Keeping in mind the growing potential of India’s smart wearable market, Lenovo is bringing a lot of innovative products in India. The company has recently announced its new range of fitness trackers, HX03F Spectra and HX03 Cardio in the Indian market.
Peng Chun (Sebastian), Head of Lenovo Mobile Business Group Accessory interacts with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about the company’s expectations from India and its business strategy.
Globally what is the market outlook for wearable devices and how is Lenovo playing in that market?
Smart wearables is still a fast growth category, globally. There are certain changes happening like for instance – the smart band growth is getting slower and smartwatch segment is getting rapidly bigger.
For Lenovo as a company, we offer Moto 360 previously and we are offering Lenovo band as well. So we try to have a portfolio for smart wearables and we are selectively entering the market such as India or North America or South America or East Europe.
What are the key priorities for Lenovo in India and how does the company look at the growing wearable opportunity here?
As far as smart wearable market is concerned, India is a huge opportunity and we see that the increase is about 30 per cent, every year which is quite high when you look at the global trend.
India is an important market, because of the population, because of the growth rate here. There is a huge opportunity to improve infrastructure. Today, we see that there is a huge opportunity as the country is still developing so the users will have more demand for such products. That’s why we offer ecosystem and also from global perspective – the whole area of Internet of Things and Smart Homes is coming up – so we try to target that area as well.
Currently the penetration level for wearable devices is not that great, it is low – and at the same time there is good growth here – that’s where the big opportunity lies in India.
How do you integrate these two wearable brands – Motorola and Lenovo?
At the moment we are operating under two separate brands. However, we do have some synergy in these two brands.
Do Indians have a growing interest in fitness devices?
Yes, definitely there is a growing interest towards fitness devices. We see that 3 million devices were sold in the wearable segment in the year 2017 – this included fitness bands to smartwatches. And the growth rate here 30 per cent – so all this tells us that here in India consciousness towards fitness is definitely growing. So that’s the trend today.
How important is the India market for the company when it comes to smart wearables?
Indian market is as important to us as the Chinese market, that’s why we started our operations last year, had very good performance and we try to have better growth this year. Our target is to capture about 20 per cent market share for smart wearables in India by this year.
What are some of the initiatives that Lenovo is putting in place to gain customer traction in India?
We are taking a lot of initiatives to expand our product portfolio, expand our reach, expand our channel base and also ensure availability of good service for our customers. It is not only about the infrastructure footprint, product line up or the availability part – but also the price points where our products would be available. That will enable us to achieve this target of 20 per cent marketshare.
What are your plans on the channel side?
Last year, we have been more focused towards the online segment. This year, we are going to further strengthen our relationship and our channel base in the online segment. We have exclusive launch with Flipkart. We would be offering more products to Amazon. We would also be talking to other online partners. So we would certainly be strengthening our online footprint.
And in addition to this, we would be expanding in the offline space as well. Since we have a big product portfolio – which is not only thse smart bands, the hybrid watches, scales, there would also be car accessories and mobile phone accessories. So as a complete portfolio, we will also go into the offline channel space. Here our first focus would be the metro cities, then approaching to tier two and tier three cities.
Is this the first foray of Lenovo into smart wearables here? Or you have some existing offerings?
We launched these smart wearables, last year with Flipkart. We were very well accepted by the Indian consumers and as a result, we could sell huge number of devices. When we launched our first device, it was sold out in two minutes. For 90 days we were the top seller in the Flipkart wearables segment – so this is a big achievement for us.
There are other players in the wearable segment. What sets Lenovo apart from the rest?
For the wearable segment, today, we are starting from the smart bands and are working to offer different category of smartwatches and based on industry trend we offer products linked to smart home or IoT category products. So we are looking towards offering the entire portfolio to our customers.
What are some of the innovations that Lenovo is bringing in the market?
We have already sold huge number of devices. Now, we are getting certain data inputs from the consumer. We are evaluating those data points. When it comes to innovations – we would certainly be early launchers of technology in the market. For instance, we brought in the heart rate monitor at an aggressive price point, last year. So, our R&D team is working on the thought that we should deliver stable and accurate solutions with the help of our algorithms.