Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Mar 05, 2004
Philips gears up for handset foray
New Delhi , March 4
PHILIPS India Ltd, long recognised for its lighting, consumer electronics, domestic appliances and personal care products, is all set to take on the growing mobile handsets market in the country.
Although the company is already a marginal player in this sector, offering as many as five handset models, it has not been able to make much of a dent in the market because of its low profile. However, that is set to change, according to Mr Arshit Pathak, General Manager (Wireless group), Philips India Ltd.
As per the plans, the company will not tread the beaten track in creating awareness of its handset models.
To start with, a detailed customer survey over a three-month period has just been completed in as many as 30 cities and towns spread across the country. The feedback that has been received is being incorporated in the company's strategy to take on the established handset players like Nokia, Motorola and Samsung.
"We do not want to swamp the market with handset models that have initially been developed for the European or other Asian markets. Instead, the company is looking at developing new handset models incorporating features that are specifically suited for the domestic market," Mr Pathak noted.
As an illustration, he pointed out that the voice levels in the cities are higher than in other developed countries. Therefore, in the mobile handsets that would be ideal for the domestic market, the speakers of the handsets should be capable of delivering louder outputs. Similarly, the battery should also be very durable as temperatures are very high, he said.
He said that Philips would be sourcing these customised handsets from the factories in China. These handsets will also be sold in other Asian markets, which have similar requirements.
The company will be leveraging its existing network of distributors for consumer electronic products for mobile handsets. The company wants to steer away from the entry-level segment and will be concentrating on the mid-price segment, which will appeal to the youth. In this endeavour, a more interactive approach to marketing will help in selling the products, and the company will be focusing on such activities, he said.
With the telecom market now poised for greater growth, Philips will now re-launch its portfolio of handset models and make its presence felt. It is planning to launch a new model every month, he said.
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