06-12-2017 Haider Ali Khan
SHRIPAL GANDHI, FOUNDER & CEO OF SWIPE WANTS TO CREATE A DIFFERENT BRAND IDENTITY FOR THE COMPANY WITH UNIQUE PRODUCTS AND OFFERINGS. HE SPOKE WITH MY MOBILE ABOUT THE INDIGENOUS BRAND AND ITS WAY FORWARD.
How has been these five years for Swipe? Being a startup it must have been very tough for you to carve a niche among the bigger players in the market?
In the five years of its existence, Swipe mobile has emerged as one of the very few home-grown mobile handset manufacturers in India to have made a mark in Indian mobile handsets market. We introduced India’s first 3D tablet – Swipe 3D Life Plus – which created a huge visibility in the then relatively nascent tablets market. Today, Swipe is the fastest growing mobile internet company in India with almost 10% market share in tablets. Swipe is also one of the first mobile handset firms to set up its own manufacturing unit in India under the “Make in India” initiative. Our focus has been on delivering the latest technologies in the industry at very economically viable prices to our customers. Having our own manufacturing set-up helps in getting the cost lower which is reflected on our product’s MOP. Swipe is also one of the first Indian mobile phone makers to develop its own Android-based Operating Systems – Freedom OS – that takes the smartphone user experience to the next level with unique features including high level of customization. Overall, today, Swipe is one of the few home-grown mobile handsets companies with presence in the entire smartphone manufacturing ecosystem including hardware and software components.
Which are the portfolios Swipe caters to? What would be the newer domain for you?
Currently Swipe is in to smartphones and tablets, we are trying to expand and work on many segments, and soon shall be launching in to new sectors by the coming year. While I am not at liberty to give you details of our upcoming offerings in tables and mobile phones, but one thing is certain. All our products will be feature rich, will offer better performance and will incorporate superior safety and user experience.
We are focusing on customized solutions for enterprise in Healthcare, Education and Infomedia domain. We are also working on a proprietary app to enhance the experience of our tablets and smartphones and on futuristic mobility accessories.
What are the product differentiation Swipe has to offer in this price sensitive market like India?
In a growing country like India, the most important factor for the consumer is good value for the money that they shell. The price and promotions are set so that the consumers are attracted toward the products and motivate them to purchase it. We always keep in focus our target audience and quality over quantity when we manufacture products. Swipe also uses various analytics to understand the insights and choose the right channel to grab our customer’s attention. Lastly, after sales service is the most important fact and we try to obtain feedback from the consumers about their experience, which assures them about their choices. Swipe is backed by 400+ support centers, through which it provides comprehensive service to its customers across the length and breadth of the country.
Accessories have become complimentary along with mobile and tablets. Where do you see yourself in this segment?
We have just entered the power bank segment in the last month, by creating a bang by launching two new power banks together. These products are in demand since the moment they have gone live till now. We are yet to launch other accessories, once we enter that segment too, I’m sure they’ll be easily available with the mobiles and tabs too.
You are known for launching innovative products. Could we expect few more innovation coming from Swipe?
Swipe has come up with many India’s first to be launched products, after which we have built an unconventional approach to product development. We believe that each product should be made according to the customer’s preference in the shortest possible time. In the coming year, mobile powerbank designs shall see a whole new phase. Also dual cameras are what people are expecting and need more these days. Something new and revolutionary is being planned by the R&D team, we shall wait for the suspense.
Where do you see the growth potential in mobile ecosystem?
The revenue sector of the dynamic mobile industry has boomed up after entire digitalization has taken over the globe. Every year, the competition gets tougher and tougher by various vendors getting in much advanced products in terms of unique specifications, colours, etc. With the Indian mobile market growing at unprecedented rate the opportunity to grow only increases with each financial quarter for the company. The enormities of the opportunities are really high. The entire mobile ecosystem has also seen more exits than the entries because of the cut throat competition. However, factors such as affordable phones, better specs, and online accessibility are responsible for accelerated potential growth.
Which is the best suited channel for Swipe, online or offline?
Swipe products are available both Offline and Online modes. We already have a tie up with sites such as Flipkart, Snapdeal, PayTm, Naaptol, etc. Online mode is much preferred due to its reach and accessibility for a huge number of audiences, though we are equally focusing on the retail part too.
Your thoughts on competition with the homegrown brands?
Swipe has always been open to learning new things and changing and adapting themselves to the new trends easily which the consumers are in need of. Certainly, the bigger home grown brands are more visible due to the brand recognition and their investments but smaller brands focus on the quality more than the quantity which makes them ideal for their consumers and they know what to expect from them. Swipe has been one of fastest-growing tablets manufacturer in India, having grown at an above-market rate of 35% since inception quarter-on-quarter for the last 6 quarters. Swipe, today enjoys market leadership in many states in India.