Coolpad has provisioned a $300 million for 3 years in investment for the Indian market: Syed Tajuddin
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Coolpad has provisioned a $300 million for 3 years in investment for the Indian market: Syed Tajuddin

Coolpad entered India eight years ago and retailed the product through Reliance Webstore and Reliance Mobile stores with the focus on CDMA devices till 2010, followed by ODM/OED, but in 2015 Coolpad took the bold decision to re-enter into brand business with the launch of Coolpad Note 3.

Coolpad’s DNA is manufacturing, having a legacy of 23 years with over 6000 patents in technologies. “And we want to capitalise on that strength by creating a greater smartphone ecosystem in India,” says Syed Tajuddin, CEO, Coolpad India. He further talks about Coolpad’s India ambition, company-owned stores and smartphone trends of 2016 in his brief chat with Retailer media.

Talk us through Coolpad’s ambition in Indian market.
We stood firm in our commitment when we disrupted the market with our premium offerings at affordable costs, our mission is to empower people through technology. We brought features such as a finger print technology to the masses at fiercely competitive prices. Through Coolpad affordable and premium products are now being assembled in India, and we want to contribute our fair share to the government’s vision of both ‘Make in India’ and ‘Digital India’.  

How do you see the Indian smartphone industry for this year?
The Indian smartphone industry is going through an interesting phase, it is a market where customer is king in every sense of the word. The competition is getting cut throat by the day as more OEMs populate the market. This fight is not about the domestic giants or global brands anymore. The customers are getting smarter and more technically sound. Today's smartphone user is more aware and has the right tools to measure a particular device performance before making a purchase.

The buyer’s decision is getting influenced through several channels and only the right mix of specifications and price will win the game. Also, a lot of customer-reach-out programs have to be designed to spread awareness about the company’s products. So this will be an interesting year to see brands using innovative methods to reach out to end users.

Any specific trends you might have noticed since the time the company has launched its operations in India?
There have been several shifts in the government policies to facilitate ease of doing business in India. The government’s telecom policy has been transparent and encouraging for telecom operators now. There was a phase where operators were sceptical of government intentions in spectrum allocations and infrastructure to support 4G. We feel the licensing issues and dilemmas associated with them are now a thing of the past with government promoting 4G to enable overall development of the sector.

There are many Chinese phone-makers in the market today, how are Coolpad’s products different?
Like I said, Coolpad started its business purely in smartphone products. Today, Coolpad’s global influence can be felt in US and Europe markets along with Asian market such as India, Taiwan and Indonesia. Coolpad has been manufacturing smartphones for over 23 years with state-of-the-art R&D facilities across the globe. No other company can command such an expertise in the domain as much as Coolpad. We have over 6000 technology patents assimilated over a period of time that gives us an edge in what we do and how we do it. We lay separate emphasis on our online and offline product portfolio which is the key to success in today’s mix market. For online the emphasis is specifications and price, whereas with offline it is the design, build, specifications, and so on. Coolpad products are especially designed for their specific portfolios. 

How many retail touch points do you have in the currently, do you plan to operate through company-owned stores?
We have only one retail touch point at the moment, that is, www.amazon.in. We are looking into the possibilities of company-owned stores but it will take a while before I comment on it.

How much investment did you make to have the local manufacturing possible, what’s your product output capacity annually?
We have recently entered into a partnership with Videocon to assemble our products in India, we have done this in line with government’s ‘Make in India’ vision. We believe that partnering with Videocon will lead to employment opportunities for the local population and the knowledge transfer will effectively improve the expertise of semi-skilled personnel. This will funnel growth into the entire region which will steadily put overall development on an upward trajectory.

What’s your total investment in the mobile phones business in India so far?
Coolpad has provisioned a $300 million for 3 years in investment for the Indian market, this is broadly divided towards R&D, manufacturing, branding and marketing operations.

How do you plan to improve the customer experience in terms of pricing, features, innovation in phones that the company will make in India?
Design/Manufacturing/R&D is Coolpad’s DNA and holding patents such as dual sim and dual standby technology is testimony to that fact. When we launched the Coolpad Note 3 at Rs. 8999, it was the only smartphone to feature a 3GB RAM and fingerprint sensor at that price point at that time, and now with the Coolpad Note 3 Lite that still features a 3GB RAM and fingerprint sensor at 6999 we have changed the game. With products now slowly being assembled in India, our price and innovations will be something that other companies need to watch out for.

What are your plans for Indian market going forward?
Going forward we will continue to bring its premium and flagship products to the Indian market. Coolpad aims to capture 3-5 per cent share in the smartphone market space in India.

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