After launching jewellery and clothing line, Salman Khan is all set to venture into the smartphone business. Industry experts welcomed his new venture -- though with a bit of caution.
Salman, who owns the Being Human clothing brand, told IANS in an e-mail interview from Mumbai: "We have just started our entry into the category, we need to be careful. If people buy our products and like it, we will see. We are starting the smartphones in small numbers and we hope to have minimum losses and maximum gain."
According to earlier media reports, the Bollywood superstar is targeting at the entry- to middle-level smartphone segment (which is anywhere between Rs 8,000-Rs 20,000).
"Bhaijaan's range of mobiles will surely be the most 'Wanted'! He is capitalising on his personal popularity to start this new business. How he will be able to build it into a sustainable enterprise remains to be seen," Jaideep Mehta, Managing Director, IDC South Asia, told IANS.
Khan commands a huge fan base in India that can be leveraged. "For the smartphone to be successful, it will have to be different from the current offerings in the market. The differentiating can be on any of the software or hardware going into the phone. A price point of below Rs 10,000 will make the phone accessible to a number of users looking for an upgrade from a cheaper device," Shobhit Srivastava, Research Analyst, Mobile Devices and Ecosystems, Counterpoint Research, told IANS.
The Bollywood star is not alone. Reportedly a strategic investor in the home-grown technology and Internet of Things (IoT) company Smartron, Sachin Tendulkar has just launched srt.phone (srt is interpreted as Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar here). This is the third device in less than a year from Smartron, earlier ones being the t.phone and t.book.The company, however, is yet to prove its mettle in the domestic market.
"It's a two-way strategy for connecting with the youth and building a community. Firstly, smartphones somehow connect with today's youth and creating such a product line connotes connecting with the youth community. Secondly, this will open up a channel for Salman's fan club to access exclusive Salman content and go for huge content consumption," Faisal Kawoosa, Principal Analyst (Telecoms) at CyberMedia Research (CMR), told IANS.
"Salman's fan club will definitely give it a leg up but, in the long run, the brand needs to differentiate itself to stand out in the crowd," added Krishna Mukherjee, another analyst with CMR.
(With IANS Inputs)