Indian Mobile Phone Maker Lava Prepares to Take on Kenyan Market

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Lava Mobile
Tathagat Tripathi, Lava Africa Head of Marketing (Right) and Thomas Muiyuro, Managing Director of Fonesrus Limited (Left)
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India’s fifth-largest feature phone vendor by sales volume is gearing up to take on the Kenyan market with a portfolio of not-only feature phones but quality smartphones as well. The company, which was founded back in 2009, sells their products in around 17 countries attracting an annual revenue of $1.2 Billion as per the end of 2017.

The company goes by the name Lava and has a goal to “empower people to do more and be more”. Boardroom goals aside, Lava is set to launch in Kenya later on in the year, around September. Lava has established a partnership with Fonesrus Limited, who will be taking up distribution of the company’s phones.

As per Tathagat Tripathi, Lava Africa Head of Marketing, the company’s approach to differentiating themselves will be on after-sales services, after delivering affordable and quality phones to their customers. Mr Tathagat says that aside from having a well-established distribution channel both online and offline, Lava Mobile will set-up a world-class service centre ensuring that their customers get quality service as this is the company’s testimony back in India.

“We shall focus on after-sales service, back in India, 80-percent of mobile phone issues are solved in 2 hours in the presence of the consumer and we aim to do the same here,” he said.

African Presence

Lava Mobile launched in Egypt towards the end of January and so far, the company sells around 1500 handsets per day and has presence in over 5000 retail shops in the country, something that the company is very proud of.

The company plans to parade around 12 products in total, with half of those being smartphones and the other half being feature phones. As per their current portfolio, the smartphones cost less than $300, putting this Indian company on the path of TECNO and Infinix. Our major concern will be the survival of the company, we have seen international brands run to Kenya only to walk away a year later with their tails in-between their legs but Mr Tathagat assures us that the company has an elaborate plan to take on the big boys.

Mr Tathagat also noted that in two years, Lava Mobile will have impacted around 1000 people through jobs created across their distribution lineup, from promoters to people employed directly by the company.

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