Dheeraj Kumar Fabiyani, Properitor, Mangalam Electronics
Jabalpur is one of the emerging markets in central India. As a CEO of a company that deals with mobile brands, I can feel that all the key mobile phone players had started feeling the importance of Jabalpur as a market and started setting up their service centers. Gone are the days where a customer needs to take his product to neighboring places like Indore for service. However, increase in the number of service centers prove that a market like Jabalpur can also grab the market potential in terms of sales.
Changing customer demands:
One of the current trend which is seen common amongst the customers is towards warranty. I personally see many customers demanding for products with long-term warranty. Also, it is also a known fact that the customers are aware that established brand alone carry warranty which their unbranded counterparts fail to do. Thus the concept of demanding warranty is predominantly increasing amongst the customers, especially the generation-Y customers. The customers are well aware of the fact that products with cheap price might not come with long warranty and they need to spend additional money for maintaining accessories. Additional reason for this consciousness is that customers started feeling that not just the mobile phones but also the accessories driven around the mobile phones are also equally important.
Maintaining margins are tougher:
Another trend I notice among the retailers is their challenge to maintain the margins. Even though many claim that the margins remain same for many accessories products, there were some sigh of relief when they were charged high in the end retail price. However, what we see currently is the reduce in the customer price of the products while the margins are coming down. In my view, the overall margin which a partner gets from the accessories lies between 15% to 20%. While I do agree that fact that this margin is not enough for any mobile retailer to maintain the expenses of running a shop, retailers should also agree the current volatile market is for everyone.
Overall, I would like to conclude that the market is still vast. My suggestions for my colleagues in the mobile retailing industry is to widen the portfolio and provide value addition for the customers in all aspects.
(The author is the CEO of Mangalam Electronics in Jabalpur. The views expressed here are his own)