Intex Technologies, a company that needs no introduction. We had a chance to talk to Nidhi Markanday, Business Head at Intex Technologies about the company’s progress, and asked questions that would answer all your queries.

Q: How big is the size of the market you are catering today?
Ans: India is expected to become the 5th largest consumer durables market in the world by 2025 and the consumer electronics market is expected to increase to US$ 400 billion by 2020. Consumer durables market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 13% from FY05 to FY2020.

Intex is catering to various segments of consumer durables industry. As per industry estimates, LED TV market size is 12 million, Washing Machine is 4 million and Refrigerators markets size is 10 million units. Within the Refrigerator segment Direct Cooling commands 80% share and remaining 20% is Frost-Free.

Intex recently launched its Air Conditioners in March 2017 with Split and Window models. Within the consumer durables space in India, Air-Conditioners have the least market size of nearly 4 million units with lowest penetration of around 2%. These figures show immense untapped potential for ACs and Intex being an established brand in Tier 2 & 3 cities will capitalize the most. With renewed focus on expanding our consumer durables portfolio since 2016, foraying into Air-Conditioners was the next natural step to complete the bouquet of offerings after introducing a plethora of products like Direct-Cooling Refrigerators, Smart LED TVs, Fully-Auto Washing Machines and Air Purifiers.

The south and west market are the key markets contributing 32% respectively to our CDIT business. The contribution of North and East is 22% and 15% respectively. For FY 2017-18 and further we would like to continue this upward trajectory by laying special emphasis on our CDIT business to increase our revenue share from the current 15% to 25% by 2018 and up to 50% in the near future.

Q: What’s your take on the stiff competition in the market and who is your biggest rival?

Ans: Intex Technologies is an established brand in the consumer durables and IT accessories market industry for nearly two decades now. Intex has been the brand for all segments, offering consumers the best of design & technology at very competitive pricing. We understand that the market dynamics keep changing due to multiple factors such as economies of scale, the demand-supply gap etc. The consumers are spoilt for choice, and so, it is important to constantly innovate and re-create. Intex understands the pulse of the Indian consumers and offers differentiated products that suit their requirements.

For example, as part of the expansion of the consumer durables portfolio in 2016, Intex enhanced its LED TV range with Smart LED TVs including 4K TVs, washing machines with fully-automatic models and introduced new products – air-purifiers and currency counting machines. We also added refrigerators and air conditioners to our portfolio and are ready to give our competitors a run for their money.
Intex has always believed in healthy competition and we are competent to fight it out as there are new learnings every day from the environment we operate in.

Q: The biggest challenge you faced during Demonetization?
Ans: From a business point of view, demonetization has affected business not just in the mobile and CDIT industry but across various other sectors. The slump in our sales was palpable with ripple effects reaching across the mobile and CDIT industry in the first few weeks itself. But on the brighter side, even as demonetization had slowed down the Indian economy; the positive effects of this move have been experienced at an individual as well as at industry level. We are confident that in the long term the process will bring numerous positive benefits to the economy.

Q: How you build brand loyalty among customers?
Ans: Intex has always been a strong believer of the philosophy ‘Customer is King’. While constantly working towards enhancing, sustaining and reinvigorating customer’s loyalty, one key area of focus for Intex in 2017 is ‘Process for everything and everything with Process’. With this, the company is increasing its focus on measuring customer voice from various channels and developing a systematic mechanism to sustain customer delight. Intex has started a practice of capturing NPS (Net promoter Score) where one can find the number of customers who are loyal and ready to recommend Intex to their friends or colleagues. With such initiatives, we are transforming Intex services as a Brand Differentiator and a sales enabler.

To further strengthen our consumer connect, we opened our exclusive branded stores – ‘Intex Smart World’ as experience zones in April 2015. In its 2-year journey, started in April 2015, Intex Smart World has opened 120+ stores spread pan-India covering 90+ cities across 25 states. This approach has enabled us to grow consistently and we are confident of continuing the trend.

Q: While buying Consumer Durable products on EMI, do customer gets any lucrative offers or not?
Ans: Brand Intex has evolved with a vision and mantra of offering consumers the best of design & technology at affordable pricing. We make sure that we give our customers special schemes to motivate and increase the sale conversion ratio. Also, we provide experience with the expertise of in-shop demonstrators, detailing each product specification and selling our products with the help of our partners. This gives us an edge among consumers and we wish this relationship to only strengthen with time.

