Contrary to popular models in the Indian smartphone market, Gionee on Monday said the company was not that keen on online sales and actually considers Samsung, and not newer Chinese entrants, its competition here.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, India CEO and MD Arvind Vohra said: “Many other brands are running after online model of sales, but we are not. The online model is short-lived and to sell devices offline, you need to build your brand well.”
Taking the example of Xiaomi, he called it a brand “built on a lot of digital, consumer chatter”. “It (Xiaomi) is not a brand that is built on its own,” he said, however, accepting that there is consumer acceptance for Chinese brands in India when it comes to smartphones. “These brands are putting pressure on both MNC players and Indian brands as well,” Vohra said.
He said Gionee does not consider flagship smartphones like OnePlus 3 and Xiaomi Mi 5 competition simply because they can only be bought online. “Samsung is our direct competitor in India.”
Vohra said Gionee plans to set its own manufacturing plant in India. “We’re in the process of finalising land for our own factory in India. We expect the plant to be ready in about two years from now,” he added. Gionee currently assembles handsets with the help of Foxconn and Dixon in India. Gionee F103 was the first smartphone made by Foxconn in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. According to a PTI report, the company will set up its plant in northern India; and the 50-acre unit will be capable of producing 30 million units of smartphones annually.
Also, Vohra clarified that Gionee doesn’t intend to foray in to any other smartphone segment apart. “We are ready with wearables but we did not launch it in India because we do not see it work commercially. We’ll be focused on smartphones. We’ll be ready with our ecosystem in terms of technology and ability to manufacture,” he said, adding that launching devices will depend on commercial demand. “I’m very clear there’s no other accessory that can come close to smartphones in terms of demand,” Vohra said.
According to Vohra, Gionee is not looking to tie-up with brands to bring exclusive content to its smartphones. “There is a content ecosystem already building up. We want to make sure that our smartphones are good enough in terms of battery, display, optimisation and more to be able to play that content. I want to focus on building smartphones.”