Micromax has made a comeback, and in its version 2.0 wants to change the perception of the users and as well as wants to ensure that Indian buyers are offered worthy options that can help make a seamless switch to an Indian smartphone brand.
While the idea, timing and the campaign have been perfectly executed, unfortunately, the couple of smartphones that the company launched, have been marred by issues. Various Journalists, bloggers and users, who got hold of the first lot of devices highlighted glaring issues around the build quality, lack of quality control, bugs in the software, poor camera performance etc.
To clear the doubts and to respond to the criticism around the poor-quality control, Rahul Sharma, the co-founder of Micromax has released a video on the company’s YouTube channel where he and Sunil Joon, product head of Micromax, responded to a few handpicked questions. Incidentally, TechRadar had also asked Micromax a few questions around the now cancelled sale of Note 1B, however, we are still awaiting a response.
What lies ahead?
Rahul Sharma also dropped a bomb on people who were expecting that the company will launch a 6GB variant of the In Note 1. He mentioned that the company does not have any plan to launch a higher RAM variant of the phone and instead suggested that the team feels that the performance of the device with 4GB RAM is satisfactory.
He further hinted that the next smartphone the company plans to launch may come with 6GB of RAM variant, Liquid Cooling System and display with higher refresh rate, all of these were missing from both the devices launched by the company last month. He also mentioned that the next product will have Widewine L1 certification which suggests that if the company plans to launch one such device with all the features mentioned above it could be a decent gaming smartphone under a budget.
Micromax of the past enjoyed greater success because of the offline availability while the incumbent Chinese smartphones were still looking to focus on online sales to keep additional costs at bay. Though once the Chinese brands like Xiaomi, Oppo and others started selling their devices offline, they wiped Micromax out of the business.
Now in its new Avatar, Micromax is also selling its phones primarily online and are Flipkart exclusive as of now, however, Rahul Sharma promised that the company is looking to activate its offline channel as well to increase the reach multi-folds.
Anti-China Sentiments, Quality control and roadblocks
Since Micromax looked to capitalize on the Anti-China sentiments and used phrases like “Aao Kare Cheeni Kum” during the launch, the company was continuously asked a question about the origin of the phones. There were doubts that the company is selling re-branded Chinese smartphones like it used to do in the past, however, Sharma debunked this and claimed that the phones are not rebranded devices and 100% made in India at a factory in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan. He did clarify that some of the components are imported from China but has plans in place to “move the entire ecosystem” to product development to India in the near future.
He also admitted that there was a quality control issue in one lot and thus some users, bloggers and journalists got substandard devices. However, he claimed that the issue has been rectified and shared a direct helpline specifically set up to resolve the issues around the poor quality of products.
He re-iterated that the promise of regular software support is also being kept as the first OTA update fixing the bugs along with November security patch has already been released for “early adopters and bloggers”. A wider rollout of this update will follow soon.
Calling out the critics and competition, he accused them of running a campaign to malign the brand. However, Micromax needs to quickly realize that it might be able to sell the first lot of the phones riding the nationalist wave but this cannot be sustained for the long term if the users start feeling that they had to make a compromise by buying the phones.
To win users and local customers back, the company not only needs to innovate and come up with products that are second to none but also need to ensure that there are no more hiccups in terms of quality control as bad news and bad work tend to travel faster.
In his own words, he mentioned, “Safar lamba hai, raaste banane hai.” (Journey is long. Roads have to be developed). We’re hoping that as a professional brand, Micromax is ready for the long haul this time around and offers the best value for money to users who are not only investing their hard-earned money but are trusting the brand once again.