Adidas

Adidas is a company that produces athletic shoes and apparel and sporting goods.

The company dominated the sportswear market in the early 21st century and was second only to the Nike brand in the entire world. The brand is stylized as “adidas” and features a three stripe logo that is quite possibly one of the most recognizable logos in the world.

History of Adidas

Adolf “Adi” Dassler founded Adidas – the name of the brand is even derived from his name. After World War I, the Dassler family began producing shoes. Dassler himself gifted a pair of his shoes to Jesse Owens, an American track and field start who wore the shoes during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Owens’ Olympic medal wins promoted the Dassler shoes, and they became known around the world.

World War II interrupted the manufacturing of the brand, but once the war was over, Dassler and his brother, Rudolph, worked to rebuild the brand. However, a rivalry between the brothers made them split. Rudolph Dassler formed the Puma brand while Adolf Dassler branded his company Adidas.

The Growth of the Adidas Brand

During the 1950s, Adidas became a well-known brand used by soccer players because the shoes were lightweight and some even had cleats that could be screwed in. Because of the popularity it gained with soccer, the brand eventually launched a line of sporting goods in 1963 that featured soccer balls.

In 1967, Adidas expanded to begin developing and producing sports apparel because of the gaining competition from brands like Nike. The brand was the biggest name in athletic shoes, but its competitors were expanding, and this required Adidas to expand along with them in order to remain relevant.

Unfortunately, Adi Dassler died in 1978, and the Adidas brand suffered. For years, it struggled to remain a leading athletic brand. In 1990, Bernard Tapie, a French business executive with a scandalous reputation, tried to revive the company but failed. In 1993, Adidas was sold to investors who placed Robert Louis-Dreyfus as the head of the company.

Louis-Dreyfus did bring success to the company. He acquired the Salomon Group in 1997, which included the golf supplier TaylorMade. Adidas was renamed Adidas-Salomon AG and made a strategic move into retailing in order to compete with its main rival, Nike.

Stella McCartney, a clothing designer, entered a partnership with Adidas in 2004, which was a very fruitful business move. Furthermore, in 2005, Adidas sold Salomon but retained TaylorMade and changed its name to Adidas AG

Sponsoring its Own Success 

Adidas remains a leading athletic brand by sponsoring numerous organizations and athletes all over the world. It even sponsors national sports teams in countries like Germany, Mexico, and Japan. The brand is an official sponsor of the UFEA Champions League. It also provides clothing and equipment for Major League Soccer teams. Additionally, Adidas has sponsorships in cricket, ice hockey, field hockey, rugby, basketball, and tennis. It truly spreads its brand as far as the eye can see, making sure it remains visible.

Criticism of the Brand

The company is not without its criticisms and controversies. In 2011, there was backlash over the pricing of the All Blacks replica rugby jersey, which was priced at $220. In 2012, Adidas posted a picture online of a pair of shoes designed with shackles on the ankles. This caused a major scandal with the accusation that Adidas was trying to commercialize slavery and human degradation. The shackled shoes were canceled almost immediately.

There have been critics who claim Adidas uses sweatshops to create its products and violates labor rights. In addition, the brand has faced environmental controversy after being accused of being a “forest criminal” because of deforestation in Indonesia’s rainforest.

The Current States of Adidas

Currently, the Adidas brand is run by Kasper Rorsted. It sells a large range of clothing items like t-shirts, jackets, hoodies, pants, and leggings to both men and women. It provides sportswear and equipment to football, baseball, basketball, cricket, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, running and lifestyle, skateboarding, tennis, and kabaddi.

The brand also designs and manufactures sandals, mobile accessories, watches, eyewear, bags, baseball caps, and socks. In 2011, Adidas adopted the slogan, “Adidas is all in” in order to unify all of its products and promote the entire brand. The company utilizes brand loyalty as a marketing strategy, and the numbers associated with the company prove that this is highly effective.

Wipro

Western India Palm Refined Oil – Wipro. Every area that Wipro tackles comes back to palm oil, even the technology. 

