Advertising & Marketing

UAE-based Midcom Group Launches Mobile Phone Range

New producer to capitalise on existing African network with 16 handsets 

Midcom Group, a diversified conglomerate headquartered in the UAE, has launched a new range of mobile phones designed in the UAE specifically for Africa and Middle East markets.

FERO, the new mobile brand offers 16 models, from entry-level feature phones through to sophisticated premium smartphones targeting the top end of the market.

Affordable feature phones start from US$8 and are aimed at the rural market; smartphones for youth and young corporates comprise the brand’s middle-tier, while the Royale series, priced at  $180-plus, is FERO’s premium offering. There is also a series of LTE-enabled handsets catering for African markets, which are evolving towards LTE platforms.

Midcom Group is a diversified business group operating across 17 countries in Africa, Middle East and Asia in a variety of industries including telecommunications, consumer electronics, dairy, education, commercial and residential real estate and Forex. Its extensive experience as a distributor in the telecom sector and comprehensive understanding of African markets prompted the management team to design, produce and distribute its own line of mobile phones.

Midcom Group Managing Director, Akash Kumar, said: “Midcom Group has been the distributor of all leading mobile phone brands in Africa for the last 13 years so we already have an extensive network and partnerships in place for channel and distribution, catering to the major African markets,” he said. “The years of experience and in-depth market knowledge made it an obvious choice for Midcom Group to launch its own brand. Consumers are very well informed, and good quality products at competitive pricing is paramount. This coupled with the logistics of distribution in Africa is the barrier to others and the real strength of Midcom.

“Africa presents a unique set of challenges, especially around logistics, currency, pricing and after-sales service. The latter we have covered as we offer repair and replacement through an unrivalled 300 outlets and collection points across the continent —  a number that is always growing.

“It is with a focus on high quality yet affordable pricing that we created the FERO range. Importantly, we identified a gap in the market serving the middle segment of society. This segment forms a sizeable chunk and, as international brands are at the mercy of currency fluctuations, local brands like FERO are able to keep prices constant and affordable without compromising quality.”

Produced in China, the range was designed at Midcom Group’s research and development facilities in JLT, Dubai, following several months of extensive market analysis and research into the requirements of Africa and the Middle East.

FERO’s beta phase was rolled out for testing at the end of 2015 across Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, with over one million handsets sold in less than six months, far surpassing Midcom’s expectations. 

“Africa is a vast continent where each country has unique and specific requirements – you cannot treat all the countries as one,” says Mr Kumar. “We have expanded and customised the range accordingly to suit the needs of our consumers across various countries. The FERO team firmly believes a good product is all about finding the right balance between style, features and price.

“Our products were well received and appreciated by both customers and the major telecom operators in Africa. For instance, we are now supplying huge volumes to Airtel and have received impressive repeat orders. Our focus is now to gradually grow distribution figures as we roll out this new product portfolio across Africa.”

While limited FERO models were available in the key markets during the testing phase, the full product range will now be on sale in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo and then on the shelves in Congo and Cameroon before the end of the year. The Royale series, FERO’s premium range of smartphones, will also be launched in the UAE next month and in Saudi Arabia in Q4.

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