. 3 with 23.41% ehile Vodafone is at No. 2 with 25.29%.

If Idea Cellular continues to maintain the subscriber addition rate, in next 3 months, it would not be difficult to acquire another 15 million customers. Interestingly, it could be sooner than that if we take Vodafone’s degrowth in to consideration.

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AnalysisNews

Why You Can’t Trust Ringing Bells Clarifying Shutting Down Report

ringing-bells-freedom-251-ashok-chaddha

Though Freedom 251 maker Ringing Bells issued a statement denying the reports that it is not shutting down its business, it leaves us with more doubt than before.

After it was reported that Ringing Bells is seemingly shutting down its current operations and started a new company, the company issued a statement regarding the development at its side.

A company statement admitted that though some of the members of the Ringing Bells management has incorporated a new company named MDM Electronics Pvt. Ltd, its old business is still going good.

“It (Ringing Bells) is very well in the market and is operating as earlier. The MDM Electronics Private Limited is a separate entity distinct from Ringing Bells,” the firm said in a statement.

Earlier this morning TeleAnalysis had reported that the company might have shut shop and started a new company named MDM Electronics. It had also reported that some of the board members including its CEO Dharna Goel have resigned from Ringing Bells board. In the late evening statement the company accepted that the CEO Goel has resigned but one of the Directors Anmol Goel is looking at the affairs at present.

It is interesting to note that though as per Indian company laws a private company has to have minimum of two directors, a Ministry of Corporate Affairs data shows that out of two directors, one has already resigned. The data shows Sumit Kumar (Goel), a director at the firm, has resigned as recent as last month, leaving Anmol as the sole director at the firm.

While the company had Mohit Goel as its managing director since its inception, he is nowhere to be seen in the picture now. The statement that was issued in the evening also did not attribute it to anyone from the company, rather issued as a statement from the ‘spokesperson’.

Mohit Goel, the erstwhile MD of Ringing Bells, however, have joined as a director in the newly formed company MDM Electronics Private Ltd.

One more discrepancy is the company’s website is not active now. While the company is claiming its still getting more interest and requests from consumers, it would surprise all what channels these so called customers are placing their requests or interests. The company had only one channel for consumers to buy or book its device – through online on its website, which is now shut.

 

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Analysis

Why The Cisco Vs Arista Fight Is Not Exactly Around Copyright Issue

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The Cisco vs Arista Networks can be summed up in a line ‘It hurts when your friend fails in exam, but it hurts more when he tops the exam’

cisco-vs-arista-conflict2

The ongoing tussle between networking major Cisco and minnow Arista Networks is more than what meets the eye. And its not just about the alleged copyright violation that Cisco claims the other company has done.

The cause is more human than technical, technological or anything else.

In a lighter note, this tussle reminds me of a dialogue from the famous Indian Hindi movie 3 Idiots, that goes like this.

‘It hurts when your friend fails in exam, but it hurts more when he tops the exam’

That’s precisely what happened with Cisco, in context to Arista Networks in the current copy right violation law suit filed by the former

Arista, that was founded in 2004 entirely by former Cisco executives – Founder Andy Bechtolsheim, CEO Jayshree Ullal, CTO Kenneth Duda, Chief Customer Officer Anshul Sadana, Sr VP Mark Foss and Board Member Charles Giancarlo – is now growing faster than the San Jose based networking behemoth, and of late started snatching loyal customers from the John Chambers headed firm.

To mere mortals like us, it pains. And it pains more when you realise you do not have a control on it. And you then try to find out ways to vent out your frustration. Sometimes you succeed, and in many you fail.

Among the failed attempts, the US Customs department had in November cleared the import of Arista’s products to the country. Cisco had tried to stop imports of Arista’s products to the state dragging the former in a patent litigation case.

The ongoing incident involving the two could be one such case. Cisco, in this case, alleged that Arista infringed its copyright command line interface terms – a kind of instructions written on software and hardware products – which has helped the later to make the terms simple thereby acquiring more customers.

Arista, in the other hand, claims no such copyright is granted in case of such command line instructions, and many company write such instructions on their products.

The San Jose firm has demanded $500 million in damages from Arista for the above violation. The hearing is set for next week.

What Pains The Most

Arista Networks is exactly into the same space where Cisco is the leader, mostly in switching market. It has attacked Cisco where it hurts most – more than 56% of it’s revenue still comes from switching business. And Arista has been consistently gaining market share in that space because of its software defined networking (SDN) technology.

