“Ziox is positioned as the ‘value-for-money’ brand” Deepak Kabu, CEO, ZIOX Mobiles (Interview)

According to the report from IDC, the India smartphone market saw a shipment of 30.0 million units in 2018Q1, which shows the potential of the country. And If you go to market lots of unknown and known mobile brands keep trying to tap this potential. It is not a one day journey to gain the trust of consumers especially in Tier 11 and Tier 111 cities; where people’s income generated by their individual livelihood is not that much high. But still, with changing trend (digitalization) the mobile phones are now falling into their basic necessity, especially for youngsters. In such conditions, they all want a budget range phone with good features and specifications. Regarding this, we had an interaction with Deepak Kabu, CEO of ZIOX Mobiles and he said just because of this reason their majority of focus is on Tier 11 & 111 cities where people still can’t afford high-end & costly smartphones.

Mr.Deepak Kabu (CEO,Ziox Mobiles)Before moving towards the questions which we had asked Mr. Kabu regarding ZIOX mobile, let’s know about him in brief. Mr. Deepak Kabu is working as the Executive Officer for Ziox mobiles. He is an industry veteran in the IT & mobile phones category with an experience of more than 15 years. On the personal front, he is a tremendous traveler and is always on the look-out for a new experience whether it is food or meeting new people or making new friends or something as simple as just learning something new from anyone.

 

1. How did the ZIOX journey start?

We started our journey 4 years back, & it has been very challenging yet exciting for us. We received a very strong feedback from the audience that has encouraged us to collectively bring more products that reflect the demands of Indian consumers. Our first step was the BIG FAT Annual Meet, one of the most successful Meet-n-Greet which helped us activate a stronger mode in India. Our High point was unveiling SSR – ‘the very talented and versatile Sushant Singh Rajput’ as the brand endorser of Ziox Mobiles. SSR brought the attitude and face to the brand. We also had another admirer for Ziox, which kept us in News – ‘Media’. Media acceptance and appreciation not only boosted our presence but also our confidence to bring Quality that Speaks.

In a short span of time, Ziox won the award for ‘Best Innovative Mobile Brand’ and ‘Best Inventive Smartphone Brand Award’ at the 3rd Mobility Excellence Awards 2017. The perfect icing on the cake, when Ziox has reached over 12 Million Households in India.

2. Where is Ziox positioning in the feature phone category?

We stand in the top 10 position in the Indian market. Today Ziox is positioned as the ‘value-for-money’ brand which brings the latest technology at the most affordable price points. We occupy a strong share in the 5K -10K segments occupying the prime position in the Indian mobile industry as this is where the volume & value proposition play out in their full potential. In an increasingly commoditized market, our right mix of features, price, and service help us attract and retain consumers for the long run.

 

3. What are the targeted segments?

We want to target the Tier 2 and Tier 3 Markets along with the millennial generation. Indian consumers do not mind spending money on a phone, provided they receive good features, specifications, and excellent user experience. We shall be focussing on both the Online and Offline route to gain the stronger 10% market Share.

 

4. Most of the ZIOX smartphones are under 10K, why? Any future plans to appear in the premium category.

Currently, 1 billion Indians don’t yet have a smartphone. There are about 650 million mobile phone users in India, and just over 300 millions of them have a smartphone, which emphasizes the huge untapped Market. This Market defines the opportunity which India holds. Currently, Majority of the unexplored market is with Rural Regions. One of the major reasons the smartphone hasn’t been able to penetrate rural or [smaller] cities is because it’s all in English. Also, these consumers look for options that easier on pockets in sync with ongoing technology. Seeing the Potential Market and its consumption pattern, we consciously have been focussing under 10K range. As mentioned above the 10K segments occupy a prime position in the Indian mobile industry as this is where the volume & value proposition play out in their full potential.

Though we might come up with Premium exclusive series of Ziox which shall cater to the new age technology audience, this is in later stages.

5. How do you plan to innovate with the 10K range of products in the future?

Innovation is very key competent in itself, since it has to be not just different than other brands or just upgraded but the better one than the previous models as well. Trends in the Mobile market today is dominated by the feedback of audience, the needs of the consumers, to stay ahead of the crowd and be updated with style and Technology. For instance, our Dual Rear Selfie Camera – Duopix R1/F1 are designed as per the trends of the ongoing market. Also, we are currently focusing on embedding Bezel-less Display in the upcoming Ziox Smartphones. Very recently, we have also launched a model Tubelight with powerful LED lights. Before this, we have also launched a feature phone with WIFI and a model with 32 GB internal memory in feature phone segment only. For future, we shall focus strongly focus on 4G Smartphones, bringing value-added features with the latest in technology at best prices.  All this and much more keeps the space very exciting for us.

 

6. Why should one go for Ziox phone? Because it is not alone in India selling feature and smartphones under 10k.

Our products are a redefinition of the level of quality and cost-effective offerings in India. The market is glutted with brands that offer premium product offerings at most premium prices and that’s where Ziox marks a change. We prioritize providing uncompromising quality, integrated with high-end technology. Our vision is to bridge the gap between consumer demands and the high-end technology.

Our strategy is focussing on both the segments, smartphones and 4G feature phones. Also for Ziox, it’s not just about selling the ‘Phone’; our replacement Policy, our after sales service holds testimony to what the Brand defines. Unlike some brands which have entered and exited the Mobile Market, Ziox is here to stay. Trusted Services and Reliability shall enable Consumers to opt for Ziox as against the competition.

7. What is your branding strategy?

To achieve a firm foothold in the today’s challenging and competitive market of India, one may not need to be different but Think/act differently. And keeping that in mind, we differentiate ourselves by delivering superior quality technology at potent prices. With a total investment of 100cr, our go to market strategy is chiefly to focus on retail visibility and connecting with the consumer through BTL Activities and social media. So, as to make our brand reach the consumers across Pan India, a 360-degree marketing campaign is what our element of go-to brand strategy is.

 

8. What are the distribution models that ZIOX follows?

The market for us is everywhere. There are certain places which are contributing most to our business, namely Karnataka in South, Maharashtra, and Gujarat in West and UP and Rajasthan in North. We are doing a good investment in the North-East also.

We have a strong distribution network but we have also started selling products online with e-commerce portals such as Naaptol, Shop CJ and HomeShop 18 among others.

 

9. How do you compete with other Chinese competitors?

One should never underestimate Indian brands. We are going to be a good example of that. All Indian brands are making good numbers now. In the last couple of months, the numbers have gone up for Indian brands. When you are playing at your home ground, there are obviously some positives that one can justify. We have planned to sell 10 million handsets by next year and we are quite sure that we can achieve it. Since no one else has been able to sell 3 million units in a year but us, we are positive about our future achievements.

 

10. Besides phones, Ziox also deal in the Smart band and Mobile Accessories. But on your website both have only one product in each category. Could we expect more in the future?

Very soon we shall be venturing with Consumer Durables, however, I won’t be able to share any further info on this.

 

11. Any Expansion plans and What is next coming for the customers?

We plan consistently on extending our reach expeditiously. The strategy to elevate our brand presence will be to essentially to target the unexplored rural and semi-urban customers with an extensively wide yet innovative product range, which will be pocket-friendly and loaded with the latest technology. We believe that the path we are on, with right offerings at right and affordable prices, Ziox will create an image as a perfect enabler to the driver the rural and semi-urban Indian consumers onto a digital platform. In terms of what’s coming next, we have our 4G Feature phones in the pipeline.

 

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