Taking a cue from its huge success in India, Gionee is looking forward to further expanding its innovation with its commitment for local manufacturing in India. Arvind.R.Vohra, Country CEO & MD – Gionee India speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the philosophy behind the Gionee brand and where it is moving ahead in India.
Gionee has achieved great success in the recent past, where does the company go from here?
Gionee has sold over 4 million devices in India till date and is already a household name. Given the enormous competition and noise in the Indian mobile phone market, Gionee has always believed that nothing succeeds like innovation, in all aspects of its operations.
Gionee approached the Indian market to change the perception of the Gobal China brands and within 2 years of operation made way for other brands to follow suit. Today India market faces a paradigm shift in the way consumers approach the brand and a lot of credit goes to Gionee for leading the way. Gionee in 2015 and beyond will be looking to expand its retail and distribution to be available to every consumer across the smallest of cities.
Gionee will be opening 250 exclusive brand stores by 2015 and also will be creating 750 service centers. The brand will continue to bring in flagship devices and innovative products living up to the expectation of the Indian consumer. 2015 will also witness another landmark in the Gionee journey as it begin its India manufacturing taking its commitment to India to a different level.
What has been the key to Gionee’s success in India?
Gionee started its operations in India in February 2013 and since then has grown from strength to strength. There are numerous smartphone players in the market and undoubtedly to succeed your product has to be the hero. We have always devised our marketing strategies in tune with the market needs which has helped us make the necessary connect with the audience. Giving design, innovation and R&D utmost importance our products offer a complete package of good looks, enhanced features, affordable pricing along with power packed performance which has gained us the momentum in a short span of time.
What kind of growth is the company looking forward to and where will this growth come from?
Given the enormous competition and noise in the Indian mobile phone market, Gionee has always believed that nothing succeeds like innovation, in all aspects of its operations. Gionee has been focusing on strengthening the customer services which is core to the business strategy. Gionee has been rapidly expanding its footprint in India by opening brand stores and aims to open 250 brand stores this year. Gionee also has 695 service centers up and running and aim to have 750 by end 2015.
Gionee will also be launching 2 – 3 flagship devices this year for the Indian audience which will be path breaking in its space. Also, keeping up with the rapidly changing Indian infrastructure and global technologies, Gionee has embraced the LTE/4G revolution as well. The brand already offers LTE across its devices above a nominal price point.
As a brand our holistic approach to connect with the audience with strategies around distribution, marketing, communication and quality customer service has been the reason for our success.
Suddenly there is a lot of smartphone activity happening in the smaller locations of India. How does the company look at the upcountry markets of India today? What is the percentage of business coming from upcountry markets today?
The upcountry market makes up a major chunk of the smartphone market. The internet penetration is on the rise and the young crowd like being connected on the go which makes it a potential market for any player. The upcountry market of India is important for Gionee and our marketing plan is worked out basis the need of the market. We are working on a robust service infrastructure so our consumers have a better brand experience. Adding to that we have also connected with the consumers by doing BTL activities in these markets where we not only communicated with them but we also engaged them in the activities. We also have some products which works in these markets like our M-series, P-Series and V-Series phones which come with great features.
Offering quality at par with best of global brands at a better value is what Gionee has been known to deliver along with offering a 360 degree consumer experience between hardware and software integration.
We will continue to establish communication with the market building the trust factor with the brand.
How difficult it is to create and maintain a brand identity in India. What are your key learnings from India?
A brand needs to continuously evolve and innovate to survive and grow in any market. The Indian market is no different. The market is young, dynamic and ready to experiment with new products. To maintain a brand identity your offerings should make a connect with the audience which is of prime importance. We have also been engaging ourselves in various marketing initiatives, associating ourselves with global platforms and running TV commercials to reach out to our audience. Our brand building initiatives have also got good response from the users and allowed us to connect with our audience.
Building trust and believe that the product delivered to a consumer is at par with the best in the industry has to be the focus which in the long run helps to maintain the brand status in the consumers mind. A brand will have to have that one distinct and different factor in their arsenal to attract consumers and to sustain brand recall.