Manu Kumar Jain: The first one is definitely the product. If the product is not
great, we cannot succeed no matter what we do. Every time we launch a
product, it needs to have the latest and the best specs of innovation, the highest
possible quality standards, and it has to come with an honest price. It may not be
the lowest price, but we keep a less than five percent profit margin for
ourselves. We cut down on the cost and then pass it on to users, and that’s why
we call this 'honest price'. If you look at many of the historic brands, they were
great at innovation and great at quality, but extremely bad on pricing. I believe
today we are the only brand across different product categories that can take the
box on all three: product, quality, and price. If you don’t have a great product
with great quality and pricing, you cannot win.
The second thing that makes us different is our people. It is the place you know
the majority of people do not come from a smartphone background. They come
from an internet background. They’re from companies like Google,
Facebook, eBay, Flipkart, Snapdeal, etc. For many people, they have never
done anything like this before; they are willing to take risks.
The third reason is because we haven’t done anything similar to what other
companies did. Five years ago, 94 percent of the market was offline. Only six
percent was online. When we were launching, I went to a large number of tech CEOs, my
mentors, and people who had run mobile companies before. They
“Manu, this is the wrong strategy. You are going after the six
percent market. Ninety-four percent of the market is offline. The way to
sell a smartphone is by spending a lot of money on marketing and sell
offline. You are doing none of it”. I was worried. I said maybe we were doing something wrong, but we have never
done what others did. When at the time the market was going offline, we went
online. We now have close to 50 percent market share within the online segment.
We grew that. We have done a lot of things differently, but it is our channel,
whether it is distribution, or it is marketing using social media, and that has
helped us to differentiate from any other brand that has been traditionally
here in India.