A Crehan Research report says that in the high-speed data switching market, Arista’s share rose to 14.9% from mere 3.4% in last 5 years whereas Cisco lost more than 20% in the same period.

Interestingly, Gartner in its May Magic Quadrant, put only two companies in its leadership positions – Cisco and Arista.

This, too, hurts.

But the John Chambers headed firm has to grow up. Its product and sales strategy has to adhere to demands of the current industry dynamics. For example, Cisco asks $100,000 for a 100G port that Arista sells for just $3000. The difference is huge, and it reflects in customer acquisition too.

While Arista’s business model is entirely on SDN by moving control of the network into software, and controls everything through its proprietary operating system called EOS, Cisco is struggling with its legacy hardware and codes, that seem too expensive.

Nevertheless, the recent conflict plunged to a new low with Cisco Chief John Chambers at one side and, Charles Giancarlo, whom industry felt could be the next chief Cisco, at the other side of the ring.

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AnalysisDevices

Top Tech Companies With VR Interests

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Virtual reality or VR is poised to be the next big thing in technology. Although people are already enjoying the fruits of this innovation, mostly through head-mounted displays, these headsets are only the beginning.

As the tech industry continuously evolves, the world may expect more mind-blowing VR innovations in the years to come. Top tech companies are investing heavily in this technology, for a myriad of purposes for both personal and professional use.

Facebook

Facebook has come a long way from simply being a social network into one of the world’s leading companies, which push the boundaries of innovation. It acquired the VR company Oculus two years ago, and allotted at least $500 million to be used for research and development.

Facebook is mainly eyeing the social virtual reality experience, which will be linked to its platform. Mark Zuckerberg recently held a live demo showing how social VR will work for Facebook users. People will be able to meet with friends in a virtual environment and interact as if they’re actually together, doing various activities from simple hang out sessions to official meetings.

Microsoft

Microsoft has committed to this technology as well and released the HoloLens, its first VR headset described by the company as a self-contained, holographic computer. The HoloLens’ top-notch quality for both software and hardware passed very high standards as it’s now used by NASA in space aboard the ISS. It shows how serious Microsoft is when it comes to VR.

Google

Google also proved their capabilities in this tech through the success of Google Cardboard, which began as a standalone project. Now the tech titan has set up a whole department fully committed to this new technology, and it’s reportedly developing a VR version of their mobile OS, Android.

The company is looking at VR for wide scale use such as positional tracking and geographical mapping. These technologies are slated for application in various machines including mobile devices. In fact, Lenovo has partnered with Google’s Project Tango to manufacture smartphones based on virtual and augmented reality.

Apple

Apple, on the other hand, seems to be taking a moment to have a long look at this technology before fully engaging in producing VR devices. Nonetheless, the company has plans of its own, including smart glasses that will connect wirelessly to iPhones. With their latest handset, iPhone 7, having entirely new features like a dual-camera system that shoot as one and a single lightning port for all wired connections as listed by O2, there’s no doubt that Apple isn’t short of innovative ideas either.

Qualcomm

The telecomm equipment and semiconductor manufacturer is also set on conquering the VR landscape. Qualcomm’s latest plans involve heterogenous processors which will manage different functions of a device containing its SoC’s, some of which will be dedicated to virtual reality processing as well as spacial and vision sensors. The installation of exclusive chips will ultimately result in a richer, fuller VR experience.

Samsung

Samsung devices are consistently receiving high ratings from consumers, and items like the Galaxy S7 Edge bundled with Gear VR are faring very well in the market. The South Korean firm’s venture in VR has been relatively smooth thus far and recently proved how useful the innovation is by live streaming the birth of a child to the father through VR goggles when he wasn’t able to be at the hospital in person.

Sony

In terms of VR hardware, Sony is dominating the global market, holding one-third of the share due to the huge number of PlayStation 4 users that are potential customers for a VR upgrade. The competitive pricing relative to quality of its headsets also contribute to the overall appeal of the products.

But even though the Japanese tech firm’s VR presence is in gaming, it has also filed over 360 patents related to this new domain. That said, it has more in store than just providing a new kind of entertainment for PS players.