Founded in 1945, Wipro has become a massive multinational company. Though it started out as a palm oil manufacturer and continues to pursue those products through its primary company, in 2013 it spun off Wipro Enterprises to focus on the IT branch of the company’s sales and development. Wipro Enterprises is one in the top three fastest-growing IT companies in the world.

From Oil to IT

Wipro began as a manufacturer of refined oils and vegetable oils in Amalner, Maharashtra in British India. Founder Mohamed Premji was succeeded by his son Azim after he came back to India from his studies at Stanford University in America. The younger Premji was just twenty-one years old when he took the reigns of the already massive company. 

The company went public in 1946 on the Bombay Stock Exchange and went live on the New York Stock Exchange fifty-four years later in 2000.

Along the way, Wipro diversified tremendously. IT and computers were a massive opportunity in the 1970s and Wipro jumped onboard. This is when it changed its name from Western India Vegetable Products to Wipro. 

Throughout the expansion of its IT division, Wipro continued to expand its soap products offering. This includes products like Wipro Jasmine Toilet Soap.

Palm Oil Controversy

Environmental concerns surrounding the palm oil industry have been a serious consideration for Wipro. Worldwide boycotts of palm oil products led the company to adopt a series of sustainability practices to address customer concerns.

Wipro was ranked first in the Asian Sustainability Rating of Indian companies in 2010. It’s also a member of the Dow Jones Global Sustainability Index and the NASDAQ Global Sustainability Index.

Greenpeace ranked Wipro number one in its 2012 Guide to Greener Electronics. The company is serious about its environmental commitment across both its palm oil and IT branches. 

For six straight years, Wipro was recognized as one of the world’s most ethical companies by the Ethisphere Institute.

Critical Subsidiaries

Wipro has two major subsidiaries, Western India Medical Products Limited, and Wipro GE Medical Systems. 

The latter is a partnership with electronic giant General Electric. This company engages in the research and development of new and innovative medical products. It goes all the way back to 1990 and includes healthcare IT, equipment diagnostics, and gadgets. 

Wipro has been a part of the manufacture of medical related consumer and industry products since early in its product development. The personal care arm and IT areas were a natural fit for Wipro GE Medical Systems. 

Western India Medical Products Limited offers a whole host of IT related services including information outsourcing, IT-enabled services, consulting, R&D, and systems integration. 

Size and Scope

Wipro is one of the largest multinational companies to be based out of India. From its base in Bangalore, the company has branches in furniture, healthcare, personal care, lighting, digital strategy, outsourcing, managed services, and consulting. 

Annual revenue for Wipro is nearly eight and a half-billion dollars. The company’s assets are more than twelve billion dollars. 

Through smart product development, focused research, and a willingness to work towards the future, Wipro has created a company that has sustained itself and grown for almost a hundred years.

Lenovo

What do Beijing, China and Morrisville, North Carolina have in common? They’re each home to one of two principal facilities of Lenovo. 

Lenovo is headquartered in Beijing, but its products are sold in one hundred and sixty countries around the world. It has research centers across China, one in Japan, and one with its manufacturing facility in North Carolina. Not only that, but the company has a joint venture with NEC to produce specific products for the Japanese market.

What makes Lenovo distinctive is that it was the first large scale Chinese computer manufacturer. Since its founding in 1984 by Liu Chuanzjhi, Lenovo has expanded broadly to make a wide variety of products, including peripherals, televisions, printers, scanners, supercomputers, storage devices, personal computers, servers, desktop computers, notebooks, tablet computers, netbooks, and smartphones. 

Smart Acquisitions

A major reason that Lenovo has been able to remain relevant is that it has continued to smartly acquire companies that enhance its brands. The company has a specialized team that works to integrate new companies into its corporate culture and brand. The company has always been passionate and protective of its quality and distinctive customer services. 

One of the largest and most important acquisitions in the history of Lenovo came when it purchased the personal computer arm of IBM in 2005. At the time, IBM was struggling against its newer competitors and made the decision to move from the personal computer market into other ventures. Lenovo jumped on the opportunity, effectively expanding its reach and adding to its product value.

