There is yet another player in the market boasting of its vision to revolutionise the way rural India communicates. Britzo, a Noida-based pioneering communications brand and the latest entrant in the Indian mobile phone market, has come up with iVVO brand of handsets, with an aim to become a leader in the feature phone industry known for its innovation, quality and service. Ramesh Kumar Raja interacted with Pradipto Ganguly, CEO & Co-Founder of Britzo, to know more about the company, its products, marketing strategy and objectives. Excerpts:
The Indian mobile phone market is already flooded with a number of brands triggering a stiff competition among them to remain leaders in respective categories. In such a scenario, what motivated Britzo to take the plunge and carve a niche for itself in the segment it has chosen?
Rural geographies in India, despite housing about two-thirds of the nation’s population, are still largely untouched by the large-scale digitization that’s currently sweeping across the country. With the launch of Britzo, our key objective is to bring this rural mass online by delivering superlative smart mobility offerings.
The mission of the company is ‘to provide a mobile device to every Indian at a quality which brings a smile to them’.
Why you started off with the feature phone segment when there is the age of smartphones? What makes your phones different from others?
Our intent is to bring the digital revolution right to the hands of the real India. Our handsets are the new era smart feature phones – enabled with customized operating software giving access to relevant apps & download of uninterrupted songs and videos, bundled with a peace of mind and service promise of 180-day replacement warranty and 12+3 month product warranty.
However, we are also launching one 4G feature phone ‘Skipper’ and two smartphones under the series name ‘Storm’. The handsets are on the latest Android Go – Oreo 8.1 software with top specs like Face Recognition unlock, Shatterproof screen, 8MP Selfie camera with dual flash & 8MP rear camera with auto focus.
What are the geographies you have chosen to market your products? Are you also giving any offer to gain a foothold in the market?
The launch plan is to register our presence in 17 states – UP, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, NESA, Gujarat, post which by end of Q1 we intend to establish ourselves pan India.
Online or offline – which sale point is better for you in generating revenue?
For smart feature phones, we have entrusted our faith in the traditional model of 4 tier channel distribution, i.e. Super Distributor -> Distributor ->Retailer -> End Consumer. However, we are also contemplating on partnering with a major online player who has got high level penetrations in rural audience. For the smartphone, we are looking at a blend of both online & offline mode of distribution.
Please tell us about the manufacturing facility you have and how do you ensure the quality of products?
We have tied up with OEL for manufacturing. Our manufacturing plant is located in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. It is a state of the art facility, with a capacity to make a million phones every month. We are an ISO 9001:2015 Certified organization for our processes. We intend to invest Rs 100 crore on indigenous development of products and would be invested in for R&D to be able to take advantage of the technology advancements for the use of Indian consumers.
Can you throw some light on the smartphones Britzo is launching?
We are rolling out feature-intensive 4G smartphones ‘Storm Lite’ and ‘Storm Pro’. The two smartphones host premium specs including Face Recognition unlock, the latest Android Oreo OS, 8MP Selfie camera with dual flash & 8MP rear camera with auto focus, dual flash, Shatterproof screens, in two variants with 1GB RAM and 8GB ROM ; 2GB RAM and 16GB ROM (expandable up to 128GB). The handsets are available for Rs 4,999 and Rs 5,999 respectively.
In order to boost domestic manufacturing, the government recently imposed a 10% import duty on key smartphone components like camera module and printed circuit board assembly besides hiking customs duty on mobile phones to 20% from 15%? How do you look at this development? Does it augur well for the industry?
This move makes the import of components expensive while giving stimulus to local manufacturing. PCBs make up about 50% of cost of making a smartphone. This decision will encourage manufacturing of these components in India.
What is the market share you are aiming to achieve and what is your strategy to accomplish the goal?
We are targeting a 3% market share and a revenue of 1000cr by end of FY 18-19.
Since you have a rich experience in the handset industry, from Motorola to Samsung to Transsion Holdings in different capacities, what can we assume about your own business venture?
Britzo is a dream come true for me and Dharam (Dharamvir Shaw, COO & Co-Founder of the company). Britzo was launched in December 2017. Our objective is to drive the now-ubiquitous digitization towards the rural heartland of the country. Our key motto is ensuring “Peace of Mind.”
- Incorporate next level technology to launch India’s first smart feature phone
- To be a tool and contribute to rural India development
- Deliver products beyond expectation in quality, pricing and innovative technology
- To strive for synergy between customer satisfaction, technology & value for money
- Revolutionise the way rural India communicates
- Become leaders in feature phone industry, known for innovation, quality & service
- Be ethical, socially responsible & environment friendly.