Lava International Limited, rated as the ‘Most Trustworthy Brand’ in the CMR Retail Sentiment Index 2018, is a leading Indian Mobile Handset Company which has expanded its operations to global markets. Right from inception, Lava focused on building a strong mobile handset design and manufacturing system.
Emerging Smartphone Trends
Rising disposable incomes, affordable Internet services, and rise of OTT content platforms have been fueling the double-digit growth of Smartphones in the Indian market. Lava is committed to lead this growth story by providing quality smartphones to users at affordable price-points.
In an interaction with Mobility Magazine, Mr Tejinder Singh, Head-Product; and Mr Sanjeev Agarwal, Chief Manufacturing Officer; and Mr Mugdh Rajit, Marketing Head, all at Lava International share their product plans, brand strategy, marketing plans and future plans.
Mr Tejinder Singh, Head-Product, Lava International, says, “The demand for smartphones is estimated to grow in the future, as a considerable share of the population (~40%) is still using a feature phones and are set to switch to smartphones in the coming months and years. Lava is currently targeting the Rs. 6000-10000 price segment with 5G-enabled devices. With our huge in-house R&D & manufacturing capability at Lava, we have a strong control over end-to-end design and development of smartphones and that allows us to add and offer more value to our customers.”
How Lava Overcame the Chip Shortage
The chip shortage has hit the entire smartphone industry globally recently. To tackle this issue, Lava realigned its procurement strategy and methods.
Mr Sanjeev Agarwal shares, “We have signed some new strategic contracts with the manufacturers, optimized our inventory planning and changed our product portfolio in line with the availability of the chips.”
Lava’s Marketing Techniques and Strategy
Lava feels that partners are integral part of the company’s growth, so the company built a robust partner-supply chain ecosystem that relies on relationships, co-development efforts and motivation. Lava has launched some key apps for partners like My Lava Application & Web interface which enables transparency in transactions and inventory levels, and suggests partners on optimal inventory levels, aging inventory, replenishment orders, redeployments requirements, management of cash & credit for each retailer, and fosters productive working process for the field teams.
Mr Mugdh Rajit, Marketing Head, Lava International, observes, “Partners are an integral part of the Lava Family. Lava’s relation with partners is built on the principles of trust & transparency and sustained profitability. We have introduced My Lava Application & Web interface which is a tool that integrates the entire channel partner ecosystem, from retailer to organization level with SAP.”
Moreover, this app enables effective price control across all channels of offline and online distribution, efficient inventory control at retail and fast incentive settlement for the retailers. The partners have the ease of selling through BTL deployment like NLBs, flanges and soft POSM, regularly. The company also has special incentive and foreign trip programs for the partners and direct settlement for the partner field force. All the partners’ field force employees are covered through insurance. Moreover, Lava is one of the few companies that regularly connect with partners through partner town halls twice a year.
Introducing Better Innovations to Improve Customer Experience
Lava has introduced a waterdrop notch which means that the device feels less bulky even at bigger screen sizes and it gives better content watching experience without much interference.
According to Mr Tejinder Singh, “Waterdrop notch is a technology that has enabled brands to provide a higher screen-to-body ratio and fit bigger screens onto smartphones without increasing the size of the device. With a waterdrop notch, only the front camera is housed into the notch with all other sensors and the receiver moving to minimalized top bezel area.”
With the advancements in technology, brands are increasingly focusing on accommodating new features in the existing smartphones without making the device bulky to provide more value to the end customers.
As a technology driven organization, Lava has introduced the smartphone camera with AI. Today, smartphone cameras are delivering photography experience at par with DSLRs, enabling consumers to rely more on their smartphones to capture the precious moments of their lives. To complement this trust that users have placed in a smartphone camera, LAVA launched triple camera-enabled smartphones that provide additional gamut of AI-enabled features like Bokeh mode, Ultrawide shot, Night mode, beauty shot and AI scene detection. These features have been immensely appreciated by the users and we will continue to provide more differentiated value to customers.
Since its inception, Lava has been known for providing value-added innovations to its customers. The company has always strived to achieve the highest standards of quality with utmost efficiency so that. Excellence is a continuous process driven by rigorous planning, execution, and measurement.
With the rapidly growing 5G ecosystem, the Indian smartphone market is witnessing a shift in consumer preference with the increasing number of users looking for phones in the higher and mid-price range that offer future-ready 5G technology to customers.
Mr Tejinder Singh asserts, “Our recent offerings, myZ and Zup, are testimony to the fact that we are committed to providing differentiated value to our customers. We will soon be entering the mid-price range segment with our own 5G smartphones to provide affordable 5G experience to our customers.”
Lava products are available through their nationwide retail network of 1.65 lakh retailers who in turn are directly served by over 1000 distributors. Lava’s after-sales-service network is one of the largest in the country with close to 800+ professionally managed service centers focused on speed and quality of service.