Well be closing FY(16-17) with 2.5-3 Million sold devices: Deepak Kabu

In an exclusive interaction with Deepak Kabu, Chief Executive Officer at Ziox Mobiles highlights the growth strategy of the brand
we’ll be closing FY(16-17) with 2.5-3 Million sold devices: Deepak Kabu

Kindly highlight the journey of the brand to Indian market? Also highlight the current distribution network?

My professional association with Ziox began in May 2016, to begin with we were achieving around 1.2 lac devices in a FY. We had a humble beginning with few branches only, and  within the span of two months  since our start we became operative across country and lastly we entered North East markets couple of months back.  Now, we are a Pan-India brand with 800 direct partners on-board and this FY (16-17) we’ll be closing at 2.5-3 Million devices. 

Not just offline, our products are widely available across popular e-tailers such as Flipkart, Shopclues, HomeShop18, Snapdeal to name a few. 

How you plan to increase distribution network in terms of numbers? What is your strategy for same?

As mentioned earlier, we’ll be bullish equally on general trade as well as online channel to scale-up the distribution.  In fact, we aim to sell about 10 Lac handsets in Feb-Mar’17 period.  In the month of Jan’17, the number of retailed units touched about 3 lakhs.  We plan to launch a different series (named as QUIQ) for the online channel exclusively since, there is a lot of price fluctuation in online vertical; hence, we wanted to remain price competitive with QUIQ series.

What is your take on current Indian mobile handset market? Pls quality few number.  Offlate, there is a growing dominance of Chinese vendors ( or brands) along with establish players in mobile hand-set category. You are relatively new brand, how you stand out to these brands?

I would say ‘Quality’ is our USP.  I agree there is a stiff competition in the mobile category.  Since beginning, we have worked on exclusive models which set us apart from the rest of the industry. For example, We started with a phone (S337+) which has 8 GB of internal memory with 100 pre-loaded video songs. And the product proposition received very good response and acceptance.

Innovation continued further with launch of a feature phone with Selfie camera & flash (Zelfie), with this launch we revolutionized the feature phone category. Though, all the Ziox Products are best in its category but 5-6 models were very well appreciated by channel and consumers. This lead to increase in primary sales month on month and we have achieved highest ever average daily tertiary of 10,000+ devices.

Moreover, our recent launch of 4G phones (Astra Metal 4G, Astra 4G)has been spectacular. Within the span of one and half month, we have sold about 50,000 devices of both models.

As mentioned earlier we are committed to product quality products at value for money hence its needless to mention that phones were powered by great camera, long-lasting battery. Going forward we’ll expand our 4G product portfolio by adding 3-4 more models and in the month of Mar’17, we are plan to sale about 60,000 handsets (4G Devices). 

Are you also looking to tie-up with any service provider like reliance-Jio to increase the strength?

Yes, we are in talks with all leading operators. With Jio we are a step ahead and devices are being tested and soon Ziox phones will be available with Jio offer.

Kindly highlight your marketing strategies? How much budget is allocated for same.

With focus on traditional retail it was important that we focus more on retail visibility, launches and activations hence major chunk of marketing moneys were invested on BTL activities. During the fiscal 16-17 our accumulated marketing spends would be in the range of Rs. 12-15 crores.

We have plans to have a popular Bollywood face on board to endorse brand Ziox and we are simultaneously working on ATL campaigns which will revolve around our upcoming 4G devices, active early next fiscal.

Any plans to launch to exclusive retail outlet? 

Not really!Rather, we would join hands with large format stores ( LFRs) shortly  with major focus in South India. 

What is the starting and exiting price range?

Our product offerings are meant for every Indian and hence price ranges from Rs. 900 to Rs. 6,000.

General trade is highly unorganized in nature? Kindly highlight your experience.

I feel that general trade is very well organized.  For Indian consumers offline touch&feel is very important element before making the final purchase decision.  In fact, we are able to sell four lakhs devices in last couple of months because of general trade only. We have dynamic and partner friendly reporting platform using which we can track Primary & Tertiary in real time hence, we do not have any problem working with General trade.

These days technology changes very fast in mobile category. So, what is your strategy for old stock?

We offer price protection policy for old stock to all our dealers be in general trade or online. Under this policy old stock is sold on discounted rates.

Are you planning to introduce any new category shortly?

We are here to stay longer and Mobile phones are just the beginning, soon we shall be adding Mobile Accessories, consumer durables (Purifiers, LED TVs, etc.) to our product lines.

At last, kindly mention your growth plans? How you are looking to close the current financial year?

As answered above we have come a long way from some thousand devices/month to lacs of device/month and close the fiscal with 2.5-3 million devices in FY 2016-17.

Deepak Kabu