Karbonn Mobiles, one of three Indian mobile-phone makers working with Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to build affordable Android smartphones, plans to go public by 2016, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing Chairman Sudhir Hasija. The company’s value has risen in the last two years, making an initial public offer attractive, Hasija told Reuters.
“Google is also supporting us ... probably this gives us a very very big leap,” Hasija told Reuters. Google’s Android One software, aimed specifically to provide a homogeneous Android experience on cheaper smartphones, is expected to be released in September.
India’s smartphone market is on a tear, rocketing 186 percent in the first three months of 2014, helped by Android handsets from makers such as Karbonn and Micromax, which specialize in offering large screens and features -- typically available only on costlier phones -- at sub-$200 prices, which an increasing number of urban middle-class Indians can afford.
Karbonn expects revenues to rise to 80 billion rupees ($1.32 billion) in the current fiscal year that ends March 2015 compared with 45 billion rupees for the previous year, according to the report.
In two years, almost a fifth of Karbonn’s revenues might come from exports to regions including Europe, South Africa and Russia, Hasija told Reuters. Exports, mostly to Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, currently account for 5 percent to 7 percent of Karbonn’s revenues.