In what could be a big blow to Samsung (KRX:005935) in India, one of its former top executives has joined homegrown rival brand Micromax.
Vineet Taneja, who was heading Samsung’s IT and Mobile businesses until recently, has been appointed as the new CEO by Delhi-based Micromax. Taneja will be fully responsible for the company’s growth and profitability along with exploring new opportunities for Micromax’s devices the world over.
According to Rahul Sharma, Micromax co-founder, Taneja will be an asset to the company’s next phase of growth, and his diverse experience will add great value to the company’s leadership in India in terms of organizational setup.
“We are witnessing an inflection point in the smart devices globally. Therefore, it is a great opportunity for me to lead Micromax into its next phase of growth by consolidating and further strengthening its position in India, and looking at global markets to complete its transition of becoming a global force to reckon with,” said Taneja.
Taneja has over 25 years industry experience, wherein he worked with some top brands like Hindustan Lever, Nokia, Bharit Airtel, and Samsung. He holds degrees in engineering and business from IIT-Roorkee and IIM Kolkata.
This major change is an early sign of how Micromax is gaining an edge in India’s handset market while at the same time strategically weakening its top competitors.
Micromax’s new hire parallels Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi’s poaching of ex-Google VP Hugo Barra. Barra has helped push Xiaomi to its initial markets outside of China.
According to CMR India, Samsung devices make up 20 percent of the country’s total handset market, including feature phones. Micromax holds 11 percent. For smartphones only, Samsung takes a hefty 43 percent market share, with Micromax at 17.5 percent.
(Image credit: Techone3)Editing and additional reporting by Paul Bischoff