Gionee Says It Wants To Build Biggest Offline Retail Network In India
Gionee, the Chinese phone biggie that entered India much before Xiaomi and others, doesn’t create sales records every week. But quietly, but surely, it is building a sizable business in India, particularly using a offline online retail mode.
The company says that it has over 20,000 retailers in India and wants to grow this number to over 1 lakh to create India’s biggest offline retail network for phones.
“Unlike other phone companies, we are in it for long term. We want our growth to be powered by the offline network, and that is where we are focused. Currently, we have over 20,000 retail points in India. By the end of the year we want this number to reach 50,000 and then we want to grow it to 1 lakh,” says William Lu, Gionee’s president.
Unlike senior executives of other companies based outside India, William doesn’t talk in millions or hundreds of thousands. He talks in lakhs and crores. “I am very familiar with India because we have done business here for more than a decade.
It is a market dear to my heart and we want to do big things here,” he says. Although Gionee entered India only several years ago, it was one of the biggest ODM (other device manufacturer) for major Indian phone companies like Micromax and Intex.
“I have done business with almost all Indian phone makers,” says William.
Recently at the Mobile World Congress, Gionee rebranded itself and unveiled the new identity for the company. The focus in future, said Gionee, was going to be on the user experience and not just on the hardware and the specifications. The company said that its tagline would be “Make Smiles” and it would make sure that its phones delight consumers, just the way Apple’s phone do.
To make sure that the grand marketing plans are matched with equally stellar back end operations, Gionee would invest heavily in India in the coming months.
“We already have around 30 brand shops in India and plan to increase the number to 250 by the end of this year. Along with the exclusive service centres, we hope to own at least 600 touchpoints for consumers specifically dedicated to Gionee products in India by the end of this year,” said Gionee India chief Arvind Vohra.
Vohra said that with a focus on both offline and online, Gionee hopes to have a market share of around 8 per cent in terms of total value by the end of 2016.