Ringing Bells, the Noida based startup, who claimed to sell smartphones at absurdly low prices, is hogging the headlines yet again. This time the news involves PM Narendra Modi. The company has now approached PM Modi to seek a whopping Rs 50,000 crores in order to help it continue with producing the world's cheapest smartphones for the country. As it gears up to deliver its first batch of 5000 devices come July 8, Mohit Goel, CEO, Ringing Bells said the company faced a loss of Rs 930 on each handset. I recovered Rs 700-800 from app developers and revenue generated through advertisements on Freedom 251 website. After selling the device for Rs. 251 (cash on delivery), the total loss per handset is expected to be in the range of Rs. 180-270." In a letter written to the Prime Minister's Office dated June 28 asking for a meeting with Narendra Modi, Ringing Bells said: "We have brought 'Freedom 251' which we offer on 'Cash on Delivery' terms but we have a gap between the BOM (Bill of Materials) and the Selling Price. We, therefore, humbly request for governments support to actualise the objective to cascade the availability and usage of smartphones all through the far reaches of our great nation." Goel's logic is simple. He is willing to get a bite out of Digital India funds, because his endeavour is an initiative towards government's digital India program. Meanwhile, Ringing Bells is hosting an event on Thursday to launch an LED TV which will be priced below Rs 10,000, way lower than market standards. It is notable the company hasn't yet delivered a single Freedom 251 smartphone.
Goel claimed that around 30,000 customers had booked the phone despite the glitch and 7 crore people registered for it.
He had announced to deliver the phones starting June 30, but the deadline came and went by with no delivery reported. Then, the deadline was extended to July 02 only to be extended even further to July 07.
Goel now claims to deliver the Freedom 251 smartphones starting Friday.