The IBM integration was an especially critical one for Lenovo. As part of the deal, Lenovo paid one and a quarter billion dollars for the company while also paying off five hundred million dollars of IBM’s debt. Lenovo got the rights to sell IBM’s Thinkpad brand, which shored up Lenovo’s product sales. 

As part of the deal. IBM acquired an eighteen percent stake in Lenovo’s personal computing arm as well. 

Integrating the two corporate cultures faced many challenges but was ultimately successful. The history of this particular acquisition is one of the most studied in business, as it’s final success was long in question. 

Other notable companies that Lenovo has acquired include Datacore, Fujitsu, Motorola Mobility, Stoneware, CCE, NEC, and Medion. 

Security Concerns

The most major controversies that have challenged Lenovo surround security concerns. Malware was identified on its laptops in 2015, a discovery that ended in a settlement for three and a half million dollars with the United States Federal Trade Commission. There were other scandals involving security for Lenovo products. These include issues with suspicious software and search engine bloatware that made its way onto Lenovo marketed items.  

At various times the company has also faced issues with its hardware, including a series of malfunctioning keyboards on its Thinkpad products. 

Majoring in Marketing

The marketing push for Lenovo has been a major selling point in its brand expansion. Lenovo has relied on massive advertising expenditures, including partnerships with the Olympics and with the NFL. 

Lenovo partnered with NASA and YouTube for the Space Lab project, which allowed students to device experiments that were performed onboard the International Space Station in 2011. 

With over thirty years in business, Lenovo is a tech brand that continues to challenge the future, helping both businesses and individuals to meet their potential.

Snapchat

Disappearing content doesn’t sound like the best way to build a social media platform, but that model has propelled Snapchat to gain over two hundred million daily users. 

What set Snapchat apart from its launch in 2011 was that its content disappears after a short time. The platform was created by Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy. 

The idea of the company was to capture the moment. It was supposed to be instant communication that only lived for a short time, unlike cataloging social media apps that serve more like scrapbooks. The difference in Snapchat and Facebook can best be boiled down to an instant photo versus a yearbook. The longevity of personal information on social media was seen to be a significant issue. Snapchat sought to give users an option with more fun and less pressure.

Ghostface

Snapchat’s mascot “Ghostface” has become intertwined with its brand identity. Brand identity has a whole has been important to Snapchat, which has made its mark with a younger demographic than other, more established social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook. 

Snapchat’s main market has been with millenials. The thrust of the brand experience is that it’s a fun and engaging social media platform. This has propelled Snapchat to expand its user base. 

There have been some considerable issues for Snapchat regarding hacking. The company was also cited by the FTC for allegedly exaggerating the disappearing nature of its content to the public. Privacy concerns have consistently been a problem for Snapchat. Internal spying on users by employees using an application called SnapLion was uncovered in 2019. 

Mobile First

Unlike other social media sites, Snapchat is tied to mobile phones exclusively.

There is a major emphasis from Snapchat on users interacting in real time and with augmented reality features. Filters and modifications that are available to users have heavily influenced the culture of the app. These features were once distinctive to Snapchat, however they were so popular that they have been copied by other, competing companies. 

Multimedia messages, or snaps, are the backbone of this platform. Videos were added as a feature in 2012. Photos and videos are tightly tied to mobile camera technology, as they must be recorded at the time of upload rather than being uploaded from previous files. 

Friends are added either by username or by phone number. The application itself is tied to phone services, suggesting potential friends based on phone contacts. 

Evolution

Though Snapchat originally focused on photo-sharing between individuals, it’s evolved considerably since its inception. Today, Snapchat has both public and private features. Stories are images or videos that are highlighted for twenty-four hours and show themselves in chronological order. The Discover screen shows advertisements as short form content.

Monetizing Snapchat through advertisement was a key change for the platform. Up until that point, the free application struggled to find a way to turn a profit. There has been further evolution in the monetization journey of Snapchat as well, with SnapCash rolling out in 2014. This feature allows users to send money to one another, for a small fee. 

With one hundred and eighty-seven million active users, Snapchat is one of the largest social media platforms on earth. 

Reddit

News breaks on Reddit before it breaks anywhere else. 

Reddit is the fifth most visited website in the United States, the thirteenth most visited website in the world. More than half of its users live in America. The company is known for its fast paced, fresh, user generated content.

