The smartphones are the need of every individual today and the reason behind the rising demand of smartphones is its utility power. Smartphones are not just a device but it is more than that, our most of the work can be executed through smartphones and this is why the market size of smartphone is rapidly increasing. Gionee, which is one of the smartphone player right now, catering the Indian market with innovative smartphones plans to capture a large market share with its huge retail presence. DTgot a chance to interact with Mr. David Chang, Director- Global Sales, Gionee for getting insights into their marketing & investment plans in India.
DT: How do you see the performance of Gionee in Indian market so far?
Mr. David: The market response for Gionee so far has been up to what we expected it to be. We have a brand loyalty of 33 per cent and we intend to ride on that to further the loyalty. In the process we also intend to join the top 5 smartphone bandwagon. Additionally, given the potential India has to offer to smartphone players, it is one of the most important market to us. We have established a strong customer base here with around 1.45 crores loyal customers and we are very optimistic about expanding our customer base in the country now.
DT: What are the latest trends in the market these days? What are the major expectations of today’s consumers?
Mr. David: Amongst the latest trends, the popularity of multi-sim smartphone is growing globally and India is at par with the ingoing trend. As a matter of fact, the multi-sim trend is more prevalent in developing countries like India and China. The availability of various lowest tariff rates for voice and data plans and gain access to better cellular coverage without roaming charges, which is not the case in other European and American countries.
In addition to the above mentioned trends, there are certain market trends which are as per consumer demand. These demands include better camera quality for selfies and normal photos; latest technology, updated software and incredible battery life. Talking about specific trends in India market features like language tool and better customer service are of great significance in the Indian smartphone market.
DT: How has the Indian smartphone market changed after penetration of major Chinese smartphone brands?
Mr. David: India beat the US for the second spot in the global smartphone market, following China; of which a major chunk of smartphones are made by Chinese phone manufactures like us. We believe in localization and through our in-depth R&D, we have managed to bring global technology and trending smartphone features to India at affordable prices. And thus one of the most important changes that has happened would be affordability while maintaining high standards of quality.
DT: Which are your devices doing extremely well in Indian market?
Mr. David: We recently launched two of our new products F205 and S11 Lite after a brief hiatus and we have received terrific response. Apart from that we had also launched M7 Power and it has been highly acclaimed by critics for its powerful battery. Apart from that the device was also very well accepted for its reverse charge, 18:9 aspect display, loud audio output and good camera performance.
DT: What are your upcoming/ future investment plans in India?
Mr. David: India currently being the third largest smartphone market globally, it is definitely an important market for Gionee. Especially with new initiatives launched by the Government that enables ease of doing business, all domestic manufacturers and global giants have jumped into the bandwagon of growth to claim a share of the pie. As per an IDC report viz. Quarterly Mobile Phone tracker, India registered an annual growth of 4 per cent in the year 2017, with a total shipment of 124 million units.
At Gionee India, we have always ignited the youthful mind and aimed to empower them with our offerings. Moving beyond the specs war with other smartphone manufacturers, we take pride in having understood the need of the Indian customer today, which essentially revolves around better selfie and battery functions in a device.
Additionally, people want latest technology in the affordable price range and the demand for features like bezel less display and dual cameras is increasing. In view of these evolving consumer demands, this year at Gionee we intend to offer the latest technology at affordable pricing to every smartphone user in India.
Considering the evolving marketing trends, as a brand we have now decided to adopt an offline and online strategy. Catering to our internet savvy customers, we have decided to showcase our bestselling models online, with no difference in pricing. Primarily functioning as an offline brand, this was a welcoming move, following our recent restructuring process. We have always been strong in retail, and we boast of a retail presence in more than 42,000 retail outlets across 2200 cities PAN India that we are looking to grow to further.
DT: How do you assure to have excellent service support for your customers? What kind of efforts you apply to win the trust of first time buyers?
Mr. David: In the current scenario, where smartphone makers are struggling to establish a reliable after sales service with customers, Gionee on the other hand promises a turnaround time of 72 hours. We strongly believe that the needs and demands of the customers must be met to develop trust in the brand and spread a positive word of mouth.
Addressing customer’s issues even after sales and maintaining a long-term relationship with them is fundamental to Gionee’s DNA, which is evident considering we have 531 active Service Centre at the moment ( 477 Excusive Service Centre + 54 Multi Brand Service Centre ). To take better care of our customers, we are also going to invest in our customer service centers and make them better equipped. We plan to expand to 650 primarily focusing on after sale networks with the customers.