OKWU is an Indian mobile brand planning to enter the most competitive global mobile handset market i.e. India. The company believes in engaging consumers through ‘smart way’ of living and is focusing on smartphones and IoT products. OKWU in Nigeria means talk or hello as it resonates well with the company’s smartphone portfolio.
Anshuman Atul holds dual portfolio as director, Arise Reinforcement, manufacturers of rebar couplers in India and CEO and managing director of OKWU, an upcoming mobile handset company.
Atul started Arise Reinforcement as a trading unit in 2012 and is now one of largest manufacturers of rebar couplers in India. The company has a manufacturing unit in Greater Noida in 2013 and has expanded its operations pan-India as well as two overseas branches in UAE and Qatar. Anshuman has been instrumental in Arise success and growth thanks to its relationship with clients like L&T, IndiaBulls, NHAI, Jaypee, DMRC and more.
Backed by a strong business model and innovative Indian technology products, OKWU is gearing up to position itself amongst the Top 10 most valued brand in India in the coming few years. In an exclusive interview with Pravin Prashant, consulting editor, VARINDIA, Anshuman Atul talks about OKWU’s marketing plans, distribution strategy, manufacturing plan and USP. Excerpts of the interview:
Why are you entering Indian mobile handset market when it is already overcrowded?
There is no customer loyalty in the Indian smartphone market and even after market services is not up to the mark. For any new company like OKWU there is lot to explore as one can do lot of things using a smartphone. We are planning to provide premium experience through hardware and IoT (Internet of Things) by building a platform eco-system.
What is the teams background and what are you doing presently?
We are a group of four friends - Anshuman Atul, Arjun Gupta, Gaurav Agarwal and Akhil Dhaundiyal from Amity School of Engineering & Technology, Noida and formed our first company Arise Reinforcement in 2012. Arise Reinforcement manufactures construction material and is presently one of the largest manufacturer of mechanical splices used to join rebars together. The company has clocked a revenue of Rs 50 crore in FY2015-16 and profits are in the range of Rs 50 lakh. The company has subsidiaries in UAE and Qatar and has offices in Noida, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
What is the amount you are investing in OKWU smartphone company?
The company is investing close to $1 million for OKWU brand. The money will be used for building inventory and logistics management, marketing and branding activities, building sales team and creating differentiating products for the Indian market.
What is your plan on smartphone launch in the Indian market?
Our plan is to launch smartphone below Rs 22,000. The company has plans to launch smartphones in the range of Rs 6,000, Rs 8,000 - Rs 12,000, Rs 12,000 - Rs 16,000 and Rs 16,000 - Rs 22,000. The company has recently launched Pi smartphone for Rs 5,999.
How is OKWU smartphones different vis-a-vis competitors in the Indian market?
The smartphone will be different in terms of hardware features which will be available even at low priced models. For e.g. the company is planning to provide dual camera at the rear for under Rs 8,000. We would be the first in India to offer finger print scanner for Rs 6,000 smartphone. All the phones will have inbuilt service centre app called
UCare which will help in answering any query and providing any information on service centre thereby helping any consumer to save time and energy.
What is your channel and after market service strategy for OKWU?
For online, the company has tied up with Amazon whereas for offline it has tied up with state distributors which will take care of different states. The company has not opted for any national distributor. The company has tied up with Lakshya Infotech for after market services. Presently, Lakshya Infotech has 330 service centre which will increase to 1,200 by the end of 2017.
What is OKWU’s distribution strategy for smartphones and IoT products?
Initially, we are looking at tier - 1 cities and metro and the focus is 40 cities. In the first phase, the focus is on metro cities and state capitals. Presently, OKWU’s focus is on Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Patna, Cochin, Mangalore, Nagpur, Pune, Chandigarh, Mohali and Lucknow.
In Phase II, OKWU’s focus is to reach 200 cities by the end of December 2017.
How optimistic are you about OKWU’s sales and what is the smartphone number you are looking at in the first year?
We are very optimistic that if we market ourselves well and with the right distribution strategy we will be successful. Our focus is on distribution channel both offline as well as online and we plan to invest significant amount in marketing. We are very conservative in our approach but we are very optimistic.
In terms of first year sales we are looking at 200,000 OKWU’s smartphones. Later, the company will also tie-up with IoT enabled accessories companies.
What is OKWU’s USP?
The company will rollout IoT accessories like UTag, UPlug, UCars and UChips. Using UTag one can tag any of one’s belongings like key or wallet so that one can locate them. UTag has a battery life of 3-6 months and it will cost Rs 990 and will run through applications on the smartphone.
UPlug is a normal plug which uses Wi-Fi and will be launched in January 2017. UCars is the IC unit of engine and helps in tracking one’s car. UChips is an API chip used in smart appliances which will give you an alert every time.
What is OKWU’s manufacturing plan for smartphone and IoT?
Presently, the company is manufacturing its smartphone in Shenzhen but by the end of March 2018 we will set up our first assembly line in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
What is OKWU’s future plan?
In future, the focus will be on content bundling and device bundling with operators. For device bundling, the company is exploring with service providers.
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