The launch of Windows phones has set tongues wagging in the industry but it’s too early to say whether they will win their way to consumers’ hearts.

About a month ago, Microsoft organised a mega event to announce the launch of its latest set of Windows phones in India based on the updated Windows 7.5 or Mango operating system. The veteran software company, has recently been focusing on establishing its own operating software for mobile phones and has entered into a slew of manufacturing agreements with leading handset players like HTC, Acer, Samsung, and Nokia for launching Windows powered phones in India. A few days later after that event, Nokia hosted an even bigger do in London to unveil its much anticipated Windows offerings: Lumia 800 and 710, as well as four ‘Asha’ series smartphones aimed at the highly lucrative emerging markets.

The Nokia-Microsoft agreement, inked in February this year, has the potential to be a game-changer for Windows powered phones in India and other emerging markets. Despite its recent reverses in the handset market, Nokia still outsells other phone makers by a wide margin. And since players like Samsung, HTC and even Acer have a larger marketing focus on the established Android franchise, they will be lesser inclined to push Windows phones all that aggressively.

The launch of Nokia’s Windows powered Lumia phones have come at a critical juncture and just in time to test the waters during the Christmas holiday season in the Western markets. Apple’s iOS platform recently upgraded to iOS 5, while the latest version of Android — Ice Cream Sandwich — is about to become operational. BlackBerry OS 7 too has been recently launched. And in the midst of it comes the upgraded version of Windows 7, Windows 7.1, or Mango.

In recent times, while Google’s Android handsets have powered ahead, Microsoft was forced to sit on the fence. A key reason Microsoft could not make inroads in the smartphone space was its inability to get OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) to pump out new handsets for Windows phone like they did for Android. Now, at last, Microsoft seems to have finally got that equation right and is keen on building the ecosystem for its Windows phone. And its agreement with Nokia is in piece with its new focus and thrust on getting its phone business hit the right notes in the marketplace.

Nokia’s marketing efforts and its deep knowledge of handset retail are likely to offer a big boost to sales of Nokia-branded Windows phones. Nokia Oyj Chief Executive Officer Stephen Elop, while launching the Lumia-series phones said marketing spends on the Lumia will triple compared with prior product launches. Nokia has lined up 31 service providers, including Vodafone to win back market share from the likes of Samsung, and Apple. In India too, with its Asha series, Nokia is aiming to regain its 50% market share by 2012 with this offensive. Industry journal ‘Voice & Data’ reports that for the fiscal 2010-11, the Indian mobile handset market touched Rs 33,171 crore and Nokia’s share was Rs 12,929 crore.

And it’s not just Nokia that Microsoft is counting on to propagate its Windows mobile OS. HTC has already launched Radar and Titan while Samsung will soon introduce the latest Windows offering of its Omnia W range. Another OEM, Acer, too is gearing to launch its Allegro range. The Windows phone marketing campaign will use the distinctive USP of Windows phone interface — large, colorful tiles, unlike the smaller icons of the Apple and Android interfaces.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

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In a country where the consumer durables segment is brimming with breakneck competition, Shanta has been expanding Haier comfortably

Marketing a product in a price and value conscious market like India is challenging. But the opportunities of tapping the vast potential that the country has to offer are equally exciting. The motivation comes from entering a mould only to break it and grow bigger and better. Shanta Roy Sanjeev, Marketing Head, Haier Appliances India is one such person who has skillfully broken all those moulds that labelled marketing as a complicated business function. In an exclusive conversation with Onkar Pandey, Sanjeev talks about the dynamism of the Indian market and her journey as a marketer in such a challenging environment.

Since the beginning of the year, Haier has launched many new products. Is this a well-thought strategy?
The Indian market, according to me, has a lot of potential when it comes to electronics and consumer durables. With an impressive line-up of products across different offerings in electronics and home appliances, we are confidently targeting a turnover of over Rs.1,250 crore in FY 2011 as against Rs.825 crore achieved in FY 2010 (between January and December). Reflecting Haier’s strong commitment, we are planning to introduce new and innovative range of products this year across all its categories. Moreover, looking at an aggressive multi-fold growth with an emphasis on technology, quality, innovation, value and services penetration, the focus this year is on ‘consolidation’ with expansion of ‘Haier Experience Centres/Zones’ nationwide.

Every market has its own set of challenges and opportunities. What is unique with respect to India?
The market for consumer durables is very competitive and the dynamics are changing. Great quality products backed by R&D, strategic marketing and distribution are the only way to remain in the market. The highly competitive market also adds the ‘homogeneity’ aspect which affects the overall market attractiveness. Moreover the basic marketing principles have changed. Due to continuous consumer empowerment, the “center of power” has forever shifted from the marketer to the customer. With days passing by, it is becoming harder and more expensive to replace customers, making ‘Customer Lifetime Value’ an essential business metric.

From Panasonic to Yamaha, to HCL, and then Haier, you have had varied experience as a marketer. How was the journey and what lessons did you learn on the way?
So far my professional journey has been highly experiential, challenging and rewarding in many ways. I have worked with various brands with learning experience attached to each. The basics learnt during the initial years have always served as the cornerstone for my career growth. Moreover, I have been fortunate enough to have good mentors and leaders who have always added value to my work. Mr. Eric Braganza’s (President, Haier India) extraordinary leadership skills and his expertise in planning and management, led me take key initiatives for Haier India that has changed the position for the company in the face of its active competitors. He has always been very supportive and stood by me for the strategic marketing decisions that I have taken for the company.

For more articles, Click on IIPM Article

Source : IIPM Editorial, 2011.

An Initiative of IIPM, Malay Chaudhuri and Arindam chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist).

For More IIPM Info, Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.

IIPM ranked No 1 B-School in India
domain-b.com : IIPM ranked ahead of IIMs
IIPM: Management Education India
Prof. Rajita Chaudhuri's Website

IIPM Proves Its Mettle Once Again....
Arindam Chaudhuri on Internet.....
Arindam Chaudhuri: We need Hazare's leadership
Professor Arindam Chaudhuri - A Man For The Society....
IIPM: Indian Institute of Planning and Management
Planman Technologies

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