Brand :Micromax Mobile
Founder : Rahul Sharma
Turnover: Rs 2,600 crore
Marketing Spends: Rs 160 crore
Before mobile phones, Micromax dealt in GSM based PCOs. One day while attending to a problem that a vendor faced in Behrampur, Rahul Sharma witnessed first hand the severe power deficit in villages. The PCO owner had truck batteries in his shed that was being used to run the PCO. Every night he would carry the batteries on his cycle back home 20 km in the interiors, charge it whole night and bring it back next morning. This became the inspiration for Micromax to launch its long battery phone X1i.
After his mechanical engineering from Nagpur University, Sharma worked with P&G and Microsoft Xbox until the entrepreneurial bug bit him.
At 36 years of age, Sharma is one of the youngest brand owner and he says he runs a tight ship. It isn’t surprising that Sharma is inspired by Steve Jobs and upholds the philosophy that, “we must create our own road-maps rather than following others by imbibing innovative models tailor-made for our needs and expectations.” When he is not thinking business, Sharma either spends time reading autobiographies of successful leaders or following F1 racing.
Brand: Spice Mobile
Founder: Dr. B. K. Modi
Turnover: Rs 2,100 crore
Marketing Spends: Rs 140 crore
He’s done engineering, MBA and a Ph D and alongside also managed to find time to introduce photocopying to India through Modi Xerox before he shifted focus to launch Spice Mobile. Modi calls himself “innovative, technocrat and futurepreneur” and his business mantra is FIVO that stands for “fearless, imaginative, vibrant and open.”
While Modi defied family business norms when he entered the copying business he is also quite spiritual in nature. Dalai Lama are among the few people who inspire him. Modi likes to spend his free time playing golf or lazing in front of TV watching English movies.
Brand: Karbonn Mobiles
Founders: Sudhir Hasija & Pradeep Jain
Turnover: Rs 1,500 crore
Marketing Spends: Rs 60 crore
Hasija sold TV accessories like antennas and trolley and Jain was the distributor for Eagle flask when they started their career. Hasija and Jain represent a growing breed of Indian entrepreneurs who grab an grab opportunity when it comes by. Hasija and Jain setup Karbonn Mobiles with an investment of Rs 100 crore.
“In 1996, when pager and mobile phone revolution first started in Karnataka, I bagged a lucrative contract to become the telecom hardware distributor for Alcatel-Lucent SA, then ended up as a distributor for Nokia, the world’s largest handset-maker,” says Hasija.
Both are family men at heart and like to be with family in their free time. Hasija’s appetite for cricket is perhaps the reason Virendra Sehwag & Gautam Gambhir endorse Karbonn today. To create a “business instilled with values” is Jain’s dream and Hasija is backing it up with his huge appetite for risk and subsequent rewards.
Brand: Lava Mobile Phones
Founder: ShailendraNath Rai
Turnover: Rs 1,000 crore
Before entering the telecom industry, Rai worked with DCM Textiles, Xerox and LG and then was one of the promoters of Pacetel, an OEM supplier to Bharti, Reliance and ZTE. He along with Hari Om Rai and Sunil Bhalla started Lava Mobiles in 2009 with an investment of Rs 10 crore.
Rai is a mechanical engineer from Dayal bagh Engineering College, Agra and is an optimistic by nature. He believes that “motivation only comes through achievement and to succeed it is important to work hard and smart.” A golfing enthusiast, Rai also likes listening to classical music and travel.