‘We plan to launch our brand of mobile handset in Q2’

AirTyme Communications
Mike Narula
Chairman and CEO, AirTyme Communications

AirTyme Communications have recently entered into the Indian market. Mike Narula, chairman and CEO, AirTyme Communications, talks about the company’s further plans on expansion, launching its own mobile brand, etc

Will Airtyme distribute any other products in addition to Motorola Milestone XT800?
AirTyme is a distributor of simple feature handsets, multimedia data devices, smartphones and USB modems. New technologies in the pipeline include mobile wireless devices from CDMA Series, GSM + CDMA Dual Mode Dual Standby Phone, WCDMA Feature phones, WCDMA Android phone, EVDO Android phone, EVDO Data Card and EVDO Router.

Which other companies will you cater to in the Indian market?
Being an international distribution company, we offer integrated supply chain solutions for the wireless industry throughout the U.S. By joining together with strategic partners such as Motorola, and PCD – we are able to develop, manufacture, and bring to market high quality value-tier devices, delivered on budget and on schedule in India. We have an edge as we understand the potential growth and the savvy use of the smartphone market.

What will be your go-to-market strategy?
The smartphone offers the best opportunities for profitable growth:
We have researched the smartphone channel to get a broader view of what other companies within the industry are doing, to identify gaps, identify opportunities and threats in the system.
We have established our own channel through Motorola Preferred Partner program; this step will create a value chain that puts customer needs first. Building and editing is a continuous process that helps prioritize needs, benchmark key competitors, and evaluate channel options to find the best fit for customer needs.
We have aligned and influenced the company’s channel value chain to ensure that all parties benefit appropriate rewards; this step in the process relies heavily on intelligibility and open dialogue between all the players along the value chain. Alignment ensures that all the partners are working together toward a common goal of servicing the end user.
Motorola and AirTyme has joined forces in a highly strategic media campaign with a communication network that sustains the pulse of about 1.1 billion people in India through print media, OOH advertising and mall retail programs. The main focus of the campaign is ‘Presenting the Android powered series from Motorola.’
Markets covered include Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Kolkata.

Please shed some light on your distribution model
AirTyme and its partners have one common mission – to create the products that customers need, to build them efficiently and with high quality, and to support their product portfolio throughout its complete lifecycle. We have accomplished this mission by having the ability to link product development, manufacturing and service processes together as one unit. Its important to look at how these processes-combined support a product’s entire life cycle – from the early design stages, through sourcing, to manufacturing, and then into the product’s service life.

How many channel partners do you have as of now?
AirTyme is enrolled in Motorola Preferred Partner program. We are working on alignment of promoters and execution to be best targeted customer areas. The list has the top 100 retail outlets and 50 Modern Trade stores. These are our phase-I stores, for to drive sales by initiating relationship and business terms for acquiring mindshare and counter share. We also offers a full range of benefits and flexible terms that help every agent maximize their sales potential.

Your entry into India is phase-I of the company’s international expansion plan. What lies ahead?
The immediate future plans of AirTyme in India are as follows covers service aspect; to ensure consistent quality of service, each of our accounts is assigned a personal account manager, who will be their single point of contact, and is dedicated to bringing the highest quality of customer care. As far as production is concerned, we have established strict quality control system for every strategic stage in the process. Our products and services have been acclaimed as the highest quality and the most trust-worthy in the wireless industry. Also in the distribution segment, we efficiently receive, manage, and ship inventory to retail and online customers across the country. We work hard to support and streamline every purchase and operational interaction.

Also AirTyme is the exclusive distributor of Motorola Milestone XT800, smartphone in India, which features WiFi/WAPI, world phone capability and high-definition multimedia features to capture every momentous occasion.

Have you appointed any third party service provider? If not, do you intend to do so? 
No, we have not appointed any, nor do we have any such plans.

Are there plans to launch AirTyme mobile handsets? When, if yes?
We plan to brand our own handset which the profile being a sleek design that has both a touch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It also has multimedia features, HSDPA speed, stereo Bluetooth, A-GPS, and a full HTML browser. The difference is the device uses a capacitive touch screen which results in a very intuitive and responsive.
We are working towards the launch in Q2.

What will be the positioning of these mobiles?
For the smartphone users, the MILESTONE XT800 will provide on-the-go information for consumers who want a device that matches the demands of a hectic lifestyle like that of a senior professional.

For the simple feature devices, targeted audiences are young adults (18-24 yrs). This segment wants features and style but is constrained by their financial situation. They use their mobile phone for everything or ‘almost’ (landline, clock, alarm clock, music player, camera etc).
For the 3G multimedia devices targeted audiences include males aged 25-40 years and females aged 20-30 years who can be from backgrounds like educational, student, white collar, IT professional, enterprise and government employees.

How do you see the market growing in this segment in the next couple of years?
India is ushering in the 3G domain — though later than most of the world — but no doubt we will catch up at a much faster speed. 3G is much more than a technology migration — it is a transformational shift – and AirTyme’s focus would be to bring to India the Motorola MILESTONE XT800.

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