Essentially, Reddit is a user driven news aggregate site. Registered users on the site can upvote posts, link to other websites, post images, post text, comment on posts, and communicated directly with other users. 

There is nothing quite like Reddit online anywhere. It’s closest direct competitors are social media sites like Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Reddit’s bare bones approach and simplistic design set it apart from other social media sites. 

College Buddies

Two roommates at the University of Virginia, Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, launched Reddit in 2005. The original concept was for the site to be like the front page of a newspaper, only for all of the vast content that exists on the internet. They worked on the site concept through the startup incubator Y Combinator in Boston. The original founders coded the site with Common Lisp.

Just a year later, the site was bought by Conde Nast Publications, though it remained an independent subsidiary. The two creators left the company in 2009. 

Organized Chaos

Reddit’s post are organized into subject areas called subreddits. These are created by users and include a huge range of topics such as food, books, fitness, video games, news, movies, science, images, sports, etc. Users have the ability to drill down to discover exactly the kind of content that they want to find, 

When a user likes a post, it gets an upvote. Content is promoted to the front page of Reddit depending on how many upvotes it has gotten from users. Over the years, getting to the front page of Reddit has become a highly coveted goal. 

There are strict rules that work to prevent harassment on Reddit, however this has been nearly impossible to avoid. Reddit spends a considerable amount of time and resources on trying to prevent trolling and harassment on its site. 

Tradition

The community aspect of Reddit is a strong pull for its users. 

April Fool’s Day is particularly beloved on the platform. Since 2015, the company has an annual tradition of releasing fictitious and ridiculous announcements on April 1st. 

Ask Me Anything (AMA) interviews have become incredibly popular on Reddit. In this feature, users can ask questions of interviewees. President Barack Obama, CEO Bill Huffman, Bill Gates, Buzz Aldrin, Edward Snowden, and more have participated in the AMA interface. The AMA subreddit has almost eighteen million subscribers. 

Turning a Profit

Reddit added paid advertising in 2009, including sponsored content. 

The company supports about three hundred and fifty employees out of its office in San Francisco, California. Part of the company policy at Reddit is to maintain a non-negotiation policy with its employees. New parents, both mothers and fathers, get sixteen weeks worth of paid parental leave upon the birth of a child. 

The company does not disclose its revenue numbers, however it was valued at one point eight billion dollars during a two hundred million dollar round of venture capital funding in 2018. The company’s user base continues to grow, especially in the international market.

Polaroid

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

The Polaroid brand has become so iconic that the name doesn’t even necessarily have a strict association with the original product anymore. It’s more than that, it’s a culturally resonant idea that’s tied closely to capturing a moment in time, tied to fun and deep emotion. That’s why singer Andre 3000 used the line in his 2003 song Hey Ya!, this time as a dance move where the hands are shaken. Everyone who heard that song instantly knew the motion that he was talking about because Polaroid is so embedded in the public consciousness. 

Inventing Memories

Polaroid is an American company, founded in 1937 by Edwin H. Land. His idea was to use the recently patented Polaroid polarizing polymer. This new polymer was made up of a series of microscopic crystals made of herapathite that were embedded in a polymer film made of transparent nitrocellulose. Through the use of electric fields or magnetic fields or even stretching, the product could be coaxed to absorb light or transmit light. Essentially, the invention of this polymer allowed instant film to be created. 

Land left his studies at Harvard University to pursue the business of his camera, though he would come back to continue his research. He developed products for the U.S. Military during World War II. 

Up until this point, photographs had to be developed in a dark room through an intensive process. Film was sensitive and required training to handle. The Polaroid polarizing polymer changed that. 

Land is considered to be the father of the instant camera, in fact he’s arguably the father of the modern obsession with pictures. By the late sixties, he had perfected his camera film and was marketing it as the Polaroid. Life Magazine put him on its cover with the tag line “A Genius and His Magic Camera”. 

The man behind the research would lead Polaroid for forty-three years, through its heyday and to its greatest heights.

