As the top manufactures plan to focus on emerging markets, one small player is going the other way. Micromax, known for bringing insanely low priced devices to the Indian market, is diversifying. With a foothold in one of the largest, more crucial emerging markets for smartphone OEMs, the Indian device manufacturer is going global — and high end.
With phones starting at $50, Micromax is no stranger to adequate, mid-range offerings. In an attempt to grow their brand, and perhaps be taken seriously on a global scale, they’re preparing to offer up a $310 device outside of India. For the first time, the number three Indian manufacturer will sell devices in Russia, then move onto Romania. While perhaps not seen as a major move, it’s one where Micromax has failed once before.
The company previously tried their hand at the South American market, only to find their efforts lost in translation. They found a similar fate in the Middle East, and shuttered both operations shortly after launch. Russia might prove a different story, and is a different approach to the model Micromax set sail with elsewhere. This time, the focus is on quality devices, leaving the lower-end handsets to chance.
Of course, it won’t be an easy road. The Android platform is competitive and tough everywhere. Though well known and loved in India, their high-end offerings there don’t perform well, either. “We think Micromax will struggle in the higher end of the smartphone market because richer Indian consumers often prefer the cachet of international brands” said analyst Neil Mawston of Strategy Analytics. It seems Micromax has some brand identity issues to solve before the world takes them seriously.