Q: Do you have any timeline or any plans entering international markets?
Ans: Intex began its spread of footprint from South Asia region with Nepal being the first destination in 2013, marketing Intex mobile phones (feature phone & smart phone). In three years, brand Intex has established presence in several international markets including Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Vietnam and Spain.

After registering success in SAARC & ASEAN region, Intex in 2015 entered European market with the launch of its Smartwatch in Spain. Intex will soon enter Russia and CIS markets along with business interest in the Scandinavian countries.

Q: What are the key reasons you look for while designing a product lineup?

Ans: Intex Technologies was incepted with the objective of creating and innovating high tech products that are affordable and accessible to all. Keeping this core objective in mind, Design and R&D is of the highest priority for Intex across all business verticals – mobiles, Consumer Durables & IT Peripherals and for all the segments be it Entry level or high end.

Special attention is paid to key elements like Ergonomics, Premium design elements, innovative & Special Features. The birth of any Intex product is a result of deep collaboration between diverse teams such as Industrial design, R&D coupled with in-depth market & consumer surveys and marketing activities. Being a consumer technology company, continued innovation and solutions at affordable prices remain the core.

Q: As almost every brand has after-sales service issue so how Intex is working on solving the consumer issues?
Ans: At Intex, we believe in offering end-to-end services to our consumers which are offered pan- India almost across 1000+ cities with the presence of Exclusive Partners in more than 100 cities. Intex offers after-sales services for its entire product portfolio starting from Telecom, IT and Consumer Durable products. Various after sales services which Intex offers are carried in Services, Onsite repair, Installations and PJP i.e. Pre Journey Plan. In the current scenario, consumers demand better after sales services. Hence, we record consumer feedback to understand the modern consumers’ needs and service them better. We truly believe that good after sales services is the key to enhance one’s business organically and ensure customer retention.

Intex has various new initiatives and processes that ensure the delivery of robust after-sales services to ensure true customer delight. Through these new initiatives, receiving regular customer testimonials has become a trend. The name of the Initiative is IMD i.e. I Made a Difference. IMD is a program where any employee/service partner shares the customer satisfaction story which he feels, is a result of excellent customer service/best practice.

Following are few examples of best services / practices offered to customers.

In case there is a repeat complaint, we handle it using a process called as C1AL i.e. Customer First Analysis Later. Under this program, the moment we get a repeat complaint, the query is served on war footing level and the customer is updated on every stage till query is completely resolved. Analysis of the same is done later on.
Regularly measuring Transactional Customer Satisfaction and capturing customer feedback has helped us find out the root causes of issues and thus taking action on these, results in eliminating it completely.
Senior Management is regularly connected with customers to understand their real pain and this gives a confidence and trust among customers about organizations commitment for their customers.

Also we have taken few preliminary steps in the direction of Virtual Service Centres…Providing customer remote trouble shooting at our contact centre is already initiated practice towards virtual service centre. At our Contact Centre we have introduced processes like “Emulator – simulator” where a contact centre agent can simulate various product failures and can provide faster resolution to customer queries and ensuring First Time Fix solution.
Also we are planning to roll out a smart CRM, equipped with virtual service centre facility…Also we have developed a database of frequently asked questions (FAQs), available on Intex website and are in the process of creating a huge KEDB (Known Error Data Base) data base to help customer troubleshooting and servicing their product themselves.

Intex Services has in April 2017 reached the milestone of opening its 50th MICP or Master intex Care partner in Ahmedabad – Gujarat. The 1st MICP was also opened in Gujarat in Rajkot in 2014. At present, Intex MICPs are spread across 24 states and 30 cities led by west, north, east and south regions. Intex Service network spread across 1000+ cities across pan India with a network presence of around 1500+ service partners (ICPs) and 100+ Exclusive Intex Care Partners, called as EICPs.  

Q: Are there any plans on investing in startups?
Ans: Investments in early-stage start ups are part of our larger plan to diversify into other businesses such as sports, healthcare and internet of things. Intex Technologies has launched a Rs 150-200-crore fund to invest in startups with the first investment being into Rooter, a startup creating a mobile app to enable sports fans to interact live with each other during a match. The company also owns the Gujarat Lions IPL team and wants to invest in businesses with which it has synergy, such as electronics, apps, mobile phones, human resources and sports.

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