These are the top companies investing in VR, with many more just slightly behind, all focused on riding the next big wave in tech. Seeing how rapid the pace of advancement in technology, the world will soon get more groundbreaking developments in virtual reality which might someday blur the lines between our two worlds.

 

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AnalysisNews

Reliance Jio May Announce Payments Bank, 4G Feature Phone, Enterprise Solutions

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Reliance Jio has informed the media that there will be some announcement from the company today. We expect it to be significant. Had it not been significant, the expected announcement would not have come directly from RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani. An official statement would have worked.

The senior Ambani is slated to deliver a video speech at 1.30 PM today and it will be broadcast over the company’s various social media platforms including YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Ever since Reliance Jio entered in to the Indian telecom space, every announcement by the company created ripples in the industry, and had ripple effect among its competitors. From the very announcement of its re-entry to telecom business to commencement of its services, from opting to offer 4G-only services to offer voice calls for free till life, it has impacted the telecom industry in  a big way. So, the today’s announcement is awaited with bated breath.

So, what could Mukesh Ambani announce on behalf of Reliance Jio?

One can say, Jio has already made all unexpected announcements – free voice calls, dirt cheap data price, and world’s cheapest VoLTE enabled 4G phone – at Rs 2,999, then what can be expected more?

LYF Easy 4G Feature Phone

Well, he may announce the LYF 4G feature phone. TeleAnalysis had broke the story that Jio is planning to bring a 4G feature phone, could be named LYF Easy, and will price it below Rs 1500. This could be one announcement today. Mukesh Ambani had always maintained that his company’s goal is to reach out to the masses of the country, and an affordable 4G feature phone could enable him to achieve that.

The objective of bringing 4G feature phones is to offer VoLTE capability in the low-cost phones. These phones will have VoLTE capability so that the users can make free voice calls, the main priority of that kind of user, and the most lucrative offer from Jio.

In India feature phones still contribute close to 70% of phone sales and the price starts from Rs 500 and goes upto Rs 4000. However, 80% of the feature phones of below Rs 2000 are not capable of anything beyond voice calls and text messages. The biggest deterrent for data consumption is the lack of an access device, and affordability is the prime reason why 70% of Indians still buying feature phones. With the launch of features phones that are 4G compatible can surely change the dynamics of data business for operators.

Payments Bank

The other announcement could be a payments bank. Though the company already has Jio Money as its mobile wallet, and has been there since launch of its commercial announcement, RIL has never promoted this as a wallet. However, in the wake of demonetization, RIL may think promoting and making Jio Money available to masses is prudent, besides laucnhing the payments bank.

A Payments bank is similar to a traditional bank but the services are being offered by companies other than the banks. Almost all banking services are available in a payments bank except the credit facility.

In August last year the Reserve Bank of India gave licenses to 11 companies to offer conventional banking service. These licenses are called Payments Bank license.

The companies who were issued payment bank license include: Aditya Birla Nuvo, Airtel M Commerce Services, Cholamandalam Distribution Services, Department of Posts (DoP), Fino PayTech, National Securities Depository, Reliance Industries, Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Tech Mahindra and Vodafone m-pesa.

While other companies are planning to launch their respective payments banks, Airtel has started offering the services, though as a pilot, in Rajasthan. And in just two days, Airtel payments bank acquired more than 10,000 customers.

Enterprise Solutions

Obviously, Mukesh Ambani has not invested two lakh crore in a company just to offer free voice calls. He needs money too! The other expected announcement could be around its enterprise offerings. When he had announced the official launch of Reliance Jio on 1 September, he had hinted about some enterprise solution but did not offer a clear picture. At present, infrastructure wise, Reliance Jio perhaps got the most robust network, including, wireless, wireline and fiber, and undersea cable network. He had partnered with almost every other telecom operator in the country to share their infrastructure. Perhaps, its the time to exploit the same and offer some future-proof enterprise solutions.

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Analysis

What Is Airtel Payments Bank

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On 23 November Airtel launched its Payments Bank, a kind of new age banking service. The operator, who runs this banking service under Airtel M Commerce Services, beat many other licensees including market leader PayTm to become the first company to start a Payments Bank.

So, What is a Payments Bank?

A Payments bank is similar to a traditional bank but the services are being offered by companies other than the banks. In August last year the Reserve Bank of India gave licenses to 11 companies to offer conventional banking service. These licenses are called Payments Bank license.

