MUMBAI, Karbonn Mobiles, the third-largest smartphone maker in India, expects to go public by 2016 as it bets on sales of Android devices made in partnership with Google to boost revenue growth.
“Frankly, I’ve been delaying it for the last couple of years because I wanted to know my valuation … and now my valuation has gone much higher in the last few years,” Chairman Sudhir Hasija said. Hasija said he is waiting for the Android One launch in September – timed with the start of India’s holiday shopping season – to boost revenue growth.
The company expects revenue to grow to Rs80 billion ($1.32 billion) in the year ending March 2015 from Rs45 billion a year earlier.
“I am almost looking at 20 per cent revenue in two years now from exports to Europe, South Africa and Russia …,” Hasija said. “Google is also supporting us … Probably this gives us a very very big leap.”
Karbonn currently gets 5-7 per cent of its revenue from exports largely to South Asian markets such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Google said in June it was working with three Indian manufacturers to develop a sub-$100 smartphone for the Indian market this fall, getting Android software into the world’s third-largest and fastest-growing mobile markets. As prices fall, manufacturers see huge opportunities for growth as most buyers in India use feature phones and first-time buyers often opt for sub-$200 smartphones. Apart from Karbonn, Google is partnering Micromax Informatics and Spice Group.
Karbonn’s Android phones retail between Rs2,699 and Rs14,990. “A new entry level price point is being breached by the Indian home grown vendors every quarter …,” research firm International Data in August.