“The past few days have seen two big releases in the mobility space. First came Google’s Android One, the mobile phone platform specially designed for India – read cheap, reliable and long lasting (or sasta, majboot, tikaoo as we Indians would call it). Closely following this came the launch of Apple’s iPhone 6, a top of the line phone costing about 10 times of what the Android One platform phones cost. Obviously not made for India, one would guess. Well, based on the pre-booking data and also the prices at which some grey market models are quoted, that may not be entirely true. This could well be the game changer for Apple to look at India as a big market at the lower end of the spectrum and Google to do the same at the higher end. Surely good times for the Indian consumer.
Another great thing that is happening to the Indian consumer is the distribution of 3 billion USD to online shoppers. With the three biggest Indian ‘e-tailers’ giving extra-ordinarily huge discounts, it is obvious that they are using the big money invested in them to buy customers rather than improve infrastructure (as the subsequent delivery fiascos will soon show). That brings us to the question – How loyal can online shoppers be when better deals are just a click away? I would like to see investments in areas that address this question in order to sustain long term profitability of e-tailing.”