Micromax looks beyond smartphones; wants to focus more on content and services: Report hard-reset.net

Micromax is shifting focus to content and services, and aims to become the biggest services company in India.Micromax may be the second-biggest smartphone vendor in the Indian market, but going forward, it is looking beyond the hardware space. Micromax’s co-founder Rahul Sharma has said that he plans on focusing more on the services platform, which he expects will contribute a lot to the company’s revenues by 2020, Livemint reports. In fact, Sharma says that he sees Micromax becoming the biggest services company in India in the next couple of years.
Towards the end of last year, Sharma’s YU launched the Yutopia smartphone, with its USP being the Around YU services platform. This platform essentially sources content from multiple apps and services and offers it to users at one place. The idea was to do away with the need to download and install multiple apps on your smartphone.
Sharma says that this platform will be rolled out on almost all Micromax devices in the next two to three months. Only a few low-end smartphones with not a lot of internal storage will not be getting this service. This services platform will be deeply embedded into Micromax’s own operating system, which the report says, will be rolled out in another four-odd months. It’s been long rumored that Micromax was working on forking Android, and it has also partnered First Touch, which makes Android launchers in Indic languages.
Micromax has been taking steps to ramp up its own ecosystem with acquisitions of various startups in India. Last year, it acquired startups like HealthifyMe, Ixigo, Scandid, Gaana, and TranServ. Going forward, Sharma says that the company will be making acquisitions in categories like artificial intelligence, gaming and entertainment among others.
“Everyone is trying to displace and disrupt the other with a pricing war and high marketing spends. As the hardware space becomes crowded, we want to focus more on strengthening our services play,” Sharma told Livemint.
Sharma is talking about the recent onslaught of Chinese players in the Indian market, with everyone trying to outdo each other by offering more specs at a lower price. With smartphone becoming a commodity, it is important for companies to differentiate themselves from each other, and services is one way to go about it.
Micromax however isn’t the only one looking at the services space. LeEco, one of the new Chinese players in India, recently pledged an investment of more than $10 million to set up in-house content delivery networks across 10 Indian cities. Xiaomi too recently participated in a $25 million funding round for digital media firm Hungama.
Micromax ended 2015 with around $2 billion in revenue, and is aiming at up to 40 percent increase this year. It sold around 36 million smartphones last year, and is targeting the 50 million mark this year. It is looking at online sales channels, and also plans on manufacturing all its devices in India by 2018.

 

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