Celkon Mobiles inks co-presenter rights deal with sports channel ESPN for India-Pakistan T20 cricket

HYDERABAD: Celkon Mobiles, India’s sixth largest mobile handsets company, has tied-up with the sports channel ESPN for co-presenter rights for the ensuing India-Pakistan T20 cricket series for an amount of Rs 15 crore, said its managing director Y. Guru.

This is part of the company’s highest ever advertisement budget of Rs 40 crore earmarked for the next two months in a bid to more than double its annual sales to around Rs 1,800 crore, he told reporters.

Celkon, which had reported Rs 326 crore of sales in year to March 2012, had targeted Rs 1,000 crore sales this fiscal but now hopes to close the year with around Rs 800 crore due to short supply of gadgets from certain suppliers.

The Hyderabad-headquartered mobile firm, which hopes to sell some 6 million handsets this fiscal, with smart phones accounting for around 10%, is targeting to sell 12 million handsets next fiscal, doubling smart phones contribution to some 20%, said executive director Murali Retineni.

“With most of our target customers being avid cricket fans who get glued to TV screens during series between India and Pakistan, we have grabbed the opportunity to bag co-presenter rights for the T20 series,” said Guru.

Celkon, which has roped in cricketer Virat Kohli and film actress Tamanna as its brand ambassadors, has readied a 60-second commercial with them to be aired from December 17 across several TV channels.

The company has on Thursday launched a smart phone with dual core 1GHZ processor, Android 4.0.3 (ice cream sandwich) and super sensitive capacitive touch screen among others for Rs 8,499. It also launched a 7″tablet PC with 1.2GHZ processor, Android 4.0.3 and 3G optional dongle for Rs 6,499.

Guru said the company has lined up several more high-end smart phones and tablet PCs in affordable price range to be launched over the next quarter and is looking at expanding its channel network to most of the Northern states. “We hope the ensuing Indo-Pak T20 cricket series will help the Celkon brand to get further consolidated across pan India.”

The company, which gets its mobiles assembled in Taiwan and China, planned to set up own assembling facility in Andhra Pradesh at around Rs 250 crore but has deferred the plan awaiting ecosystem to emerge, said Guru.

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