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Southern retail giant eyes north Indian mobile customers

Sangeetha Mobiles plans to set up 30 stores in the northern region of the country by the end of this fiscal year.

Nandagopal Rajan | August 8, 2013 | Updated 20:35 IST

Sangeetha Mobiles, south India's largest multi-brand mobile retailer, is venturing into north India with two stores in New Delhi and suburban Indirapuram in Uttar Pradesh. The two franchisee stores will be the first of 30 the Bangalore-based company plans to set up in the north of the country by the end of this fiscal year.

Managing Director L Subhash Chandra said the company now has 222 stores and plans to open cross the 300 mark nationally by the end of the financial year. "Initially, we had apprehensions whether the franchisee model would work in a thin-profit segment like mobile. But now we have worked out a viable model and have assured our franchisees that they will break even within nine months," said Chandra.

P Balaji, VP and Managing Director of Nokia India, said Sangeetha Mobiles has been one of Nokia's leading partners ever since mobile phones started being sold in India. "With the advent of smartphones a large partner like Sangeetha Mobiles brings the experiences that the customers need along with the scale. It is at the forefront of paving the way for the smartphone revolution," he added. Nokia enjoys the largest volume share in Sangeetha Mobiles' sales, said Chandra.

The company sells just under 100,000 phones a month and had a turnover of Rs 520 crore last fiscal year. "This year we are well on our way to crossing Rs 900 crore, an almost 100 per cent growth," Chandra said. With a new online portal called just off the blocks, the company is also working on opening shops in other SAARC countries, he added.

Sangeetha Mobiles gained popularity down south by being the first to offer add-on insurance on all its mobile phone sales, doorstep pickup for faulty devices and standby devices and EMI facility. Customers in the National Capital Region will also benefit from these facilities, said Chandra.

In north India, the company will face stiff competition from established players like Mobile Store and Spice Hotspot. "We have taken a consumer first strategy and that has helped us establish ourselves down south. We are taking this same approach and our best practices to the new markets," added Chandra.

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