interview with md gyasuddin managing director hitech mobiles


Md Gyasuddin, MD, Hitech Mobiles

“Hitech Mobiles has set up its own handset manufacturing facility in India with a capacity of 3 mn handsets”: Md Gyasuddin, MD, Hitech Mobiles

Can you share Hitech Mobiles biggest achievements, innovations or milestones during FY2015-16?
Hitech Mobiles has set up its own handset manufacturing facility in India which happened to be East India’s first integrated greenfield manufacturing facility with a capacity of 3 million handsets. Launching of innovative no frill entry level Y series feature phone which is a major hit in its category and launching of premium smartphone accessories under Hiplus range are the three major achievements in FY2015-16.

What were some of the biggest trends during FY2015-16?
In the mobile handset market, the two major trends that we have seen are the onslaught of the Chinese brands and ‘Make in India’ program gaining momentum.

How many mobile phones Hitech Mobiles launched during FY2015-16? Can you give a break up of smartphones and feature phones? And tablets, if any?
We have launched almost 51 new models targeting different price points. Of them 15 are smartphones with Android OS and 35 are feature phones that include touch phones. We have not launched any new tablet model last year.

How many phones your company sold during FY2015-16? Can you give a break up of smartphones and feature phones, if any?
We have sold 2.5 million handset in the last financial year of which 70 percent are feature phones and 30 percent are smartphones.

What was the ASP (average selling price) of your devices during FY2015-16?
Our ASP is around Rs 1,500, which is slight higher than last year ASP.

What was your best selling phone/device during FY2015-16?
Y series & Pride series are the best selling in feature phone category whereas Amaze series and Air series are best selling in smartphone category.

Of your sales, what would be the ratio for offline and online distribution? And who are your online retailers?
At present around 5 percent of sales are coming from online channel. Our brand is available in almost all the top e-commerce marketplace like Flipkart, Snapdeal, Shopclues, Paytm etc. But now we are contemplating for exclusive tie up with special online only products.

Has Hitech Mobiles participated in Make In India program? How much investment Hitech has made to start local manufacturing/assembly and what would be the product output capacity annually?
We are really proud to come up with the Eastern India’s first greenfield mobile handset and accessories assembling unit. Keeping in mind, prime minister Narenda Modi’s Make in India campaign, we have decided to set up our first assembling unit in West Bengal.

The 72,000 square feet state-of-the-art assembling unit is equipped with all modern technologies and our Chinese technology partner has provided all the expertise to our workers. The unit has generated employment opportunities to more than 500 local people who are working under strict supervision of resident Chinese engineer. We have invested around Rs 15 crores and the unit can assemble 8-9 million pieces of mobile batteries per annum, 5-6 million pieces of mobile chargers per annum, 0.6 million pieces power banks per annum and 3 million pieces of mobile handsets per annum to begin with.

Right now we are importing the semi knock down components and assembling at our unit. In five years time, we have plans to completely manufacture and assemble mobile handsets and accessories.

Are you getting the required support from the government and can you highlight your demand from the government?
Apart from general excises exemption, we have not received any direct support from government as of now. We are looking for concessional loans with at least 10 year moratorium, capital subsidy, low cost electricity, VAT waiving for few years etc.

What kind of after sales support system you have? Can you give some details like number of after sales outlet, company owned/third party, what level of repair at which outlets (L1, L2, L3 etc), and what is your TAD?
We have a robust after sales support system. We are having more than 350 service center across our operational areas. We operate after sales network in FOFO basis. Our 90 percent service centers are equipped as L2 level which can repair from minor repairs upto LCD/touch panel level. Other type of repairing like chipset/board level repair, need to be done in L3 level. As a policy we have a TAD of 15 days.

What was Hitech Mobile’s revenue for FY2015-16 and how much growth/decline you saw in your revenue as compared to the previous year? What’s the mobile division turnover for FY2015-16 and what’s the forecast for FY2016-17?

We have registered a revenue of aproximately Rs 400 crore in FY 2015-16 and has shown marginal growth in the turnover over last year. 70 percent of revenue is from mobile division and 30 percent comes from accessories division. On the back of the rising smartphone penetration in Indian market, we are expecting a growth of 40 percent.

Keeping the performance of FY2015-16 in mind, what are your revenue expectation in 2016-17? What are the new innovations we could see from Hitech Mobiles in 2016?
We are shortly launching 4G handsets with some great features in affordable price points. We are also increasing our focus to premium accessories brand Hiplus. The growth of smartphone usage will also increase sales of premium smartphone accessories market as a whole. Keeping this in mind, we are looking to ramp up its distribution. We are launching a range of new and innovative products under Hiplus range and targeting Rs100 crore revenue in the current fiscal.

What’s Hitech Mobile’s export strategy for mobile handsets?
At present we are exporting our product to neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh through our exclusive distributor based in these countries. We are planning to export to other countries through exclusive tie-ups with local distributors.

How do you foresee Indian mobile phone industry for FY2016-17?
Proliferation of data usage and lowering the cost of entry level 4G handset are two major things which will be seen in the coming year.