Smartphone maker COMIO launches three handsets in India
New Delhi: Smartphone maker COMIO, the latest entrant in the Indian smartphone market, launched three handsets priced between Rs5,999 and Rs9,999 on Friday and plans to invest Rs500 crore in India over the next two years.
The company, will invest Rs500 crore in the country over the next two years, Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, chief executive and director of COMIO India, said in an interview.
“Close to Rs250 crore is earmarked for marketing, Rs150 crore will go into manufacturing and R&D (research and development) and another Rs100 crore will be used to set up ecosystem here,” Kalirona said.
COMIO has a complete manufacturing ecosystem in China – designing, R&D, software development and manufacturing.
“We want to replicate the whole ecosystem in India. Over the next one year, we will bring most of the ecosystem here in India and start manufacturing here,” Kalirona said.
Apple Inc has been in talks for over a year with the government to start manufacturing in India.
Distinguishing COMIO from Apple, Kalirona said, “Apple Inc does contract manufacturing... We have complete control on our ecosystem. We make most of the components ourselves.”
To start with, COMIO plans to manufacture only 10% of the mobile components in India, while the rest will be brought from China. It plans to start manufacturing smartphones in India by the end of this year at its facility. “Discussion is on with the government. We will set up the factory in Delhi or Noida,” Kalirona said.
He said it was not too late for COMIO to enter India’s already crowded smartphones market. “Our products are clearly defined in the segments we will operate in, that is, Rs6000-10000 price range,” he said.
“Manufacturing is our strength. We were original design manufacturers (ODM) earlier supplying to other brands. Now, the local brand in each country (is) slowly somehow going down. Not much business is happening in that front. As ODM is our strength, next step was to make the brand,” Kalirona said.
COMIO operates as an ODM and currently exports its products to more than 16 countries including India. “Now that we have launched COMIO in India, we are not going to supply to other brands anymore,” Kalirona said.
COMIO’s launch comes at a time when the Indian government is taking steps to ensure safety and security in smartphones like never before. Earlier this week, the ministry of electronics and information technology directed 21 smartphone makers, mostly Chinese companies, to share information on data security of users by 28 August.
“We are not in the list of 21 companies asked by the ministry to share security details as we are a new entrant,” Kalirona said, adding that the company is taking care of security and that devices will have security apps.
Over the next 30 days, COMIO will be targeting 15,000 retail stores. In the next one year, the plan is to rope in 30,000 retailers, 1000 distributors across 600 towns, Kalirona said.