Stolen Film

In a lawsuit that dragged on for a decade, Polaroid sued rival Kodak starting in 1976 when that company put an instant camera on the market. Polaroid asked for twelve billion dollars in damages, and eventually won their copyright infringement lawsuit. However they were only awarded just over nine hundred million dollars, nowhere close to the billions they asked for.

Edwin Land continued to develop new products, and in 1977 he rolled out an instant home movie camera called Polavision. The problem was that the market had already moved on by the time it got to the shelves as people had moved towards video tapes. This led to a company loss of eighty-nine million dollars and Land was pushed out of his own company. He was forced to resign, and died in 1991.

Fall of the Polaroid

Despite its ubiquity in the popular consciousness, Polaroid wasn’t able to create a long lasting company portfolio. With changing times came changing technology, and Polaroid just couldn’t keep up. The company ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2001. It discontinued its entire line of products. The company’s bankruptcy proceedings were fraught with problems, including giant payouts for high level company executives while creditors went unpaid. 

After the bankruptcy was over, Polaroid continued to license its patents and its technology. Eventually, the company was bought by Oskar Smolokowski, and investor and entrepreneur who had been licensing Polaroid’s technology for some time. When he gained rights to the name in 2017, this Polish investor rebranded his products as Polaroid Originals. The company now manufactures instant cameras, but it also makes sunglasses, the Cube action camera, television units, and digital cameras.

Hitachi

What do washing machines and nuclear power plants have in common? Hitachi makes them both.

Hitachi is a Japanese multinational conglomerate that’s based out of Chiyoda, Tokyo in Japan. The company is over the entire Hitachi Group, and is also part of the extended DKB group of companies. What’s remarkable about Hitachi today is how diverse its product offerings are. 

Hitachi makes defense technology, information systems equipment, telecom equipment, industrial machinery, power tools, auto parts, power plants, escalator technology, elevator technology, heavy equipment, digital media, and consumer products. That’s a lot of stuff for one little company! Or one big company as the case may be. 

Place of Importance

Hitachi is actually a city in Japan, and its that city that lends its name to the Hitachi company. The word itself is made up of two different words – hi, meaning “sun”, and tachi, meaning “rise”. The company was founded in Hitachi in 1918 by Namihei Odaira. Originally a venture that was part of a larger mining company, the brand quickly grew to be much more.  

Hitachi suffered tremendously during World War II, as many of its factories were destroyed during bombing raids by the Allies. Following the war, the company’s founder was removed and it saw a massive round of labor strikes and struggle during the post war period.

Strangely enough, it was another war that vaulted the company back onto good ground, though this time it was Hitachi who made equipment for its former enemy, the Americans. The Korean War saw a big increase in business through defense contracts for Hitachi, a move that would be formative for the company’s future. 

Hitachi went public in 1949.

Hitachi America was formed in 1959, followed by Hitachi Europe in 1982. 

Electronics Expansion

Hitachi went on to become a dual brand, one that marketing a wide variety of products to governments and corporate contracts, and another that focused on consumer end goods. 

The Hitachi name has been part of the manufacture of televisions and computer hard disks, batteries and refrigerators. It’s also expanded to a whole realm of digital products, like servers and software. 

It’s expansion into nuclear energy has been challenging. The destruction of the Fukushima Power Plant in Japan in 2011 put into question the company’s involvement in building nuclear power plants, leading to a sixty-five million yen write off in 2016. Future plans for nuclear power have been put on hold for Hitachi’s future in both Britain and in Japan. 

Heavy Lifting

Hitachi is in the top fifty largest businesses in the world according to the Fortune Global 500. It’s revenue is nine point five trillion yen each year, with total assets of almost ten trillion dollars. The company employs over three hundred thousand people all over the world to manufacture and sell its products. 

These are huge moving pieces, all backed by a trusted brand. Hitachi has numerous subsidiaries, including Hitachi Metals, Hitachi Defense Systems, Hitachi Vantara, Hitachi, Electronics, Hitachi Consulting, Hitachi Plant Technologies, Hitachi Rail, and a vast research and development division. 

All told, Hitachi houses a vast array of products and services. Its products and services continue to expand, particularly in defense and energy.

