Micromax Exploring Electric Vehicle Venture Following Decline in Smartphone Sales, Layoffs: Report

Micromax is looking to enter the electric vehicle manufacturing space in India, according to a report. The New Delhi-based phone manufacturer has faced stiff competition from Chinese brands in the country and reportedly laid off employees across the country, while senior executives have also exited the firm. The developments — including efforts to start making EVs in the country that would compete with offerings from Ather Energy, Matter Aera, and Ola Electric — come after Micromax has seen smartphone shipments continue to decline in the country.

According to a TechCrunch report, Micromax’s layoffs and the exit of its top executives including the Chief Product Officer and Chief Business Officer over the past few months are a result of the company’s attempts to foray into the EV manufacturing sector. Co-Founder Vikas Jain — who replaced Co-Founder Rahul Sharma as Managing Director after he resigned in April 2021 — has also departed the firm as per the report.

The smartphone maker became the top smartphone maker in India in August 2014 when it dethroned market leader Samsung. Back in 2014, the company had announced that it would offer smartphones running on Microsoft’s mobile operating system in addition to Android smartphones. The firm was also the 10th largest phone brand a year later. However, the arrival of Chinese smartphone makers like Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo and their competitive pricing led to the brand struggling to retain its popularity in the country in subsequent years.

In February, the company’s founders Rajesh Agarwal, Sumeet Kumar, and Vikas Jain formed a new firm with the name Micromax Mobility, according to the report, which cites three former employees who state that the new venture will initially focus on two-wheeler EVs. Two sources also told TechCrunch that the firm is revamping an office in Gurugram as part of its efforts to foray into the mobility sector.

While Micromax is yet to make a formal announcement related to its plans, its purported EV venture would compete in a busy market that includes popular brands such as Ather Energy, Matter Aera, and Ola Electric. The four-wheeler EV segment already includes several other brands such as Tata, Hyundai, MG, Maruti, and BYD that offer a range of vehicles at different prices in the country.

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