The companies who were issued payment bank license include: Aditya Birla Nuvo, Airtel M Commerce Services, Cholamandalam Distribution Services, Department of Posts (DoP), Fino PayTech, National Securities Depository, Reliance Industries, Dilip Shantilal Shanghvi, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Tech Mahindra and Vodafone m-pesa.

While other companies are planning to launch their respective payments banks, Airtel has started offering the services, though as a pilot, in Rajasthan.

What You Can Do With Airtel Payments Bank

  • Like a traditional bank, one can open a savings account in a payments bank.
  • Your Airtel mobile number is your account number
  • You may get a debit/ATM card
  • You will not get a credit card
  • You can earn interest of 7.25% p.a on your deposit
  • You can deposit upto Rs 1,00,000
  • You can transfer money to any bank account
  • You can do online shopping, ticket booking, transactions etc
  • You can withdraw cash
  • You get Rs 1 lakh personal accident insurance with a new savings account

Where To Open Account

At present the payments bank facility is launched in Rajasthan only, which Airtel is planning to launch in other parts of the country as well. In Rajasthan, one can open  a savings account at any of the 10,000 retail outlets of the company. One just needs his Aadhaar number to open his account which can be verified through e-KYC.

The Airtel payments bank savings account can be used at thousands of merchants in the state for shopping, ticket booking, online transactions or money transfers to any bank. One can also transfer money from one account to another account.

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Analysis

Why Reliance Jio’s VoLTE Gamble Will Pay Off

reliance-jio-volte

Reliance Jio is certainly not a dumb operator. When it announced 3 years back that its network will be all-IP and voice calls will only be on VoLTE, it knew what was there in store for it.

Now, it has started paying off for operators like Reliance Jio who are betting big on offering voice calls over LTE network.

A recent study predicted that the Asia Pacific VoLTE user base, that includes that of India, will rise to 1.4 billion in next 6 years while the global user base to reach 3.3 billion by 2022.

And the study was done by none other than Ericsson, the Swedish telecom firm that manages more than one third of world’s telecom network including that of all the top global operators, and was published in its Mobility Report.

The report said VoLTE is becoming mainstream with more than 100 million new subscriptions added in last 12 months and it estimates the subscriptions may surpass 200 million by end of this year.

The VoLTE users, by that time, may contribute 60% of the total LTE users and in countries like the US, Japan, Canada and South Korea, the number could be around 90%, says the Ericsson Mobility report.

This tremendous growth, Ericsson says, can majorly be attributed to the availability of reliable LTE network, domestic as well as international roaming, and the surge in VoLTE-enabled smartphones.

The VoLTE capable smartphones saw a rapid rise in October and there are more than 600 VoLTE-enabled smartphone models operational in various networks. A recent CMR report had also stated that around 83% of  all smartphones shipped to India were VoLTE enabled.

Our guess is the rise of VoLTE-enabled smartphone sales in India happened because of Reliance Jio where all voice calls are on LTE network. As the voice calls are promised to be offered free, customers in India did not mind buying a VoLTE enabled smartphone. Besides, such smartphones have also become very affordable with the cheapest smartphone costs only Rs 2,999.

In the case of Reliance Jio, all the smartphones being used on its network are VoLTE-enabled. More than 25 smartphone brands having multiple number of VoLTE models are being used on its network besides its won handset brand LYF.

It is believed that the operator’s LTE-only and VoLTE-only game plan would certainly payoff, and that too, in very near future. By Ericsson Mobility report, could be in next four to five years.

 

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Analysis

How Sanjay Kalirona Plans To Do An Intex With Zen Mobile

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Doing an Intex out of Zen Mobile will not going to be walk in the park simply because of the different times. Then market opportunity was huge, competition was less, and most importantly, the market leader, Nokia, was few feet away from its coffin

The employees of Zen Mobile, one more homegrown mobile phone maker in the lines of Micromax, Karbonn, Lava or Intex, and almost a dead company a year back, are beaming with confidence off late. They show no signs of exhaustion even if exposed to a day-long strategy meeting or do not hesitate if asked to put some extra work on a holiday or non-working day. Workers in the company who have been dragging their career for last 5-6 years for whatever reasons, are now feeling their patience would pay off. And all of this changed in last six months, since the management hired Sanjay Kalirona to head its mobile division.

