Micromax : Nuts, Bolts And Desperation?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXoly5N5aZw

Watch the video – clearly, the company is taking shots at Apple and several others. And look at the invitation below for its newly launched phone – which I believe is a make or break for the company.

YUnicorn
YUnicorn

Micromax : A Case Of Desperation?

Clearly, Micromax is shouting from the rooftop – Hey! Listen to me! I am a YUnicorn ! I make my own software. And hardware (seriously?). And whatever.

The reality?
Micromax is sort of sandwiched between the biggies and the smaller/unknown Chinese companies.

The big guys are growing bigger (Samsung has taken a good margin over Micromax) while smaller Chinese brands now occupy the majority of market share (infact this to grow in the coming days).

Micromax is stuck in the middle and this aggression in its campaigns is probably a result of what it is going through.

Nuts, Bolts And Desperation?

Take a look at the comments from people in that video – it shows up the value of YU brand and Micromax’s service quality.

Time for Micromax to fix a lot of things, rather than saying that its name doesn’t have a fruit in it !

Aside, here is a quick recap of few important updates from Micomax in the last few months:

Micromax Partners With TranServ and Visa; Brings Udio Wallet To Its Smartphones

Micromax, TranServ and Visa has announced a strategic partnership and  have signed a MoU which will utilize Micromax’s mobile devices to leverage Visa’s unique digital payments products and TranServ’s fin-tech capabilities to promote indigenous digital payment infrastructure.

Micromax users will be able to use mobile-based Push Payments using mVisa, seamless eCommerce payments, interpersonal payments to personal contacts and in the future mobile contactless payments in physical locations through NFC (near-field communications).

The payment solutions will soon be available to Micromax smartphone users through the Udio app.

Udio is a digital wallet allows consumers to shop using a Visa card number linked to the underlying prepaid wallet, wherever Visa is accepted, thereby making the same money available for both for the online and offline payment acceptance.

Vikas Jain, Co-Founder, Micromax said, “Micromax continues to invest for the convenience of its customers, over the years we have been investing time, effort and monies to create a digital experience for our consumers. We have successfully created the hardware, software and services ecosystem for enabling a seamless digital upgrade for our consumers. Digital payments is clearly an important part of our digital experience and services strategy and our partnership with Visa & TranServ further reinforces our commitment to make commerce easier through tight integration with popular services enabling lifestyle of our consumers. We are looking to provide an all pervasive payments layer to our services ecosystem enabling digitalization of the lifestyles of our consumers. With Visa, that has run similar innovation partnerships in other markets, we are excited to be one of the few partners to offer a unique experience to enable the Indian mobile payment ecosystem. Micromax consumers will henceforth enjoy a seamless and delightful digital experience across lifestyle categories like Hospitality, Travel, Healthcare, Entertainment, Ecommerce, money transfers, etc.”

 

Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja Quits

Micromax CEO Vineet Taneja has quit the company to pursue other interests.

Vineet Taneja had earlier worked with Samsung India and at Bharti Airtel before joining Micromax in July 2014.

The Gurgaon based company is the largest domestic phone maker in the country is and has maintained position No 2 in the market. It has also now become the third largest handset player in Russia.

Earlier, many senior level executives had quit the company. It is said that Vineet Taneja had clashes with the promoters namely Rahul Sharma, Rajesh Agarwal, Vikas Jai and Sumeet Kumar and could not implement his ideas.

[source]

Micromax Eyes Payment Space; Launches Smartphone Based Native Payment Solution

Aiming to revolutionize the digital payments space in India, Micromax Informatics Limited, has launched a smartphone based native payments solution in a strategic partnership with leading mobile payments company TranServ.

Under the partnership, the companies will be rolling out a series of payment solutions specifically designed to meet the varied demands of the mobile-first Indian consumer. micromax-wallet

The move will see the creation of an indigenous digital payment infrastructure leveraging Micromax’s presence and partner ecosystem in the Indian market and TranServ’s leading payment solutions. 

