A Case Study On XOLO – Liverpool Partnership – DMS, IIT Delhi

The first year MBA Students of DMS, IIT Delhi were in for a delectation when Mr. Sunil Raina, Business Head- XOLO, ushered an enriching interaction with the batch as a part of the Business Leader Lecture Series. The theme for the talk was ‘XOLO’s partnership with Liverpool Football Club’.

Mr. Raina kick started the session on a humorous note about reliving moments of his younger days by being amidst a bunch of fresh and bright minds. He carried on further to impress upon the audience that the young, without any experience can go farther enough to places and achieve things that the seasoned practitioners would not be willing to.


Mr. Raina then moved on to talk about how they came up with defining XOLO’s vision statement. “When companies were working hard to make the computers reach the last man, the world jumped to smartphones.” He focused on this statement to emphasize upon the imperativeness of the vision statement of any company and the importance of the ability to predict future. Do not define yourself by what you are doing, but focus on how it serves the customer for times immemorial. And with this regard in mind, XOLO demarcated itself a brand as “Made in India can be premium and high technology”.

In 2012, the telecom market was clearly split between two brands namely the Indian and the MNC brands. The Indian brands were all about price (low on cost and low on technology), whereas the MNC brands spoke of pride (high technology and high cost). Mr. Raina elaborated that they leveraged upon this opportunity to hit the sweet spot which was in the mid-space, by coming up with high end technological devices at competitive prices. He went on to add that XOLO targeted itself towards the young urban males within the age group of 18-24, specifically the tech enthusiasts and confident mobile users who would be more appreciative of the technological features that XOLO wanted to introduce.

Mr. Raina talked about the various smartphone launches that XOLO commenced with. In 2012, XOLO X900 was manufactured which was the world’s 1st Intel processor powered Android phone. By collaborating with AMD, the first Windows APU powered tablet was introduced. In 2015, XOLO launched its first dual sim phone in the market called the XOLO Black. He then also presented the customer dispersion statistics which showed that the metro cities along with Ahmedabad accounted for about 49% of the total demand for XOLO phones.

In order to explain their partnership with Liverpool Football Club, Mr.Raina elucidated about how Indian brands usually hired cricketers or Bollywood stars as their brand ambassadors. However, XOLO wanted to beat the obvious and take a different route by partnering with LFC. Mr. Raina justified the alliance by pointing out how football is the next big choice of the new age Indians and the commitment between the two highlights XOLO’s promise of delivering ‘the next level’ even in terms of marketing campaigns.

XOLO announced its three-year association with the English football club, Liverpool, which included launch of Liverpool themed phones and merchandises. Also, in an attempt to build a mass awareness and extend its reach, XOLO was betting on “Mission Million”, a three-month program that promised a Liverpool branded football for free to every XOLO buyer.

Mr. Raina also presented before the audience the launch video of Mission Million which depicted celebrating the spirit of Football in India. In an attempt to bring about a revolution and a change in the mindset of people, the video inspired people to play football. The partnership created a lot of chatter and buzz on media and the twitter engagement trended for quite a long time. Our guest also highlighted on the Google trends which clearly reflected that the dormant growth curve shot up multifold in June 2014. During that quarter, the growth in unit sales and revenue happened by 35% and 30% respectively.

Mr. Raina then concluded the lecture by explaining that when you go about creating a marketing campaign, there are quite a few conventional templates available. However, with the changing world, the marketing campaign has to revolutionize as well. How well you bring about the vision of your company and the innovation in your products is the crux of the matter. The floor was then opened for questions and our guest, with his profound expertise and competence, answered all the queries of the students.

DMS, IIT Delhi expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Sunil Raina for sparing his valuable time and delivering such an informative lecture to our students. We look forward to having him on campus many more times.

Media Cell DMS, IIT Delhi

The Department of Management Studies is a result of the evolutionary process of growth of an idea floated in 1963. What was then a seed, gradually came to life and in 1974, IIT Delhi set up an internal committee to scrutinize the functioning of the management area in the institute. In 1975, an expert committee was setup to formally examine the possibility of launching this area in a more sustained fashion. The result was an M.Tech programme in "Management Systems" in the School for System Studies, (subsequently renamed School for Systems and Management Studies). The year 1978 saw the setting up of the Management Core Group and the core inputs to a full time Management Education at IIT(D) were reconfirmed by an Advisory Committee constituted by the representatives of the Academia and the industry. Since then, there has been no looking back. The School for Systems and Management Studies became the Centre for Systems and Management Studies. This was subsequently renamed as the Centre for Management Studies. In 1993 the Department was brought into existence by amendment to IIT (D) statutes. Clearly, the Department responds to a felt need of the Indian Industry and derives satisfaction from its heavy field orientation in all its curriculum activity. In response to the feedback from the students, alumni and industry, the Department of Management Studies launched MBA programmes in 1997. The department currently runs a two year full time MBA programme (General and with focus on Telecommunication Systems Management) and a three year part time MBA programme (with focus on Technology Management). MBA program in IIT Delhi is designed keeping in mind the changes in business environment and the need of the industry. Our academic program is comparable to the best that are available in the world class business schools for creating managers to face the new challenges of the ever changing market environment. The entire course aims at creating holistic managers trained by a very eminent faculty, which is also supported by the experienced professionals as external faculty from India and abroad. The students are admitted through a rigorous screening process that includes CAT score, group discussion and interview. IITD MBAs are known to do well.