Ringing Bells is a company which showed up out of nowhere in 2015. The first product that the company offered for pre-booking was the Freedom 251, a smartphone which shook the whole world as it cost only Rs 251 (Approximately $4). Tech enthusiasts around the world were amazed by the feats an Indian company had claimed to touch. However, as the months went by, people became skeptical about the existence of the phone. The company claimed to deliver 5,000 units of the smartphone (which more or less were the units handed off to the press from around the world). Soon after which, Mr Mohit Goel got arrested due to a case filed by the distributors, for which he spent six months in jail before getting bail.
On Sunday, the police were able to arrest two persons, against whom Ringing Bells Pvt Ltd had filed a case a year ago. The two accused persons were Vikas Sharma and Jeetu who allegedly had taken Rs 3.5 crores from Ringing Bells for delivering the smartphones.
Today, Mr Goel said that, if he gets support from the government, he can still deliver the handsets by March-April next year, which might seem a bit farfetched.
Goel told IANS over a phone call,
“I paid the duo nearly Rs. 3.5 crores and, in return, they cheated me. They siphoned off the money and did not deliver any phone. In February this year, some distributors filed a case against me and I was jailed for six months. Now with the fresh arrests, people will come to know why I failed to deliver on my promise.”
He seems pretty upset that the government didn’t come to his aid despite his commitment to the Make in India and Start-up India initiatives. He also mentioned to IANS, that big players like Jio and Airtel have adopted the base of his model and are providing cheap smartphones and feature phones. Due to them having deep pockets, the public doesn’t question them about how they manage to make the smartphones so cheap.
What do you think – can the Freedom 251 dream be fulfilled, or is it just another ruse by the company to fleece their customers?