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We are expecting 2.5 times growth in sales in the year 2017-18: Arvind Vohra, Gionee India

In an exclusive conversation with Arvind Vohra, MD & CEO, Gionee India highlights the growth strategy of the brand.

Tags: Gionee, Smartphone, IPL teams, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers

BY Shipra Srivastava  |  May 19, 2017  |  comments ( 0 )  | 

Arvind Vohra

What is your take on current smart phone market in India? Kindly state few numbers to qualify the same?

Smartphone industry in India is growing at a steady pace, witnessing a growth by 17%. India has emerged as one of the key markets for Gionee, globally and we endeavor to further amplify our investments in the country. We are planning to set up a manufacturing unitwith initial investment worth 500Cr in India with intent to build up a manufacturing ecosystem in the country. 

According to a recent report by IDC, Chinese players capture over 50% Indian smartphone market share and Gionee has surely managed to captivate the market with its comprehensive range of products and services. The recently launched Gionee A1 clocked 74,682 pre-orders worth INR 150 Cr in first 10 days.Gionee has been a trendsetter in industry and we strive to deliver products and services which reflect the same.  

 Kindly highlight your current retail distribution network? How you are planning to    enhance the same?

Gionee India has undertaken a robust expansion to fortify its retail footprint in the country. We have grown our distribution network by 30% and have doubled the national distributors in the country. Gionee India witnessed rapid expansion in Tier II and Tier III markets in last couple of years. With around 42,000 stores in around 2200 cities and 600 exclusive service centers across the region, Gionee eyes to grow manifolds in the years to come. 

As the Smartphone market amplifies, Gionee India envisions consolidating its position in the offline segment and building associations with customers across regions. We are even more bullish on strengthening our outreach to every last customer in the country after having secured a patron base of 1.25 crore in India, which indicates the growing faith of customers in our brand. 

Our customers from rural India have been extremely positive and receptive towards our initiatives. We are also leaving no stone unturned in gratifying them, be it through our neighbourhood store outreach or on boarding their favourite celebrities to the Gionee bandwagon. Talking of which, we recently signed up three new brand ambassadors – Shruti Hasan, Diljit Dosanjh and Dulquer Salmaan in addition to our existing relationships with Alia Bhatt and Virat Kohli to further our regional and emotional connect with consumers across the country. Tapping the biggest cricketing festival in India, we are the first brand ever to sponsor front jerseys of two IPL teams – Kolkata Knight Riders and Royal Challengers Bangalore, in the same edition. 

Moreover, we now have 100 exclusive brand outlets eyeing to set up a total of 250 outlets to further strengthen our retail base.

Presently, how many categories are you retailing in? Any plans to increase the category range? Kindly also highlight your starting and exiting price range?

Gionee offers plethora of products and services through its retail network. We have established varied categories in the retail segment to suit different sets of needs and requirements. From brand stores to exclusive service stations to premium service center Gionee forayed into retail segment with an endeavor to build associations with clients and potential clientele. The large assembly of products caters to varied segments of customers within a price range of INR 8K-25K. 

 How are you leveraging from the online channel? 

While more and more phone brands in India are looking at special sales and online-only products, we at Gionee India do not believe in flash sales and have steadfastly followed a different approach. Our focus is still largely on offline retail in India and do not allow online sales unless e-commerce players agree to sell at the price set by the brand. Online for us is a medium to reach out to customers who prefer convenience of home delivery, and not those who look for discounts.

Are you planning to collaborate with any service provider to increase your distribution strength?

Gionee’s major share of sales is driven by the offline channels supported by our partners across the country. We have augmented our distribution network by 30% and doubled the national distributors in the country. To strengthen our presence we have collaborated with over 40,000 partners to reach even the remotest corners of the country focusing on penetrating into Tier II and Tier III cities. 

Associating with the retail partners has contributed to our pan-India outreach and will definitely boost our sales in thecountry. Our key focus remains to fortify a strong retail base in the country and work closely with our exclusive distributors in India to develop new sales channels. 

Who do you see as your potential competition in the same space?

The market space in India has witnessed growing popularity of Chinese brands with much higher level of acceptance. Chinese smartphone manufacturers have conquered the Indian smartphone market today. Gionee India, however, was the first Chinese handset maker to enter the Indian shores and within a period of five years, we have secured a patron base of 1.25 crore in India. 

While there is cut-throat competition today in the market and we are geared up to continue leading with our innovation and focus on customers’ demands which is, bigger batteries and better selfies. We look at the competitive landscape from a very positive angle as it provides plethora of growth opportunities for the economy as well as the brand. 

What is your strategy to clear off the old stock, how you are synchronizing your inventory with your dealers?

We have a team whose primary task is to monitor the movement of the stocks and to coordinate the inventory with our partners. In case of any support required to help liquidate some stocks, we use schemes, price drops, freebies etc. to help us achieve the goals. 

Are you scouting franchise model for further brand expansion? If yes, how much investment will be involved?  

Apart from exclusive brand stores, we have more than 40,000 plus partners enabling strong retail base across the country. Gionee endeavors to create strong partner associations in order to develop new sales channels. As a leading smartphone maker Gionee has taken great strides in its endeavor to provide more opportunities to its partners. To strengthen our association we organize exclusive product trainings program to understand the technology in order to give more business opportunities. With partners spreading out in all regions of India, we are working towards driving growth, market share and profitability for the brand.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?  

With a dynamic product portfolio and innovative marketing strategies, Gionee India envisions to escalate the market share and strategize growth plans to take the brand to new heights. Securing revenue worth $1.4 billion (INR 9,500 crore) over the years, we are expecting 2.5 times growth in sales in the year 2017-18. Owning nearly 5% share of the Indian smartphone market, we are now manufacturing all devices for Indian market in India, March 2017 onwards. We had earlier been a supplier to some of the Indian home grown brands, but decided to make a foray in the country around four years back as smartphone sales started growing aggressively. At present, we are setting up a manufacturing plant having an annual capacity of 30 million units from new factory in Haryana, which in turn will charge up our expansion plans for India and some of the foreign markets in Africa and the SAARC region. 

Moreover, in the emerging competitive market space we lay emphasizes on delivering products and services that creates Customer-Satisfaction. The needs and demands of the customers must be met for them to develop trust in the brand and spread a positive word of mouth. In the current scenario, where smartphone makers are struggling to establish a reliable after sales service with customers, we at Gionee guarantee a turnaround time of 72 hours to its customers. Addressing customers even after sales and maintaining a long term relationship with them is fundamental to Gionee’s fabric, which is evident considering our investment in 555 exclusive service stations with plans to expand to 600 to focus on its after sales relationships with the customers.

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