LAVA, buoyed by success, to start manufacturing smartphones in India from 2015

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Lava International Limited is an Indian company making a large variety of mobile handsets according to the need of customers. The company was founded in 2009 under the supervision of its founder Hari Om Rai and co-founders Sunil Bhalla, Shailendra Nath Rai and Vishal Sehgal. Originally, company’s foundation was laid in 2003 as Pacetel Communications. The company has numerous regional offices across the country for customer conveniences with headquarters in Noida, NCR, and India. Lava is considered the first company in India to launch Intel powered smartphone through its new brand name Xolo. Xolo has become one of the popular smartphone brands in India running under Lava International. Xolo has setup its office in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Along with smartphones, Xolo also sells tablets. Its mobile phones start from mid-range up to high-end range. The first model of Xolo was launched in April 2012, named Xolo X 900 with Intel Processor. Also Xolo became the first smartphone brand to launch Xolo Win Tablet in the partnership with AMD. Presently LAVA is a fast growing company in the mobile phone market.

lava_hariomHari Om Rai, Chairman and Managing Director, Lava International
Hari Om Rai is the driving force behind the operations and business development activities of Lava. His knowledge from decades of experience through entrepreneurial ventures in the industry is unparalleled. Mr. Rai is known for maintaining strong and effective industry relationships. He has also co-promoted Pacetel Communications, a company that is regarded as an epitome of success in the service of GSM/CDMA handsets, terminals and other electronic products. He is also the co-founder of Amexpress Worldwide Logistics, a premier logistics based firm.

lava_sunil-bhallaSunil Bhalla, Co-founder and Director, Lava International
Sunil Bhalla is a professional turned serial entrepreneur. He was a Co-founder and Director of Luminous Power Technologies. A Mechanical engineer & an MBA from IMT, he has worked with Maruti Udyog Limited in the past. At Lava International Limited, he contributes in Strategic Planning.

lava_shailendraShailendra Nath Rai, Co-founder and Director, Lava International
A renowned business professional with over 24 years of varied industry experience, Shailendra Nath Rai is fondly known as SNR. With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Green Belt Certification in Six Sigma, SNR is one of the leading professionals in Supply Chain Management in the country today. He has been a part of the greatly acclaimed sponsored research on “Perpetual Supply Demand Balancing” with the Indian School of Business (ISB).

lava_vishalVishal Sehgal, Co-founder and Director, Lava International
From management trainee at Marico to CEO at Airtel Rajasthan, Vishal has seen business in its various hues. Having worked both in startups like Marico (1992) and Zip Telecom (2001), as well as large organizations like Pepsico India (1998) and Airtel (2005), Vishal has a rich blend of entrepreneurial and professional experience. In his last stint at Airtel Rajasthan before co-founding Lava International, he led the business to a dominant 45% revenue market share in a multi-player industry.
Vishal brings to the table a vast, first-hand knowledge of consumer brands and the telecom business. Being “tech-curious” at heart, among other business priorities, he leads the technology evolution practices in the company.

Company Milestones
2009:  Officially registered with name Lava International Limited
2012: Lava joined hands with Interbrand in early 2012, firm to undergo a visual identity change
2012:  Intel tied up with Lava International to announce the first Intel powered smartphone under a new brand name XOLO, in India.
2012: Also in 2012, LAVA also entered the tablet business with E-Tab Z7H
2013: For the Iris Pro Series Lava launched the ‘Art Meets Smart’ campaign in 2013. The brand also tied up with KBC and IIFA Awards to promote the Iris Pro Series.
2014: Lava launched its flagship Iris Pro 30 smartphone, the first one in the Iris Pro series. The Iris Pro 30 is the most expensive phone in the brand’s portfolio currently.
For designing and developing its wide range of products, the company has a complete in-house R&D set-up in China. This facility has produced phones such as Lava ‘Iris Pro 30’ as well as the ‘Fusion App’ which is currently available on the Google play store.

Market share:
In 2013, the Lava reported close to 30 billion rupees ($500 million) in turnover and in 2014 they aim to achieve more than $1 billion in revenue. On a monthly basis, the company currently produces about 1.5 million units of mobile handsets. Lava Mobiles has also said it expects to double up its revenues from tablets and IT products in FY 2014 from FY 2013.
“India is one of the fastest growing mobile handset markets in the world, we are going through an exciting time. The market offers huge potential to players who aim to consistently add value to consumer’s lives through good products. Our strong investment in a single-layered distribution network of over 1200 distributors with focus on product engineering and R&D has helped us scale such a growth,” said, Hari Om Rai, Chairman & Managing Director, LAVA International.

