An Analysis of Competition in India’s Mobile Handset Market

The shift from voice to data has begun to take place, reflected in the increasing penetration of smart phones and the internet in India. It is recognised that access to the internet will be predominantly through mobiles. As India stands at the cusp of another phase of telecom sector growth, led this time by data, an analysis of competition in India’s mobile handset market is timely. This study will collect, collate and analyse data to evaluate the extent and nature of competition, the prevailing ecosystem along with its interdependencies and the adoption of technology. Another aim is to highlight the challenges related to domestic manufacturing in India. Accordingly, the study is organised over three distinct segments. The first uses secondary data on mobile phones to outline the structure of the mobile handset market in India. The scholars use popular measures of competition such as market concentration ratios, Hirschman-Herfindahl Index, Entropy Index, etc., for this analysis. The second part is based on primary data collected through an online survey to analyse consumer preferences and to measure willingness to pay. The final segment is based on case studies of mobile phone companies to map manufacturing value chains for the sector in India. The overall analysis will be informed by the ‘five forces’ competition framework of Michael Porter and the traditional structure conduct performance (SCP) paradigm to identify challenges related to domestic manufacturing and domestic value addition in the backdrop of the government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative.