We are looking at 200,000 OKWU smartphones in terms of first-year sales
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 focussing 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 a 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 the 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.
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 from 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 when after-market service is not up to the mark. For any new company like OKWU, there is a lot more to explore as one can do a number of things by using a smartphone. We are planning to provide premium experience through hardware and IoT (Internet of Things) by building a platform ecosystem.
What is the amount you are investing in OKWU smartphone company?
The company is investing close-to $1 million for the 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.
How are OKWU’s smartphones different vis-a-vis competitors?
The smartphones will be different in terms of hardware features which will be available even as low-priced models. For example, the company is planning to provide a dual camera at the rear for under Rs.8,000. We would be the first in India to offer fingerprint 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 service. Presently, Lakshya Infotech has 330 service centres which will increase to 1,200 by the end of 2017.
What is OKWU’s distribution strategy?
Initially, we are looking at tier-I cities and metros and the focus is on 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.
During phase II, OKWU’s focus is to reach 200 cities by the end of December 2017.
How optimistic are you about OKWU’s sales?
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 and online and we are planning to invest a significant amount in marketing. We are very conservative in our approach, but we are very optimistic.
What is OKWU’s USP?
The company will roll out IoT accessories like UTag, UPlug, UCars and UChips. By 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. UCar 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 smartphones in Shenzhen, but by the end of March 2018 we will set up our first assembly line in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
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