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Sanjay Kalirona, CEO, Zen Mobile

Sanjay Kalirona is no magician but the industry has seen, and the employees of Zen Mobiles are aware, how the man changed the game for Intex in last 6 years. In Intex, Kalirona headed the mobile phone business, and played, perhaps the most crucial role, in making the Okhla based computer accessories seller into India’s # 3 mobile phone brand in such a short period. He took the company’s revenue from Rs 450 crore in 2011, when he joined Intex, to a billion dollar company in 2016, when he left.

Its no small feat, and the management and the employees of the Greater Noida based Zen Mobiles, are hoping a similar kind of turn around of their company that can stand tall among the current breed of mobile phone brands.

Whats Next For Zen Mobile Now

Products
Zen Mobile had launched its first range of phones in 2010 and the company’s last recognizable phone was launched 2013 – the Ultraphone 701 HD. Since then, till up to a year back, the company was almost non functional, though few units of feature phones were still going to shelves without seeing much success in sales. To take up a fight among the current competitive smartphone business in India, Zen Mobile needs to have its business structure redefined, to start with.

“That is my first priority now,” says Sanjay. “To put things in place.”

Being a pure sales and strategy man, his first priority was to put a proper product road map – kind of products that the company can associate with its target customers, its target markets.

“We have taken a conscious decision to focus on 4G smartphones only, besides the ongoing feature phones,” says Sanjay. And the 4G smartphones, he says, will be in the range of below Rs 7000.

“Our focus is not on competing with any smartphone brand but to cater to the need of people who want a decent smartphone in their budget,” he explains his strategy.

Local Manufacturing

And where to procure these phones from? China?

“No,” says Sanjay. “We have our own manufacturing units here in Noida.” Though Zen Mobile does not have its own manufacturing unit, the group that owns Zen Mobile brand has two such units – the Optiemus Infracom and GDN or Global Device Network.

GDN, besides Zen Mobile, also manufactures smartphones for LG and HTC. The GDN manufacturing plant has a capacity of producing 1 million units per month but at present it is producing 700 thousand units that includes smartphones for Zen Mobile, HTC and LG. Of the 700 thousand, 500 thousand are Zen phones, both feature as well as smartphones.

On the other hand, Optiemus has partnered with Taiwanese firm Wistron to set up a JV for contract manufacturing in India. The JV is planning to invest around Rs 1500 crore in next three years. Besides feature phones and smartphones, the manufacturing units are also producing accessories like power banks, batteries and headphones.

As of now, Sanjay says, 100% of its products are being manufactured locally, though some components have to be imported.

Distribution & After Sales

Third step, he says, is to strengthen the distribution channel of all type. The company, at present, is visible in all form of retail channels, be it physical stores, online retail system and television retail. The company’s product are being sold on FlipKart, Snapdeal, Shopclues as well as on TV retails like Homeshop, Naaptol and ShopCJ, besides being available in offline retail outlets.

In offline or physical stores, the company’s products are available at more than 30,000 stores across the country which, Sanjay says will be reaching to more than 50,000 by the end of this fiscal year.

“This is the backbone of any company dealing with consumer goods. At present, we are revitalizing our channel ecosystem,” adds Sanjay.

One more important aspect of making a successful brand, of any category, is to have a robust after sale service network.
“We are not going to be content with our post sales service and will keep improving it,” he adds. The company has a total of 750 service centers through third party network which Zen Mobile want to increase to 1200 by FY17. The company also have 24 L4 stores or company-owned service centers which will be increased to 50 by end of this year, Sanjay says.

Revenue
The buck stops here. All of your efforts, business acumen and strategies are being questioned unless the same translated to revenue at the end of the business hours, or fiscal year. Sanjay says when he joined Zen Mobile in July this year, the company’s sales were 3 lakh units per month, which in mere 3 months have increased to 5 lakhs a month, which is also translating in revenue.

“Our revenue last year was around Rs 600 crore and we aim to reach Rs 850 crore by end this financial year,” adds Sanjay. And he sounded confident.

But It Wouldn’t Be A Cakewalk

Its certainly not going to be easy doing an Intex out of Zen Mobile for Sanjay simply because of the different times, even if we discard the other factors. In 2010, when he joined Intex, it was the initial phase of India’s entry to smartphones. Market opportunity was huge (Remember, we have 1.2 bn population) and competition was less as there were 4 or 5 global brands operating in India. And most importantly, the market leader, Nokia, was few feet away from its coffin. All these factors paved almost a smooth path for every Indian brand – be it Micromax, Karbonn, Lava, Spice, Intex or Videocon – to be successful in home ground.

