Our focus for Itel Mobile is on T2-T6 markets: Arijeet Talapatra, Transsion India

CEO, Transsion India on leveraging the campaign across PAN India, their GTM strategy and success in the rural markets

Arijeet Talapatra Itel

Itel, the mobile brand by Transsion India is all set to launch a nationwide marketing campaign for consumers for the festive season. The month long campaign will be focusing on increasing the market visibility and outreach by tapping on to the festivals of the brand’s target markets. Arijeet Talapatra, CEO, Transsion India chatted with exchange4media on leveraging the campaign across PAN India, their GTM strategy and success in the rural markets.

Joining the festival bandwagon

Speaking on the ‘Har Dhoom mei Itel Ka Naam’ campaign and how Itel will be leveraging it across PAN India, Talapatra pointed out that the festival period is extremely important for Itel like any other player in the market. He contended that the brand has had more than 4 crore customers in the last two and a half years across India. “We are getting immense confidence from our retailers and distributors hence we wanted to go to our consumers with a big campaign. With ‘Har Dhoom mein Itel Ka Naam’, we are targeting Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 and Tier 5 markets in India where Itel has a big foothold. The campaign will start from October 10, and will go on till November 13,” he said.

Talapatra feels that with the offer and prizes, the brand should be able to excite the consumers. “During this period, we are also launching Itel A23 i.e. the first 5” android go with face unlock smartphone under 5K.  Itel is very strong in the sub 5K category. It is difficult to find features like face unlock in smartphones under 5K category. And for Itel, we have 217% growth in 2016-2017 so as a brand its doing very good,” he said.

The BTL route

When quizzed on why the brand is not releasing a TVC, Talapatra opined that with Itel, the brand wants to be even more closer with the masses, hence will be doing a lot of BTL Activities along with outdoor and radio. “We will be doing outdoor marketing in Tier 2 to Tier 6 markets and will do a lot of retail visibility digitally,” he revealed.

The brand seems to be working very closely with the regional festivals and recently covered festivals like Kanwar Yatra in UP, Shravani Mela in Bihar, Onam in Kerala, Rath yatra in Orissa and Durga Puja in Kolkata and Navratri in Gujarat. “We associate a lot with the local festivities and have almost 4 crores+ customers (with 1.5 million number on a monthly basis (and growing),” continued Talapatra.

He stated that the brand is making handsets which are affordable to the segment that is purchasing. “We are a mass market brand and are always telling the consumers that we are democratising technology. We started with a phone that was for INR 670 with a selfie camera and wireless FM and also started with feature phones. Here we are today with A23 i.e. the first 5” android go with face unlock smartphone under 5K,” Talapatra shared.

Shunning the online approach

“Service and quality is something very close to us. We are doing a lot of retail activities because we have more than 1Lac retailers. All these things will help us gain a lot of market share. “From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, and from Arunachal Pradesh to Gujarat, the brand is covering all the markets with their 3400 plus direct distributors and 1Lac+ retailers. Shedding light on Itel’s GTM strategy and success in the rural markets, Talapatra said, “We wanted to be servicing the last mile retailers. Our objective is to reach the customer through this channel and retail base. A lot of word of mouth and activations is there in market. With Itel, the entire focus is on T2-T6 markets. We aim to have a matchbox distribution, i.e. Itel with every retailer, wherever he goes.”

It’s interesting to note that Itel has shun the online route at a time when most brands are bullish on online. Talapatra reveals that a lot of online sales happen, but they get sold off early and the brand prefers ditching the herd mentality. He believes that once you move to the deep rural markets, you can reach the consumers directly with phones less than 5K and 7K. “Our service network is very strong with 950+ service touch points across India, where we have more than 500 people on the field. If one can reach the consumer directly offline, then there is no need to get into the online space. If we are going online, we will tap the consumers for convenience and not for the price. Since we are committed to the retailers who have helped us reach where we are today, we always would like to regain their confidence,” he asserted.

An optimistic Talapatra said, “We have done wonderfully well in feature phones, and are also doing well in smartphones. We want to be one of the top brands in the sub 5K category smartphones. Itel would like to dominate this category with its feature phones and smartphones. We also want to be one of the top 3 brands in the sub 7K category smartphones.”

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