China’s Nubia to Expand Smartphone Operations in India

Over the next five years, China‘s smartphone maker Nubia will invest $100 million in India in mobile technology startups and to forge partnerships with local content creators as part of its strategy to build an ecosystem around its products in India.  It also plans to start production in India soon.

India is our first priority, and we count it among our top three markets. We want to be the No. 1 online brand in India – it’s our major target,” Mai Donghai, senior vice-president of Nubia, told the Economic Times. “The timing is right as well, considering the network transformation and adoption of 4G.” Mai added that Nubai plans to open its R&D center in India for deeper software customization and that it may acquire design firms in India to support local R&D.

Nubia Smartphone

Currently, Nubia’s focus is only on the online channel for its sales, and it is working with Amazon for this purpose. Going forward, it will launch its own e-commerce portal to sell devices in India, and it will set up experience stores.

 

January 2, 2017   No Comments

Amazon Video and Netflix Vie for India Market

With 460 million Internet users, India is a huge market that is driven by a strong demand for viewing locally generated content. According to KPMG India, U.S. and western programming commands a 0.5 percent viewership share on Indian television, compared to over 60 percent for domestic entertainment. Likewise, Hollywood and foreign films manage a less than 10 percent share at the box office, though this pie is showing signs of gradual growth. India is a market where local content rules.

Amazon upped the ante by offering its Prime Video at an introductory annual subscription of $7.50, at par with Netflix’s basic monthly fees, and similar to Netflix, Prime Video is offered for a free 30-day trial to new subscribers. It is also available free to Amazon’s existing Prime shopping service subscribers. This pricing takes on various other competitors such as ErosNow, owned by film major Eros International, which charges between 75 cents-$1.50 per month and Hotstar, from Fox’s Star India network, which charges about $3 per month for its premium service, says the Hollywood Reporter.

Bollywood Posters

Price is one factor to be considered, for sure. However, the actual competition exists in content creation, which according to Mumbai-based entertainment industry analyst Jehil Thakkar “is going to be the real differentiator between all OTT [over-the-top content which is the delivery of audio, video, and other media over the Internet without the involvement of a multiple-system operator in the control or distribution of the content] platforms.”

Netflix has so far announced its first Indian original, Sacred Games, which will be produced by Phantom Films, co-founded by film-maker Anurag Kashyap. Phantom has also been signed by Amazon to produce two shows, Stardust and The Family Man. Bollywood banner Excel Entertainment is producing three Amazon shows: Mirzapur, Powerplay and Made in Heaven. Amazon’s recent pacts include new titles from Dharma Productions, Vishesh Films and T-Series, among others.

Netflix initially acquired some Indian arthouse films and a few Bollywood and regional language fare. It recently announced a coup — a licensing pact with Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan‘s banner Red Chillies Entertainment, giving it global rights to its recent Dear Zindagi and titles such as Happy New Year and Om Shanti Om.

December 17, 2016   No Comments

Amazon Brings its Startup Program to India

Amazon brings its global startup program Launchpad to India. The India Launchpad portal has products from over 400 startups, of whom 25 are India-based. The company has partnered with trade body Nasscom, the Government of Maharashtra, the Indian Angels network, and venture capitalists to help startups on policy and financial requirements.

amazon-launchpad-logo

Mashable spoke to some of the partnered startups who said that they sell products through other channels as well, but were heavily relying on Amazon for exposure and marketing. A representative with Amazon India emphasized that they expect to see plenty of more startups join the platform in the coming days. 

December 14, 2016   No Comments

Ducere Pioneers Smart Shoes for the Blind

Headquartered in India’s southern city of Hyderabad, Ducere TechnologiesLe-chal (Colloquial Hindi: take me along), the world’s first interactive haptic footwear, gives vision to millions of visually challenged across the world to navigate through the sense of touch.

Founded in 2011 by electrical engineers Anirudh Sharma, a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Krispian Lawrence, a graduate from the University of Michigan, the business has grown to a team of 110 engineers, designers, assembly operators, and sales staff.

Ducere Soles

The product can be synced to a user’s smartphone through bluetooth via the Lechal app that uses Google Maps to provide navigational directions towards the destination through vibrations and sensations. Subsequently, the company decided to expand the user base by innovating further and marketing it as a product anyone could easily use.

Ducere teamed with Hi-Tec Shoes, Europe, for co-branding and supplying insoles for Hi-Tec navigator shoes meant for hiking. It has distributors in India and North America. Its products are also available on Amazon, reports Outlook Business.

 

December 7, 2016   No Comments

Amazon Inks Licensing Deals For Two India Movies

Prior to launching its Prime Video Service in India, Amazon signed a deal with Bollywood banner T-Series for its upcoming films, including the Bollywood remake of Jon Favreau‘s Chef.

T-Series Logo

The Hollywood Reporter says that this is the second such deal struck by Amazon which is aiming to augment its local content library for its Prime Video Service.  The “long-term content licensing partnership will make Prime Video India the exclusive subscription streaming home” for T-Series’ new releases whose films will stream on Prime Video before their television premiere in the country, “all within a few weeks of their theatrical release,” added Amazon Video India director and country head Nitesh Kripalani.

Last month Amazon signed a contract with Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions banner to broadcast its content on Prime Video. Dharma Productions CEO Apoorva Mehta said that “the time couldn’t be more right for us to mark our presence” on digital platforms and that partnering with Amazon “will go a long way in ensuring that our content will not only be seamlessly streamed, but will also see a huge demand from users of Prime Video.”

October 4, 2016   No Comments