But things are not the same now. The market is flooded with Chinese smartphone players. And for a change, their products are not bad in quality. And the big names from the Indian breed are struggling to cope up with the foreign frienmies. Micromax, that has been the number 2 smartphone brand in India, for last 2 years, has slipped to fourth position paving the way for two Chinese brands – Lenovo and Xiaomi, to be placed below market leader Samsung. Intex, the #3 phone brand is expected to loose upto 40% of its revenue in this fiscal, though its problems are more internal than external.

Hence, things may not turn up as expected for Zen Mobile or Sanjay Kalirona. He needs something different for his company, tapping the right market or bringing out the right product, or, simply doing both, may be prove a fruitful gamble for him. A tough yet possible path ahead.

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Analysis

Is Intex On A Suicidal Mode?

intex_manufacturing_plant_on-job_training

Intex Technologies, the makers of Intex mobile phones, seems to be in deep trouble. The firm that rose to heroic success in Indian mobile phone business in a short span of time, at times dethroning Micromax from its #2 position and even teased Samsung to snatch its crown, is now going south at the pace of a free falling body. And the force behind this fall is not market competition, rather all internal. Or, you can say, management issue.

Everything about the company, now, is in shambles. Starting 2016, all ingredients required for a company to remain afloat in the market – people, processes, and business – are seen consistently drifting away from the Narendra Bansal founded firm that deals in computer peripherals, mobile phones and new product line up of home appliances like washing machines, TVs and air purifiers.

Financials
For the first time in its journey of mobile phone business since 2010, Intex is expected to see a decline, and that too a huge one in this fiscal. The company that posted a revenue of around Rs 5,500 crore in 2016, is expected to clock close to Rs 3,300 in FY17, a drop of almost 40%.

“In the last two quarters sales have declined drastically,” says a company insider not willing to be identified. “We are doing around Rs 250 to 275 crore a month,” he adds.

Taking that as average, Intex could post around Rs 3000 or Rs 3300 crore revenue in this fiscal, a drop of 40%, which will take them back to two years. In FY 2014-15 the company’s revenue from mobile phone business was Rs 2800 crore of its total revenue of Rs 3749 crore.

The executive, who works closely with the senior leaders at the firm, is afraid of more difficult times in the next two quarters. “We do not have a product roadmap ready till March,” he adds. “It was prepared only till October and it is exhausted now. We have nothing new to offer.”

It appears suicidal for the company as for the last 4 years, mobile phone business has been the mainstay of the company’s revenue. In 2014-15, company’s revenue contribution from mobile phone business was 72.21% that rose to 87.31% in 2015-16.

People & Process
They say your company is what your employees are. However, this does not seem to hold good for Intex Technologies. The company for the last two years is seeing exodus of its highest degree. More importantly, the people who had made Intex as a popular brand in the Indian mobile phone industry have already left the company.

Interestingly, they have joined rival companies. For example, Sanjay Kalirona, who was the man behind establishing Intex as a mobile phone brand, had quit the company in July and joined rival Zen Mobiles. In his 6 years stint with Intex, he successfully propelled the company’s revenue to Rs 5500 crore in 2016 from mere Rs 200 crore in 2010. Similarly, Deepak Kabu, who was the second-in-command at Intex after Sanjay, has left the company to head Ziox Mobiles, a Chinese brand operating in India. Intex’ former product head Sudhir Kumar also joined Itel Mobiles as its India head.

These three people were the backbones of Intex Mobiles till early 2016. However, the management simply did not put any effort to retain these high-productive employees, the sources said.

“Its an autocratic company. Narendra Bansal decides what would happen with the company, irrespective or his domain knowledge or repercussions,” opines two more company insiders. The insiders who did not want to be named also said, many a times, Bansal asks people to simply leave the organisation. “They are not even allowed to serve the notice period,” one of them said. “The company does not have professional HR structure or defined policies in place,” the other added.

In the last few months, as many as 100 to 120 people are quitting the company on a monthly basis. They are also hiring 50 to 60 people at the same time. But the attrition rate has been very high, and many of the new hires even do not stick to the company more than few months.

