With about 1.27 billion people, India is the second most populous country in the world. Recent economic growth is leading to a huge increase in smartphone sales and the country is expected to become the second-largest market in the world, only behind China, with shipments increasing 44% year-over-year in Q2 2015. As such, manufacturers are rushing to increase their operations in India, on a push to grab some slices of that huge market. Online sale is an important channel of distribution and according to a recent report by Indian NDTV, Samsung is aiming at this segment, as they have set up a special team to plan online sales strategy for the country. Sources said that the company has eyes in setting up its own e-commerce channels, just like their rivals.
The smartphone market in India faces heavy competition. Big players like Samsung and Micromax fight for consumers with several smaller local companies and other Chinese manufacturers are also increasing their presence in the market, such as Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei and OnePlus. With this scenario in mind, Samsung is building a strategy of targeting consumers' needs. "For us the consumer is the key. Where the consumer would want us, we would be there and would be offering right kind of products at right price", said Rishi Suri, Samsung India Director-Product Marketing Consumer Electronics.
Due to the particularities of the country, in order to boost sales Samsung is also focusing on "Made for India" products, which are designed and manufactured for the specific needs of Indian consumers. On this matter, Suri added, "The 'Made for India' concept has right kind of features and right kind of price, which brings the best value for the consumers. We are getting good response and using that, we are growing continuously and we are also supporting our channel as well as consumers."
Additionally, the Korean giant has a big focus on rural areas, which had a higher sales growth than metro areas in Q2/Q3. With the infrastructure in these areas not as good as in urban regions, it makes sense to push for e-commerce in order to boost sales, with affordable and entry-level devices aimed at first-time, low-income smartphone buyers in rural areas.