Micromax reportedly eyeing E2W business amid smartphone setbacks

Jingyue Hsiao, DIGITIMES Asia, Taipei 0

Credit: AFP

Micromax, an India-based mobile phone vendor and once the top smartphone brand in India, has failed to make a comeback despite ongoing efforts and is reportedly eyeing the rising electric two-wheeler market.

According to TechCrunch, Micromax has eliminated numerous positions at its main office in Gurugram and its various branch offices throughout India. This reduction has affected various departments, including sales, product, testing, R&D, and logistics. Besides, several key executives have also stepped down over the past few months.

In a smartphone market dominated by China, Micromax was planning to reclaim its glory by capitalizing on the anti-China sentiment. However, TechCrunch reported that in 2020, the height of the Indian and Chinese armies' bloody clash, Micromax was slow to launch new smartphones, almost half a year after the skirmish. Chinese smartphone brands, meanwhile, managed to solidify their market shares by emphasizing their made-in-India content. According to TechCrunch, what made matters worse for Micromax was that observations on social media highlighted Micromax's hesitancy in addressing consumer grievances, and distributors and retailers are grappling with inventory issues due to the limited demand for Micromax phones among consumers.

Navkendar Singh, associated vice president at IDC, said that India's competitive smartphone market is concentrated around the top five or six brands. Chinese vendors successfully offer high-quality devices, advanced specifications, and the latest technology at budget-friendly prices, coupled with extensive marketing and channel investments.

TechCrunch reported that amid the setbacks in the smartphone market, Micromax seems to be eyeing the EV market, first by establishing Revolt Motors in 2019 and later by renovating one of its offices in Gurugram for the EV project and incorporation of Micromax Mobility in February 2023.

It remains to be seen whether Micromax will enter the electric two-wheeler market increasingly led by Ola Electric, which controls nearly 30% of the market in the first seven months of 2023. Still, Micromax may have a chance to leverage India's concerns over Chinese manufacturers as recent Indian reports stated that Bhagwati, Micromax's contract manufacturing business, was talking with Chinese companies for potential joint ventures in India. India's recently-announced restrictions on imported notebooks and tablets may also benefit Bhagwati, which makes devices for Acer.

Source: IDC, August 2023

Source: IDC, August 2023