All these factors have taken a toll on the company’s overall performance. Over the last one year, the company’s market share has gone down. As per some reports Intex’s market share stood at 6.4% in Q2 compared to 8.4% in Q1, and the company is no more in the top 5 mobile phone brands.

What Intex Needs To Do
The first and foremost, the company needs to come out of the mindset of a typical kirana store run by families. There are many family-owned global companies but they had adopted a robust process driven operational structure where the company is run by some set rules and policies, and not with some whimsical ideas or decisions. Second, the company needs to check the attrition on a war-footing. The vacancies at the firm needs to be filled up with right candidates at the earliest. Intex last month hired Unnikrishnan Mohandas Thazhath as its General Manager of product to fill the vacancy of Sanjay Kalirona. It is a relief for the firm. But there’s rumor in the market that he is too mulling to leave the company. Third, a futuristic and realistic product road map should put in place, keeping the customer demands for the next year.

Unless the top management looks at these aspects of the company with a serious note, leave aside being in top 10, it would be difficult for Intex to survive in this highly competitive Indian mobile phone market that is being flooded with Chinese brands.

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AnalysisConsumer

Why Upgraded MyAirtel App Was Long Due

my-airtel-app

myairtel-app

Airtel has launched the upgraded version of its MyAirtel App and it will surprise you. In the new app, the firm offers almost all the solutions or services that Reliance Jio currently offers like TV, Music, On-demand video, Movies, radio etc. It also has integrated Bharti’s Hike messaging app in to the new MyAirtel App so that customers get all the service at one place.

And it was much needed.

What Was Wrong With Airtel

Airtel had this mobile app – MyAirtel – for a long time now, and the company also had the solutions like music, radio etc, but these were never offered in an integrated manner. Traditionally Airtel has been offering most of its solutions in individual packets – you might have downloaded its Wynk Music or Wynk Movies and used it in the past. But customers were not informed well by the operator what all services are available for them. Its own customers were even not aware of the offerings, keep aside the non-Airtel customers.

The entry of Jio might have prompted, rather forced,  Airtel to put all its offerings in one plate and serve it to the customers. And its good for Airtel. Competition teaches us the tricks of business, and of survival too, at times. Customers should get something to experiment, and until unless they find more tools to do that, they would loose interest. They may abandon you.

Why Good Move

Better late than never. Airtel could have done this or could have offered all these solutions much before Jio came in to the picture. Maybe, Airtel wanted to gauge Jio’s move before taking it’s own.

The new MyAirtel App have many things that customers can wish for. It gives free calling through the app, means you can make free voice calls, just like Jio, through its My Airtel app. Though at present it has been limited to make Airtel to airtel free calls and that too for only 50 minutes, we are informed by company insiders that it will be extended to more minutes and intra operators as well.

MyAirtel app also integrated Airtel Money, just like Jio Money in the MyJio app. Airtel Money was there even before Jio got its license to be a telecom player, but Airtel failed to make proper use of that. Though Airtel Money, like Vodafone m-Pesa is a growing trend in the country, along with other mobile wallets.

The new app also offers free storage in the cloud via its Airtel Cloud app and at present it offers storage of 2 GB to back up customers data.

Besides, MyAirtel app brings other solutions like Ditto Live for watching live TV ; Juggernaut for reading books on the move and Wynk Games with thousands of ad-free online games.

Reliance Jio offers all these solutions too.

What’s Left To Do

Is Airtel loosing some brownie points as compared to Jio? May be. What does Jio’s MyJio app have that MyAirtel App doesn’t? There are quire a few like JioMags, JioExpressNews, JioSecurity, AJIO and JioNet. Airtel does not have to emulate everything that Jio is doing but there are few things Airtel should take up on priority. Like JioNet.

One of the important solutions that Airtel is loosing out of Jio is the equivalent of JioNet which is being offered as the WiFi hotspots for Jio customers. What JioNet does is it automatically connects to Jio’s WiFi network whenever the customers is around that, helping the customers save his mobile data. Also, its a seamless process – the JioNet does not ask for any security key or password to connect, as it has been sorted out at the time of purchasing the data package. The JioNet can detect the individual customer ID and the smartphone registered to that network, and automatically connects to it.

Airtel, on priority, should offer this solution. Airtel customers, through MyAirtel app, should be able to connect to its WiFi network, wherever its available. It helps the customers save their mobile data and it also saves the operator from congesting its network by WiFi offloading.

 

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