Micromax ropes in Vineet Taneja from Samsung as CEO

Homegrown handset and tablet manufacturer Micromax Informatics Ltd has appointed Vineet Taneja, former country head (IT & mobile businesses) at Samsung India, as its chief executive officer.  Taneja is replacing Deepak Mehrotra, who had quit the firm in October last year to join Pearson India as managing director.

In his new role, Taneja will drive global partnerships and strategic alliances while strengthening the organisational capabilities within the firm. He will also lead the company's growth & profitability, in addition to spearheading the transformational agenda of Micromax, given the burgeoning opportunity in the devices space globally.

“Vineet Taneja will be an asset in our next phase of growth; his diverse experience will be a great addition to the Micromax leadership in India both from organisational set-up and business growth perspective,” said Rahul Sharma, co-founder of Micromax.

With over 25 years of experience, Taneja worked with consumer brands like Hindustan Lever (HLL), Nokia and Bharti Airtel, prior to working with Samsung. Taneja holds a degree in engineering from IIT-Roorkee and is also an alumnus of IIM Kolkata.

“Micromax has been one of the great success stories in India’s mobile ecosystem, and has pioneered the democratisation of technology for masses by addressing specific consumer needs with constant innovations. 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.

Micromax is the number two tablet and smartphone vendor in the country, after Samsung. Its product portfolio includes feature phones, dual-SIM phones, 3G Android smartphones, tablets, LED televisions and data cards. Recently, Micromax started manufacturing handsets at its Rudraprayag manufacturing plant in Uttarakhand. The facility had already been used to manufacture LED and tablets. The firm is backed by investors like Sequoia Capital, Madison India Capital, Sandstone Capital and TA Associates. In 2012, Chinese fabless semiconductor firm Spreadtrum Communications Inc also invested $10 million in the company.

According to International Data Corporation’s (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker report, Micromax retained its number two position with 8.9 per cent market share, primarily due to its value-for-money proposition and concerted marketing efforts. India’s overall tablet shipments in the calendar year (CY) 2013 stood at 4.14 million units, recording a year-on-year growth of 56.4 per cent over CY 2012.

In January 2014, the company had entered the Russian smartphone market. In the country, the company is operating through a partnership with VVP Group, one of the leading distribution houses in Russia. The company will be launching 14 products in the Russian market in the initial phase, and wants to be among the top four brands in the country by the end of 2014. The firm already has a presence in neighbouring markets such as Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Earlier last month, rumours about Micromax expressing interest in buying stake in South Korean handset maker Pantech Co Ltd as part of its drive to expand overseas were doing the rounds.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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