“The growth in mobile payments has a lot to do with the ease of payment and tight integration with popular services. And our partnership with TranServ will bring Indian consumers, the most convenient & easy way to mirror their life on the fast evolving internet and mobile ecosystem. We have a roadmap to provide integrated services and leverage the mobile as a platform to converge these services. We will continue to invest resources, partnerships, time, effort and money to ensure our customers get what they want and the whole of the ecosystem shifts to meet the requirement of the consumers.” [Vikas Jain, Co-founder, Micromax Informatics]

By partnering with TranServ, Micromax is providing an all pervasive payments layer to the services ecosystem further ensuring that the users have a platform which is available to them even beyond Micromax devices. TranServ has also partnered with banks to further expand the financial services being offered.

There is definite plan to provide Micromax consumers with a Visa card powered by a partner bank that will allow users to experience ubiquitous payments across online as well as offline merchant establishments. 

The partnership will see a roll out of unique digital financial solutions such as micro-loans & other personal financial services. With the number of mobile wallet users in the country already exceeding the credit card users, the association between TranServ and Micromax marks the beginning of the first consolidated steps towards the foundation of a holistic digital payments ecosystem.

The two companies have also built a large offline network of retail points providing customers an option to top-up their wallets using cash ensuring that customers across the country including interior India experience frictionless digital payments, world class convenience, highest levels of security and rich rewards. 

Micromax To Invest Rs 300 Crore And Set Up New Manufacturing Units In India #MakeInIndia

Micromax plans to set up up three new manufacturing units in India, for which the company will invest Rs 300 crore. The plants will be set up in Rajasthan, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and is expected to start operations by next year.

MakeInIndia
MakeInIndia

The company aims to reduce the imports from China by increasing the production in the country.

Micromax co-founder Rajesh Agarwal, said, “We have been allotted 20 acres land in Telangana and the civil structure is almost ready. Similarly, in Rajasthan, we have got 25 acres land and construction will start in a few days. Tirupati will also start soon.”

The company will invest Rs 100 crore in each plant. The company currently has an assembly unit in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand. With the new plants, the company will have a capacity of about 4 million units.

[source]

Micromax-owned Yu Televentures Held Guilty For Using Ericsson’s Patents Without Permission

The Delhi HC said on Wednesday that Micromax-owned Yu Televentures was found to be violating Ericsson’s patents. Earlier in 2014, Micromax was slapped with a fine for violating patents; the ruling now applies to Yu Telelventures as well, said the court.

Swedish mobile manufacturer Ericsson filed a suit against Micromax in 2014 for using its patents while manufacturing Micromax phones without permission. The court ruled in favor of Ericsson in 2014; Micrormax agreed to pay Rs 55 crore in fines to Ericsson.Micromax-Ericsson

Ericsson’s recent suit said that that Yu Televentures was a subsidiary of Micromax, while Yu argued that it was a separate legal identity under the law and the previous injunction did not apply to it.

After rejecting the arguments, Justice Nazmi Waziri on Wednesday issued a bailable warrant against Sumeet Kumar, Rahul Sharma and Vikas Jain—common directors and principal promoters of Yu Televentures and Micromax.

“These were common directors who were well aware of the import of the operative injunction order and tried to circumvent it under the garb of a subsidiary company,” said Justice Waziri.

The order further pointed out that the 2014 injunction applied only for Ericsson’s patents and the non-payment of royalty; the contention of Yu Televentures being a subsidiary of Micromax was not sustained.

“They have been dishonest while saying that Yu Televentures was not a wholly-owned subsidiary of Micromax as they had themselves stated this in their reply,” said Ericsson’s Advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul.

[Source]

Micromax YU Partners With Reliance Stores To Bring YU Smartphones Across Retail Stores In India

Micromax-owned YU Televentures, today announced its strategic partnership with Reliance Retail to bring YU brand smartphones across 30,000 Reliance retail outlets across India.

YU brand phones that were previously sold through e-commerce websites will now debut across Relaince-owned outlets in India.

The deal is an exclusive retail sales and distribution partnership to enhance the availability of popular VoLTE {Voice over LTE) mobile devices across India, says both parties.