HCL

Making new things through R&D, that’s what HCL is all about.

Hindustan Computer Limited (HCL) is a multinational information and technology service that also works as a major consulting agency. Based out of Noida, India, the company has a revenue of nearly nine billion dollars each year and total assets of the same. It employs almost one hundred and fifty thousand people across its operations. 

HCL was founded in 1976 by six engineers – Shiv Nadar, D.S. Puri, Ajai Chowdhry, Arjun Malhotra, Subhash Arora, and Yogesh Vaidya. These men sought to create a computing company that focused on hardware, but that quickly expanded to software and beyond. 

Developing the Future

Originally a subsidiary of HCL Enterprise, HCL was the research and development arm of the company that was spun out into its own subsidiary in 1991. The parent company turned to focus on software. 

HCL Technologies has offices that are spread across forty four countries. It’s worldwide operations in research and development are called delivery centers and innovation labs, and operate across a whole variety of sectors. 

The company works in the following areas:

  • energy
  • utilities
  • high tech 
  • life sciences
  • Insurance
  • mining
  • natural resources
  • media
  • entertainment
  • healthcare
  • retail, telcom 
  • travel
  • logistics
  • transportation 
  • hospitality
  • automotive
  • defense 
  • aerospace

Hard Labor

A major point of contention for HCL has been labor. The company was involved in litigation for its H-1B visa program in which it sought to replace domestic workers in the United States with cheaper labor from overseas. This was part of the Disney collusion lawsuit, which also was related to the case at the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center. All had similar controversies surrounding their IT workers. 

HCL’s operations in North America are important to its bottom line, particularly its contracts that are related to defense and development. Outsourcing and visa issues have been a top priority for HCL to help it maintain those United States contracts.

Big Thinking

HCL does research and development work for half of the Fortune 500 companies. The company itself is on the Forbes Global 2000 list. It’s in the top twenty of the largest publicly traded companies in its home nation of India. 

In 1999, HCL went public with an IPO of fourteen point two million shares. 

HCL has expanded out from its original headquarters in Noida to reach a huge number of markets. These include China, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Denmark, Finland, Poland, Sweden, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, the United States, and more. 

The company has a whole host of business lines to service its large interests in corporate projects. These are infrastructure management, engineering, business services, application services, analytics, and cybersecurity, just to name a few. The business contract world is the backbone of HCL’s business model. 

There are several important strategic partnerships that HCL participates in, most notably with IBM, Transportation Alliance, CSC, Transgrid, and DELL. 

HCL has acquired a huge array of companies as well to expand its offerings and its brands. Butler America Aerospace, Capital Stream, Urban Fulfillment Services, and a section of Volvo IT. These pieces were important parts of pushing HCL into new areas of development. 

Driving on towards the future of technology is where HCL does its best work, supporting the research that allows its companies to do more with their own products.

Fastrack

Style is timeless.

Begun in India, Fastrack is a retail fashion accessory brand that’s based out of India. Starting in 1998, the company was originally part of the Titan Watches brand. It spun out on its own in 2005, and since then there’s been no looking back.

Titanic Parent

Titan Watches is the original parent brand of Fastrack. That would make Tata and Tamu Nadu Industrial Development Corp (TIDCO) the grandparents of Fastrack, as those are the parents of Titan.

What this means for Fastrack is a wide ranging market penetration and high level company officials who have training and experience from some of the largest and most successful companies in India. 

TIDCO is a state owned multinational corporation who works to foster growth in technology and industry in India. It’s sole purpose is to forward the Indian economy by nurturing innovation. Tata is one of India’s largest conglomerates, though each of its companies (like Titan) operates independently. Tata is famously run by the Tata family, one of the most prominent business families in India for one hundred and fifty years. 

High Tech High Fashion

What sets Fastrack apart is its quality and technical proficiency. The company’s watches are sleek and stylish, while also offering all of the functionality that is needed for the youth markets of today. 

Fastrack is the number one watch brand among young people in India. It’s watches are elegant but youthful, quirky and colorful. That translates into innovative marketing practices that rely heavily on social media engagement and advertising. 

The company has managed to largely sidestep controversy in its two decades in business through the experienced leadership that’s come down from its previous parent companies. 

