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Monday, September 28, 2020

Sales are now back to pre-lockdown levels: Realme CEO

Madhav Sheth, Vice President, Realme, and CEO, Realme India and Europe, told indianexpress.com that safety is the topmost priority for Realme, and therefore the company has opted for a "slow, steady and cautious approach in bringing production back to normal".

Written by Sneha Saha | Kolkata | Updated: September 9, 2020 10:54:19 pm
Relame 7 launched in India recently (Express photo: Sneha Saha)

For Realme, sales are reviving steadily as lockdown restrictions are relaxed. Madhav Sheth, Vice President, Realme, and CEO, Realme India and Europe, told indianexpress.com that sales have in fact gone back to the pre-lockdown levels.

“We estimate that there is market demand for 10-15 million handsets from Realme. We are trying to meet the demands of the market,” Sheth said.

Since the lockdown has been lifted, Realme has managed to restore 80 per cent of its production capabilities and is trying to meet the demands of the customers in the Indian market.

In the process of meeting the demand, Sheth said safety is the topmost priority for Realme, and therefore the company has opted for a “slow, steady and cautious approach in bringing production back to normal, putting “safety first” on our list of priorities”.

“We are ensuring that all government SOPs are being followed at the production unit. All Realme workers are maintaining social distance at workstations and in common areas,” Sheth added.

Over the past few months, Realme launched several smartphones across various price points. In fact, in just a month’s time, three C series smartphones were announced. While a common idea is that launching too many devices confuses consumers, it worked in Realme’s favour. Sheth said the notion that launching more products confuses consumers is a “common misunderstanding”.

The Realme C series was introduced a few years ago to cover the price range between Rs 5,000 and Rs 8,000. Initially, the company had a strategy of bringing two C series devices a year, but 2020 turned out to be different. Sheth said this was to “cover a wider price segment”.

Realme, Realme CEO, Realme CEO Madhav Sheth, Realme numbers, Realme vs Xiaomi, Xiaomi sales Madhav Sheth, Vice President, Realme and CEO, Realme India and Europe

“This year, we have redefined our product portfolio to cover a full and holistic price range as a mainstream brand,” Sheth explained.

Sheth does accept that consumers may get confused about Realme C11, C12 and C15 and where they stand as they were launched so close to each other, but said that it is a part of the brand’s new strategy. “The Realme C2 priced at Rs 6,499 was launched in April 2019 and it was in June that we launched its successor Realme C11 at Rs 7,499 – huge time gap there. Realme C12 and C15 were launched in July, starting at the price point of 8,999 as a successor to Realme C3 priced at Rs 8,999, which was launched 6 months back.”

He further added that “one must not go by the product name, as the C series goes from single digit to double digit because we want the C series to completely cover the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment (earlier it used to cover only 6k – 8k).”

As the festive season approaches, Realme plans to bring multiple AIoT and smartphone products as well as lifestyle devices. Sheth said, “Realme 7 series is the first smartphone we presented for this Diwali. For Realme 7, at only Rs 14,999, we are offering big 6GB RAM to cater to the demand of big RAM of our consumers, and this can be considered a Diwali offer. We will reveal more details closer to the festivities.” Sheth highlighted that Realme is aiming for 20-25 per cent of overall market share during the festive season.

In the days to come, the brand will introduce more products in the smart speaker category alongside smartwatches, high-end TVs and various accessories ranging from in-car chargers, backpacks to luggage cases, and smart home gadgets. “Like smartphones, our AIOT offerings will be a full-range portfolio from budget to premium price segments,” Sheth added.

In a few months from now, Realme plans to launch a 55-inch Smart TV in the premium range as the brand begins full per cent TV production at the Greater Noida facility. “This year, we aim to launch over 50 AIoT products covering the four smart Hubs, and will launch more than 100 AIoT products next year,” Sheth said.

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