YU brand smartphones YUPHORIA will be priced at Rs 7999; the YUNIQUE will be priced at Rs 6499, and the YUREKA PLUS at Rs10,999. These models will be one of the first set of VoLTE phones to be made available across Retail Outlets in India

Micromax Invests In Gaana, Will Preload Gaana App In their Phones

Micromax, has invested in the music streaming app Gaana to foster the growth of online music broadcast services in India.

Under the new partnership, Gaana will be available on all Micromax smartphones, enabling users to seamlessly stream music. New Micromax smartphone users will also receive free trials to Gaana+, allowing unlimited downloads with no advertisements.

After the trial, users can continue with Gaana+ or use Gaana to access over 10 million songs with ad supported streaming.

“Gaana is becoming a household brand for music, and in partnership with Micromax, we will strengthen our footprint, helping us reach our goal of 100 million Indian users, listening to millions of songs via Gaana. Micromax is the most popular smartphone company in India, passionate about providing its consumers with the best experiences. It’s a great opportunity to bring our service to their users,” said, Satyan Gajwani, CEO of Times Internet.

Micromax Launches Super Affordable 4G Devices, Aims to Disrupt The Growing 4G Market

With an aim to disrupt the budding 4G market, Micromax announces 3 new additions to its existing 4g LTE range of smartphones— the Canvas Blaze 4G, the Canvas Fire 4G and the Canvas Play 4G.

The Canvas Blaze 4G is a budget phone priced at Rs 6,999 that sports a 4.5 inch FWVGA display with a 1.1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon quad core processor and packed with 1GB of RAM.

The Canvas Fire 4G which is also priced at 6,999 aims to offer a better music listening experience through its dual front firing speakers. It has 4.5-inch FWVGA display with a 1GHz MTK6735 quad core processor combined with 1GB of RAM.

The Canvas Play 4G is priced at Rs12,499 and sports a large 5.5 inch vivid IPS display with Gorilla® Glass 3. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad core processor along with 2GB of RAM.

“We would want to stay true to brand’s positioning of ‘Democratizing Technology’ and help in ‘Massification of 4G’ providing the access of 4G to all with our range of smartphones starting INR 6999/- to 10999/-. We are further looking to expand our LTE range and will be launching 5 to 6 more 4G enabled smartphones at various price points by the end of 2015 leveraging both online and offline channels,” said Mr. Shubhajit Sen, CMO, Micromax Informatics

 

Sanjay Kapoor Steps Down As Chairman Of Micromax

Sanjay Kapoor is stepping down as Chairman of Micromax a little after a year of taking up the post, possibly over differences with founders over strategy.

Micromax has confirmed Kapoor’s departure but has refrained from providing reasons for his leaving. Currently discussions are underway over the financial terms of his exit.

Kapoor joined Micromax in June 2014 and had been tasked with turning Micromax into a global brand, raising money for expansion and boosting the company’s software capabilities.

At the time of Kapoor’s joining, Micromax also hired Samsung India mobile head Vineet Taneja and another Bharti Airtel veteran Badal Bagri to power growth ahead of a planned IPO.

Since then IPO plans were shelved in favour of raising funding and while the company has been engaged in talks with China’s Alibaba, progress is reportedly slow over differences in valuation.

Kapoor believed that Micromax should focus on online sales channel and should increase the average selling price of its phones, however, the promoters felt neglecting offline sales and the mass market segments wasn’t an option.

Micromax’s growth to the top of the Indian mobile market has stalled in the second spot, with the company unable to beat Samsung in sales despite the Korean company struggling with a loss of brand recognition.

Micromax Is Developing Its Own Forked Android OS

In a bid to differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded smartphone market, Micromax is looking to build its own OS based on open source Android. The company is also looking to developing apps and services that will run across its range of phones, tablets, televisions and wearables.

Ashish Agrawal, Head of Technology at Micromax, is spearheading the development of Micromax’s forked Android OS and the first smartphone powered by the OS is expected to be launched before the end of the financial year.

Micromax is working to bring a differentiated experience to consumers across all platforms, similar to what Xiaomi does with MiUi OS. Which the underpinnings are Android, the company customizes the UI and several features in order to create its own OS.

