Where have Indian smartphone companies disappeared to?

Almost a decade back when HTC brought Android to India, Indian smartphone companies like Micromax, Lava, Intex, Karbonn and a few more emerged and started ruling the market. One of the main reasons for this was that in a price conscious market like ours, Samsung, HTC and Sony launched phones which were relatively expensive and unaffordable for majority of Indian masses. But, with these Indian companies, people started getting Android at a much cheaper price. Thus, the shift was rapid and the market share of these companies skyrocketed. Let’s
understand why these companies went downhill.

  1. E-commerce emergence. Some of the Indian phones were being sold online, but majority were shelved in offline stores. With Amazon’s entry in 2014, Chinese company, Xiaomi took the online marketing approach and shook the market. It came with exclusive online phone models and took away the online market share that Indian companies enjoyed.
  2. Chinese brands. After being kicked out from the online space, these phones were doing a fair job in offline markets until the market became all “blue” and “green”. With a flood of advertisements, Oppo & Vivo were successful in registering themselves in the minds of their target audience. This led to further diminishing of Indian phone companies.
  3. 4G, the Game Changer. Reliance launched Jio 4G in 2016 and within a span of few months it spread like wildfire, which no one was ready for. Then the market leader, Micromax, had produced a huge stock of 3G smartphones which they had to get rid of as the focus had now shifted to Chinese companies which were all set with their 4G compatible devices.

No matter how much they blame foreign companies for their decline, the bottom line remains that the Indian smartphone companies did not raise their game in order to survive in this ever changing competitive market. These companies still exist but to be visible again, they have a lot of catching up to do.