Microsoft’s Indian market share is slipping, and that has some companies scrambling to come up with new ways to drive sales.
But there are a few bright spots to cheer on, including a big surge in iPhone sales in India that’s likely to continue into the new year.
Recode caught up with Microsoft India Chief Operating Officer Rajan Bhagwat for an exclusive look at the market.
Recodes: How are you doing in India?
Bhagwat: It’s a tough market.
The key for us is that we’re making a difference with a product that is compelling and relevant to our customers, and we think that’s something that we can deliver.
We’re in a really good place, and it’s one that we have to keep on improving.
There are many ways in which we can improve our position in India, and the biggest is with the iPhone.
We’ve been very aggressive in that respect, and Apple has a great track record in India.
We have the best iPhone and the best iPad.
We are trying to build a new brand, which is a brand that appeals to people in India who are not as well connected as our Indian customers, who are connected with a variety of other platforms.
Recoding: How is Microsoft’s focus on Indian customers?
Bbhagwat : In the iPhone, we have a very strong partnership with Micromax, who is one of India’s largest mobile operators.
The iPhone has been in the hands of consumers for a long time, and they have been using it for years, so there is a great market there.
And the same is true for the iPad.
For us, there are three key things: We have to get more people on our platform, we need to grow the number of apps that people are able to download, and I think the first is the App Store.
If we can attract more people to the App Stores, then we’ll be able to have more choice for our customers.
I think that is an area where we have made a big impact.
Recoded: How big is Microsoft in India today?
B: We’re one of the top five mobile players in the world.
In terms of sales, we are bigger than the likes of Samsung and Apple.
We sell over 60 million smartphones per year, and about 45 million tablets.
In the Indian market, we’re probably the biggest.
Recoder: How much are you looking at this market in India as a new platform for you?
B : It’s something we’re working on.
We want to build new and better things for our people.
For example, we’ve made the Appstore available in multiple languages, so people can choose to speak the language of their choice.
We also have a number of new features that we want to put in the platform.
We think people want more of a choice.
They want to have the opportunity to choose from a wide range of different content and apps.
We will continue to work on that.
We know that there are going to be a lot of opportunities to grow in India in the future, and our goal is to continue to grow this market.