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Robust R&D, less fault rate to keep us ahead of Chinese players: Lava

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End-to-end control on research and development and product design, a robust single-layer distribution model and improved after-sales service strategy are going to give us an edge over Chinese smartphone vendors this year, a top executive from domestic player Lava International Limited has emphasised.
Founded in 2009, Lava has come a long way in establishing its presence in the domestic mobile handset industry.
The company clocked revenues of Rs 7,626 crore in the financial year 2015-16 — up 23 per cent from the previous financial year. It currently has a market share of 10.5 per cent (by volume) and five per cent (by value) in the country.
“We have achieved tremendous success in our manufacturing process by delivering quality products with 50 per cent less fault rate compared to products made in China,” Product Head at Lava, Gaurav Nigam, told IANS in an interview.
A recent report by Counterpoint Research, which assessed the performance of the Indian mobile handset industry, rated Lava as the fastest-growing Indian brand globally.
Another study by Cyber Media Research (CMR) said Lava has become one of the more popular handset brands in Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Rajasthan and Jammu and Kashmir.
The company is steering the mobile phone design roadmap in India and is working towards establishing a “Mobile Phone Design Centre”.
For this, Lava recently hired design professionals who are currently being trained in China. After the training, these design experts will come back to set up the entire design ecosystem in India.
“From this year onwards, instead of launching multiple handsets, we will focus on selling a few smartphones at any given point. We will focus on connect and visibility at our over 120,000 retail stores,” Nigam added.
Apart from a strong retail network, the company has also set up some 1,100 service centres — marking its presence even in the remotest parts of country such as in the Leh region as well in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Lava is strengthening its manufacturing in India to cater to both the domestic and international markets. The company now has overseas operations in Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Mexico, Middle East and Russia.
Today, the utility of mobile phones has evolved from a bare bones communication device to a high-tech portable gadget.
To fulfill the primary needs of the modern consumer, the company in March entered the mid-price segment and launched its all-new ‘Z’ series with the announcement of Z25 and Z10 smartphones at Rs 18,000 and Rs 11,500, respectively.
“While buying a mobile device, the millennials of today prioritise design and durability, powerful storage capacity, versatile camera, prolonged battery life and 4G/VoLTE capability,” Nigam told IANS.
According to him, the Indian mobile industry has grown competitive with a plethora of players, both Chinese and Indian.
“However, there are opportunities for every player in the mobile value chain,” Nigam added.

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