Exclusive Interview with : Sunil Dutt, President-Devices, Reliance Retail
Updated on: 30 Jun 2016
Brand will be built up through multi-channel promotions: Sunil Dutt, President, Devices
With more than a decade and a half in the telecom industry, Sunil Dutt, President-Devices, Reliance Retail, is using all his learning at Nokia, Samsung and BlackBerry to drive Reliance Jio Infocomm's handset brand LYF. Dutt, who has completed nearly two years with the Reliance Group, says that the focus is on building a brand and value for customers. In a tete-a-tete with BusinessLine, he also quells the myth that India is a cost-sensitive market. Edited excerpts:
You have completed two years with Reliance Jio. What kinds of preparations went into the making of the LYF handsets?
The first and foremost was to identify what the consumers were looking for, and we were trying to guesstimate that for the last two years. We have been trying to estimate consumption patterns, and once that was done, it was about developing the whole eco-system, such as appointing vendors and partners.
India is growing fast in 4G technology, therefore we are being ready with those kinds of devices from day one. Also, parallely, we also built infrastructure in terms of distribution, with about 1,200 distribution partners in devices, who in turn, are servicing about 1,15,000 retail points of sale selling smartphones.
Building the right kind of organisation was the next part for us, and then the entire brand building and other initiatives were another hit.
Then it was about our supply chain system, billing system and technology supporting the ordering system and claim systems. Finally, to support customers we have 1,000 Jio centres, which are manned by about 3,000 service engineers across the country.
Most of the smartphone technology is already there in the market. How much did you have to reinvent?
We had to reinvent some parts of it. For example, when we started off, the market estimate of 4G devices was less than half of what we had estimated it to be. I am happy to say that we had called it correctly. The whole ecosystem changed rapidly.
When launching handsets with high-end technology, will this result in prices going up?