Hardware is becoming a commodity and Micromax is looking to invest in developing its own software. The company has even partnered with Cyanogen in order to create the YU brand that runs exclusively on Cyanogen OS. The Micromax OS is the next step in this direction.

Randomly Speaking : Micromax’s Rahul Sharma Set To Marry Asin; Rahul Yadav On LSD

Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax is apparently all set to tie the knot with Bollywood and South Indian actress Asin.

The couple has maintained a tight lip about their relationship, meeting a few years ago through Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna, the first brand ambassadors of Micromax.

Asin who is currently promoting her upcoming film “All Is Well” said that she is wrapping up all her professional commitments in order to give more time to her personal life.

Congrats Rahul!!

Rahul Yadav On LSD

While Housing is laying off 600 people, the ex-CEO and cofounder, Rahul Yadav is enjoying his LSD moment.  The real LSD or maybe, lake side debates? Well,  he is planning to unveil his NextBigWhat idea on August 15th! (an uber for marijuana?)

Rahul Yadav On LSD (Via : Facebook post)
Rahul Yadav On LSD (Via : Facebook post)

Micromax Makes Its First International Investment In Cloud Startup MiMedia

Micromax has announced a strategic investment in consumer cloud provider MiMedia in an effort to build an ecosystem of services and differentiate itself from rivals.

The moves marks Micromax’s first international investment and is part of its plan to build a robust ecosystem of devices as well as services.

Financial details of the deal have not been disclosed.

MiMedia enables users to access their digital content, including photos, videos, music and other files from anywhere, acting as a value add for Micromax customers.

Micromax is looking at investments in software startups as a way to differentiate its smartphones from the competition.

Apart from capital, MiMidia will gain access to Micromax’s scale and access to its massive device ecosystem.

YU Yureka Plus With 5.5-Inch Display Launched At Rs 9,999

YU, the subsidiary of Micromax, has launched its third smartphone, the Yureka Plus priced at Rs 9,999. Registrations for the device open on Monday 12pm and the device will go on sale via Amazon India on July 24.

YU Yureak Plus

The device sets itself apart from others as runs on Cyanogen OS 12 based on Android 5.0 Lollipop. The YU Yureka Plus features a 5.5-inch (1920×1080) FullHD IPS display protected by Gorilla Glass 3.

Powering the Yureka Plus is the same 64-bit Snapdragon 615 processor coupled to 2GB of RAM that’s found in the Yureka. On board storage stands at 16GB while users will be able to expand that via a microSD card.

In terms of imaging the device sports a 13MP primary camera at the rear and a 5MP shooter up front. Powering all that hardware is a rather small 2,500mAh battery, but we’ll have to wait for the performance stats.

Connectivity options on the Yureka Plus include dual SIM connectivity (4G + 3G) and supports CAT4 4G LTE speeds. Apart from this the device gets the regular Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS connectivity.

Micromax Announces YUFIT Fitness Band For Rs. 999; Takes On Xiaomi’s MiBand And Goqii

YU Televentures, a Micromax subsidiary, has announced that its fitness band YUFIT will go on sale in the country on July 29 via Amazon India’s online store.

YUFIT

The YUFIT will be priced at Rs 999 – same as the MiBand from rival Xiaomi. The device marks Indian smartphone maker Micromax’s entry into the wearable space.

The development of the YUFIT was aided by Micromax’s investment in healthcare startup HealthifyMe back in May.

The device will work with both the YUFIT and HealthifyMe apps that work on devices running Android 4.3 and above, while iOS users can use the HealthifyMe app.

The YUFIT tracks steps, calories burnt, sleep patterns and offers message and call notifications, pretty much what every other fitness band out there offers today.

YU is trying to differentiate its device from the MiBand with its localised appeal. Users will be able to subscribe to a fitness trainer for Rs 1,800 for 2 months and 10,000 for a year, which is a in direct competition with Vishal Gondal’s Goqii.

Further, the YUFIT can track a user’s diet by offering user to key in their meals with a list of indian dishes to choose from.

Registrations for the YUFIT will open at 12pm on July 21.