LAVA International Limited has been a fast growing company in the mobile phone market. Now, as per IDC estimates the company has become No. 1 feature phone company in the Quarter ending September 2014 with an overall market share of 25.8%. The company is also No. 2 in the overall category among the Indian mobile phone companies, combining feature phones & smartphones. The results have been determined as per the imports volume tracked by an independent market research firm Cybex Exim Solutions Pvt Ltd.

Global Presence:
Lava is progressing fast in countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Russia and Thailand. And Lava is the second largest selling mobile brand in Thailand.

Big Plans for 2015:
Lava which already offers smartphones with good specs at affordable prices has been growing fast and Hari Om Rai said that the company is on track to achieve the target of being a billion dollar company by 2015. The company aims to grab a stronger grip in the overall Indian mobile phone market. Currently, the company carries out R&D and product engineering at Bangalore (India) and Shenzen (China). LAVA is investing approximately Rs 500 crore in a phased manner for its own manufacturing unit in India. Responding to the ‘Make In India’ campaign by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, home grown smartphone player Lava International has acted quickly and will manufacture smartphones in India from the next financial year. “We are very passionate with the Prime Minister’s Vision of ‘Make In India’, and we as a company want to play a role in this vision by starting the manufacturing of our smartphones locally in the month of March 2015. To begin with Lava will first start the assembling process at our Noida-based facility, which is spread across in 100,000 square feet and later it will ramp up to complete manufacturing facility including tooling, SMT, painting and other areas in the second phase. The company intends to shift its manufacturing of smartphones both Lava and Xolo from China to India in a phased manner,” said Hari Om Rai.

lava_navinMr. Navin Chawla, VP, Lava International
“Our target audience currently is the youth, particularly, entry level professionals as well as students. With respect to the target market, the company will focus on Tier 1 & Tier 2 markets as there is huge potential for growth in the smartphone category. We are also focusing on the rural markets for our feature phone category. With smartphones becoming part and parcel of everyday life, battery life has become a matter of concern for smartphone users. Since young users are always hooked up to games, social media and multimedia, they need higher battery power, so we recently launched Iris Fuel 60, the second smartphone after the recently launched Iris Fuel 50.  Iris Fuel 60 comes with a battery designed to last for long working hours without the need of frequent charging.”

 

Mr. Tarun Verma, Head- Marketing, Lava International Ltd.

Mr. Tarun Verma, DGM, Lava International

“So far, we have been pretty successful in the entry-level and the mid-level product category primarily because of strong products and strategic focus on distribution, service and communication. Going forward, the strategy is to maintain and increase the market share in the feature phones and the entry-level smartphones categories and to increase our share in the premium smartphone market.”

Inception Year 2009
Feature Phones launched in 2014 50
Smart Phones launched in 2014 39
Tablets launched till now 7
Service Centers Lava has 1300+ service centers across India
Key Markets Lava brand is present all India and basis market potential and Lava’s channel strength , all markets are important though at various levels
Global Presence LAVA has presence in Thailand, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal , Hong Kong and Middle East.
Financial year 2011-12 Rs 557 CR
Financial Year 2012-13 INR 1043.2 CR
Financial Year 2013-14 INR 2955.1 CR
Current Figures – Jul –Sept’14
INR – 171 CR (Gross Value ) Lava International Ltd.
Projections 2014-2015 Aiming to be a billion dollar companyINR 6000 cr
Marketing Spends For the current financial year, the total marketing budget planned is in excess of Rs. 220 crore for FY13-14 LAVA’s strategy for the FY 14-15 is focused on O2O which means that the activities will be planned and executed to first drive traffic online for awareness/ engagement and then offline for activation and purchase. Hence digital and retail will be two key focus areas
R & D Spends Can’t comment
Average Selling Price Lava International ltd – INR 2300(on gross basis)
Partners
Ecommerce Partners Flipkart, Snapdeal, Ebay, Amazon, Ebay and Indiatimes.com
Modern Retail Partners 16
Teleshopping Partner Homeshop18 and Star CJ
Retail Partners 82000
Processor Partners MediaTek, Qualcomm, Spreadtrum
Network Partners Airtel
VAS Business We are working with 4 to 5 major ones currently. Most of them are infotainment domain like jobs, Bollywood, cricket, devotional, caller tunes, gaming category. Some of the players are Hungama, Mobile2win, World Phone, Unisys, Indiagames.
Entertainment
Utilities
Shopping