Chinese cousins help reduce 71% of Moto sales


Iconic handset maker Motorola, which is now owned by Lenovo, is losing a lot of ground in the Indian market. For the fiscal year ended March 2019, sales at Motorola Mobility India — which houses both Motorola and Lenovo smartphone brands — fell 71% year-on-year (YoY) to Rs 1,972.8 crore, as per latest regulatory disclosures.

This, analysts said, is due in part to the intense competition from Chinese rivals Xiaomi and the three brands of BBK Electronics — Oppo, Vivo and Realme.

“Motorola lost in the sales channel strategy,” said Counterpoint Technology Market Research associate director Tarun Pathak. “Realme gave a strong competition in the online segment, especially in sub $200 (Rs 14,000) segment where Motorola had its strength. Apart from this, their organisation restructuring also had an impact,” he said.

As per the filings to Registrar of Companies, accessed through business intelligence platform Veratech Intelligence, Motorola Mobility India’s net profit in FY19 fell to Rs 19.8 crore compared with Rs 46.5 crore in FY18.

This is a sharp contrast to its performance in FY18, when the company had grown sales by 400% over the previous year when Lenovo had consolidated its entire smartphone business under this entity.

“The growth in FY18 was fuelled by borrowings, while decline in sales has led company to deleverage by disposing of assets last fiscal. Motorola is a recognised brand. It needs a strong strategy that can make use of its brand value to help it ride the tide,” said Veratech’s founder Mohit Yadav.

The company did not give any reason for the fall in sales. In its filings, it said the directors had made all efforts to enhance the business performance.

An email query sent to Motorola India remained unanswered till as of press time.

Motorola-Lenovo was once among the top four smartphone brands in India. But its grip on the Indian market started loosening about two years ago.

As per Counterpoint, its market share dipped from 1.6% in calendar 2018 to an all-time low of 0.9% in July-September quarter of 2019. In contrast, it was at the sixth spot in 2017.

Motorola India MD Prashanth Mani had earlier told ET the company was focussed more on profit than on growing volume sales. He had said Motorola was also eyeing India as a global production and export hub.


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