A group of some 50 Chinese phone brands are breaking into the lucrative Indian market with the help of a local startup, which will help them set up over 200 sales and service centers.
According to The Hindu, the startup, called AndroidGuruz, plans to introduce a franchisee network in India, which will comprise of Chinese brands such as Zopo, UMI, JiaYu and Mogu across the nation. The first such store is slated to open in New Delhi over the next three months, with more in Bangalore and Mumbai to follow by the end of the year.
Mobile phones from China have already been available in India for quite some time, usually at local vendors in bazaars and markets. The affordable and cost-effective phones sell by volume and aren't usually carried by the branded outlets or stores in India at the malls, as they carry high-end Apple, Nokia, and Samsung products instead. Furthermore, mobile phones from China are easily available online from Indian retailers and are heavily advertised in newspapers too.
And that's what makes this situation interesting.
Instead of local Indian brands such as Karbonn and Micromaxx taking the lead in the lower-end spectrum, they've now moved up the middle-end tier instead, more so as they introduce slick tablets and phablets at a fast pace for Indian consumers.
That's where the Chinese mobile makers can really make their presence felt and dominate the market, especially with sales and service stations across India, at the lower-end of the spectrum for entry level phones. They too carry new model tablets and phablets, as this market itself is finding tough competition in India with all the models being offered by manufacturers.
Then of course there is just brand loyalty; many Indian consumers would in fact prefer to have an Indian device from an Indian company such as Karbonn or Micromaxx versus unknown Chinese brands. However, that window is also closing, as younger generation simply want not just the latest and greatest devices, but something different and unique that no one else has.