Micromax goes all out to enter the global stage

Just a couple of years ago, the number of those who would look down upon people using a Micromax phone would have been in a majority. But the company has been working doubly hard to reinvent the brand and scale over the "cheap phone" tag.

As a step in this direction, at the Consumer Electronic Show in Las Vegas, the world's largest stage for technology and gadgets, Micromax tried heralding its arrival at the global stage.

Known in India for bringing top-end specs at mid-range prices, Micromax's big global announcement was chip giant Intel's first dual-boot Windows and Android tablet. Intel has been trying its best to get a foothold in the mobile space, and with the second largest smartphone maker in the second largest smartphone market. So it is actually a coup of sorts for both companies.

Incidentally, around the same time, Taiwan's Asus too announced an Intel-powered Transformer Book Duet TD300, running both Android and Windows 8 on the same processor. But that is more of laptop. This is a more of a tablet. Hence Micromax's is the first dual-boot tablet. The definitions in tech are that thin these days.

At the launch, Micromax co-founder Rahul Sharma made it clear this was their "next leap", "raising the innovation bar globally".

We should have known this was coming. It was just months ago that the company signed Hollywood heart-throb Hugh Jackman as its brand ambassador. That was indication enough that this company was not eyeing just India, it had the world in its sight.

After all, a lot of hinterland India, where Micromax has been making hay for a few years, would not even recognise the wolverine star.

But in Africa and West Asia, people do recognise this face. That is the sort of market Micromax, and a whole of its rival like Lava, Intex and Karbonn, have been eyeing for a few years now. A lot of them already sell, though in insignificant numbers, in many of these markets. It helps that consumers in these geographies are very similar to India and have similar purchasing powers. Significantly, it was another Indian brand Xolo that made the first smartphone with an Intel Inside logo. This very week that brand, actually a part of the Lava International stable, was announced a South Asia marketing tie-up with Liverpool FC.

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