The transition to smart watches has been a major part of the Fastrack brand strategy. It’s not just watches though – Fastrack has broadened into virtual reality headsets and much more as it pushes its tech feel and captures a wider audience. 

More than Watches

The independent, urban youth branding from Fastrack has grown to extend well beyond time pieces.

In 2009, the company extended its niche to include sunglasses, bags, wallets, and belts. This brand extension has been a huge play for Fastrack, as the company works to compete in a marketplace which now values watches more as fashion accessories than as essential timepieces. By playing to its strengths, Fastrack as been able to grow its business.

The branding of Fastrack has been formulative. It uses tongue in cheek advertising methods to break out of the clutter and to extend its reach. The growing presence of the company on Facebook is a prime example of this, with a fan base on that platform that now numbers near ten million.

Transition to Stores

In 2009, Fastrack began opening retail stores. These shops are targeted at the same youth demographic that its branded products are. There are more than one hundred and fifty exclusive Fastrack stores across India. These stores are located in almost eighty cities, giving the company a solid market penetration that allows it to keep growing and to reach its target demographic. 

Going forward, Fastrack is expected to further expand its product lines and to potentially move beyond India. With the vast opportunities in tech and youth markets, this brand is positioned to be a global player.

Celkon

Technology plus affordability equals big sales in India.

Celkon Mobiles is one of the top mobile phone companies in India, and it’s gotten there by targeting key consumers who need reasonably priced communication that they can rely on. The company manufactures smartphones and tablet computers along with its mobile phone operations. 

This is India’s sixth largest cell phone manufacturer, and is currently managed by Y Guru, who had previously been the director of Big C Mobiles. Its annual revenue is more than one hundred and thirty million dollars, though it remains a privately held company. 

Major Growth

Celkon was established in 2009 in Hyderabad, India.

Since this company came onto the Indian mobile tech scene just ten years ago, it’s grown dramatically. It’s not only expanded quickly across India, but has also put down roots abroad in Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, and Botswana. International expansion has been a key point of growth for Celkon, which is working to push quality products into the hands of customers who rely on those services. 

Research and Development

The R&D department of Celkon is based out of its global research and design center in Shenzhen, China. The collaboration of the Chinese and Indian teams has been a critical part of moving the Celkon brand forward as it integrates improved technology. 

Celkon has also moved past handheld hardware and into wireless technology, pushing its product lines to reach customers who have a wide variety of needs. The company’s research and development arm is pushing towards 4G and beyond. 

Production Pushback

The production in China has been a sore point for this Indian company, which has suffered some backlash for not making its Indian marketed products in India. To combat that perception, Celkon has moved a larger portion of its manufacturing to India.

Celkon has expanded its manufacturing and assembly operations in Tirupati India, even as it maintains many of its operations in China. This has been part of the Indian government’s Make in India initiative, which of course aims to bring manufacturing and assembly jobs to its country. Celkon bought deeply into the initiative thanks to the government support. The company sees a benefit by creating jobs and strengthening the local economy where its phones are eventually going to be sold. 

When the company began its assembly in Medchal, Hyderabad, it had a capacity of two hundred thousand mobile phones and it employed five hundred skilled technicians to get that work done. 

The success of this production facility has been so positive for Celkon that it’s expanding its domestic operations to another two hundred thousand with a second facility in Hyderabad and another in Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

Domestic Support

Celkon has a robust domestic support team with over eight hundred service centers that are scattered across India. It runs a dedicated tier three service center to conduct repairs near its manufacturing facility in Hyderabad, as well as service centers in Delhi and in Bangalore.

Famous Faces

To market its products, Celkon has brought in a number of high profile brand ambassadors. These include prominent cricketer Virat Kohli, who’s television commercial was directed by famed director Trivikram Srinivas. Actress Tamannaah is the highly visible face of Celkon’s Android based smartphones. It’s also worked with rock star Yash to be a brand ambassador.

Celkon has made smart moves to keep its identity as an Indian brand of smart tech that’s made by Indians. This reliance on identity has proved to be a perfect fit for this major cell phone manufacturer.