After a brief hiatus, second-tier Chinese handset maker Gionee is geared up for a big splash in India with new smartphone launches amid a revamped strategy to be among the top five players in the country, a senior company executive has said. The smartphone maker confirmed its restructuring plans last month, saying it will adopt a new business model under which distributors across the country would do their own marketing to enhance sales.
“India is becoming the second-largest mobile phone market globally and, for Gionee, it is as important as China or the European market. It is our commitment to invest further in this market to bring major change,” David Chang, Global Sales Director, Gionee India, told IANS in an interview.
The Chinese handset maker is in talks with the government to set up its own manufacturing unit in Faridabad, Haryana.
“Setting up a manufacturing plant will help us in making all our phones by ourselves,” Chang added.
“We are aiming to get into the top five smartphone brands in the second half of 2018. In the first half of 2019, we will target to be among the top three players in the Indian smartphone market,” said the Gionee executive.
Buoyed by the response of its first bezel-less display smartphone — the “M7 Power” which was launched in November 2017 — the smartphone maker is set to introduce a series of full-view display devices. The company said it will launch its first smartphone for 2018 as early as next month.
This will be followed by several other bezel-less smartphone launches within the price bracket of Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 — essentially either selfie-focused or battery-centric devices. In an attempt to take on its rivals, the handset maker is also exploring the in-display fingerprint scanning technology.
“We are working on this new technology. We are working on a smartphone with an under-the-display fingerprint scanner which would be launched globally,” Chang noted.
The company will also introduce wireless chargers by the end of this year.
Acknowledging that its online distribution channel is not up to the mark, Chang said: “We started investing more in online channels beginning October 2017 and we believe online and offline channels are equally important. Now, we want to be more involved and would invest more in our online partners.”
“We have our exclusive stores, but right now we will focus more on building relationships with retailers directly,” Chang noted.
The handset maker is also mulling to restructure its strategy for online channels.
“Gionee would be partnering with Amazon India, Flipkart and Paytm for introducing our new devices on their platforms. We will choose our best-selling models to be showcased online. We’ll also make sure there is no difference in price of the product that is available both online and offline,” Chang said.
Gionee, which has more than 600 service centres in India, said it will also work towards further strengthening its after-sales services in the country.
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