Comeback 101: Motorola’s Success Story


From being completely wiped out, to returning back with a gold rush, Motorola’s comeback is a story that created ripples in the Indian market. Listed below, are the 5 key takeaways for aspiring entrepreneurs from this sensational comeback episode:-

  1. Understanding the Market – One of the most significant challenges for any entrepreneur before a venture, is understanding the market.
    Motorola,very wisely, chose to target the lower-middle range of smartphones as this section was largely dominated by domestic players who were able to offer big specifications at low prices. With Moto E and Moto G, Motorola provided the specifications which other domestic players were offering in addition to a well known International brand name. They reached out to the Average Indian Smartphone Buyer through Moto G and the First Time Smartphone Buyer through Moto E as these two categories expect medium specifications and good durability from a smartphone. These categories were also willing to make way for allowing an International brand to recover, a feat which would not have been attainable in the top level smartphone category.
  2. Understanding your customers – The customers essentially determine the success of any business and as an entrepreneur, understanding whether your customers want your product or not, is a necessity.
    When Motorola’s internal team, analysts and distributors were skeptical about the possibility of Motorola being a success story, their core team started regular market visits to ask retailers about Motorola. Interestingly, many thought that Motorola would sell if reintroduced in the market. This gave them the necessary confidence and helped them move on to the next step of formulating a business model.
  3. Disruptive Strategies– For any entrepreneur to create impact, it is necessary to come up with new disruptive ideas and strategies.
    After realising that the customers wanted Motorola, that distributors were skeptical about it and that they could not afford a big marketing expenditure, Motorola played their trump card. They decided to go for an exclusively online, go-to-market business model and tied up with Flipkart. With this, they were limiting their scope, while strategically eliminating shelving out money for middlemen. This strategy allowed them to sell smartphones with top end features at affordable prices.
  4. Taking risks – What separates an entrepreneur from a normal professional, is the level of risk they are willing to take when the stakes are high. It was this ability to take risks which carved Motorola’s success story.
    Firstly, they chose to enter the Indian market after being wiped out initially and then went on to sell through Flipkart only, restricting their market to only 2 percent of the online smartphone market. But in the recent past Motorola had not had a share in the market which was close to this, so they went ahead with the ambition of completely capturing Flipkart’s online smartphone share.
  5. Focusing on Strengths: Motorola chose to focus on giving a right mix of features, hardware and software, catering to the needs of the user instead of trying to overwhelm users by swanky features which other smartphone brands were doing. They were bang on with their Price to Performance ratio which helped them reach extremely high numbers.

Unlike most business strategies, this success story is not just about economic theories and marketing formulas, but more about a certain belief, an audacity to take risks, an understanding of your customers and faith, in your product. Aspiring entrepreneurs can surely learn a lesson or two from what Motorola were able to achieve.

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