It’s not every day that we get to hear of people leaving Apple. On the rare occasion that it does happen, the grapevine explodes into excited gossip, especially if the main character in this drama is a senior level employee. After all, why would you ever want to leave Apple?
If you put that question to Sharad Malhotra, he would promptly reply, “To open up a new smartphone company, of course!”
Mr. Malhotra joined Apple in October 2007, after which he worked tirelessly to build “brand Apple” in India. That was until he quit the tech giant recently. Why Mehrotra quit his job at Apple is still a mystery, but he’s got some ambitious plans for the future. As the co-founder of Hyve Mobility, he will be launching Android smartphones in India.
Given that India is the largest untapped smartphone market in the world and also the most rapidly growing mobile internet market, Mr. Malhotra’s move seems sound and well thought out.
“While consumers today have a lot of options to choose a smartphone, the element of customer delight is seriously missing,” he told The Economic Times, adding that “it was high time to get into the smartphone market.”
One of his partners in this new venture, Aditya Agarwal, was quoted as saying “In the current Android scenario, no brand enjoys customer loyalty, and we want to bring the change with our path-breaking products portfolio and service offerings.”
Yes, it means exactly what you think it means — they don’t just want to make another cell phone, they want to build a brand! And he’s not even the first ex-Apple employee to try that!
Remember John Sculley and his Obi Worldphone? That was in August last year. And while they haven’t gone under, they haven’t been a smash hit either.
The problem (or the solution, depending on how you look at it) is this — building a brand and generating brand loyalty takes time. A lot of time. So while on paper it looks all rainbows and unicorns, the reality is much harsher.
But then again, we’re optimistic and believe in healthy competition. Good luck, Mr. Malhotra. We hope you’re able to realise your aspirations. We can’t wait to see what you have in store of mobile users in India.