comscore Ajay Sharma, CEO of John Sculley's Obi Mobiles quits

Ajay Sharma, CEO of John Sculley's Obi Mobiles quits


Ajay Sharma, the CEO of John Sculley backed Obi Mobiles has quit the company. Sharma informed about his departure to BGR India via a text message yesterday. The reason for his departures is unknown at the moment. Also Read - Watch the first trailer of the new 'Steve Jobs' biopic starring Michael Fassbender

Also Read - Former Apple CEO Sculley being sued by ex-wife for allegedly hiding more than $25 million during divorce

Obi Mobiles was launched in April last year with the aim of launching smartphones in the price range of Rs 5,000-Rs 12,000. At the time of launch, Sculley, a former Apple CEO, was confident that Obi Mobiles could make a mark in India since smartphones had become commoditized. Also Read - Obi Mobiles target five percent market share in 2014

The advantage of a new company like Obi is that we don t have to invent new technology. We can accept the technology, and typically in a commodity industry you trail the innovators by some period of time. So we can sell at lower price points. People are comfortable if we are trailing by some number of months behind the big innovator. We are not in competition with Apple at all. Apple can be innovating premium priced products and doing what they do best, but we are in the commodity end of the business. So how do you succeed here? You succeed with branding and you succeed with focus. So we are focused on a youth consumer, we are focused on the customers helping us build the brand, so it is about the marketing, Sculley had told BGR India in an exclusive interview.

Obi Mobiles was targeting to capture five percent of the Indian smartphone market in 2014, which is a high target in a competitive market like India. The company was relying on its marketing capabilities, but they have so far fallen flat and failed to create any brand recognition. The first products haven’t set the market on fire either.

The company was operating in one of the most competitive price segments and its products had no differentiation whatsoever.

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  • Published Date: January 9, 2015 4:48 PM IST

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