HotSpot retail from Spice Group is one of the leading multi-brand mobile retail chains having wide presence across the country. As the competition heats up in the organised mobile retailing segment, Mr Sanjeev Mahajan CEO, HotSpot retail shares his views on the company’s development, marketing strategy and future expansion plans with Retailer.
Retailer: When did HotSpot start its retail operations and how, do you think, are you better than your competitors?
Sanjeev Mahajan (SM): We opened the first outlet in August 2005 at Janakpuri, Delhi. When we started, organised mobile retailing in India was in its nascent stage and sales of high end mobiles just picked up. In fact, we are the pioneers in organised mobile retailing and opened 100 outlets in Delhi alone. We are better in terms of our pace of growth, which is robust and we followed a measured approach. Instead of pushing the product, we at HotSpot believe in selling the services and felt the need to give more value to the customers.
Retailer: What kind of marketing strategy has HotSpot followed since the launch of the company?
SM: A lot of effort has gone into the marketing strategy from the time we opened the first outlet in August 2005. An effective marketing strategy is required to pull the customers to retail outlets. We wanted to make sure that each individual outlet performs to its fullest potential. In the last three months, we have started a TV campaign of HotSpot retail outlets, as this is a part of our expansion strategy and hence, people would be able to listen to and hear much more about HotSpot retail from now onwards.
Retailer: How many outlets do you have at present and has the slowdown affected company revenues?
SM: Currently, we have 450 outlets operating under two different formats. One is the company owned and company operated (COCO), the other being the franchise owned and franchisee operated (FOFO) model and at present, there are 100 franchised outlets. We cannot comment on official figures, but our revenues have grown eight times this year, as compared to the previous fiscal year.
Retailer: What are the future expansion plans of HotSpot?
SM: At Hot Spot, we want to keep the growth measured. We are not running a 100 metre dash which finishes soon. We have huge growth plans and do not want to tire out. We plan to have 700 outlets by March 2009 and by the end of 2009, we expect to have 1,500 outlets in total.
Retailer: Tell us more about the newly launched movie card service by HotSpot.
SM: It’s a completely new concept where the customers can watch movies on there cell phones having MP4 and 3gp specifications and offers DVD like qualities. The movie card costs Rs 350 and currently, there are five titles in offering. In the near future, we will offer the latest movies to customers through movie cards, as the company has big time plans regarding this service.