Has Realme changed its product roadmap for India seeing the second wave?
We are very much on track with our product roadmap and all the priorities for the Indian market are already defined. The second wave might impact our launch plans a bit but the product roadmap is on track.
We are constantly working on the plan to democratize 5G technology in India and are focused on creating a “TechLife” ecosystem with a diverse range of smartphones, smart TVs, audio, and wearables.
Has manufacturing been impacted?
The manufacturing has not been impacted at the moment. Based on the Government guidelines, we proactively maintained a safe and healthy environment for employees and workers. Realme’s decision to prioritize the health of its employees before resuming operations has been an effective one and our current production is running properly without any disruptions. We are continuously monitoring the situation and will make business decisions accordingly.
Has Realme fine tuned channel strategy? What’s the impact on sales so far?
We have been constantly monitoring situations state by state on a regular basis and we are re-arranging our stocks accordingly. We are targeting tier 3 and 4 cities to expand our presence and are strengthening micro-distribution there. We are following the local situations and are making sure people in need always get adequate service.
We have arranged for COVID insurance for channel and offline partners. We also introduced medical concierge facilities for partners such as tele consultation, health checkups, medicine delivery, emergency and ambulance services, hospitalization assistance, blood bank, doctor at home, elderly care etc.
We are also organizing regular interventions, training and meetings to keep them updated on industry standards and best practices. We have not terminated agreements with any partner, or offline promoter and have retained every single person.
Exclusive stores continue to be a focus area and we will open such store formats in 2021, along with a few smart stores.
Well, calibrated service to our customers are highly important in these times. We have introduced several initiatives such as extension of warranty till July end for all those whose warranty expired in May and June 2021. Additionally we have initiated the video call service for installation of TV if the customer wants.
Few markets have started opening up for limited hours in the day, and we will gain back our softened demand faster than any other brand in 2021.
How’s smart TV and IoT business doing in India? Share numbers.
We saw sales of 15k+ units of the smartwatch on its first sale. Realme’s smart TV market share doubled to 7.5% in 3Q20 as the fastest growing brand. In the smart band, smartwatch, and TWS categories, Realme was able to close at No.2 in all three categories in 2020. We want to become a one-stop hub for AIOT solutions by 2021.
What’s the update on manufacturing expansion? Is it roping in more partners for handsets, smart TVs and IoT?
We are continuously working towards strengthening our localization strategies, and are encouraging more of our suppliers and partners to open local factories in India and contribute more to our country’s economy. We continue to rely on local production, with 100% manufacturing of smartphones and smart TVs in the country, and will continue to strengthen our ‘Make in India’ strategy. We are 100% manufacturing TVs in India with the help of our OEM partners.
Realme is working on manufacturing expansion on other categories as well, will keep you posted on this.
Growth plans and market share with Realme Smart TV 4K ?
We are expecting our 4K smart TVs to reach 20% of Realme’s internal share. Realme aims to be India’s No.1 online smart TV brand.
How do you plan to acquire more 5G handset market share?
2021 is going to be the year for 5G enabled smartphones and Realme aims to lead the era of 5G devices. All Realme products in the Rs 20,000 and above segment will be 5G products and half of all Realme products will be 5G.
Currently, 90% of Realme’s R&D resources have been converted to develop 5G technology and products. Realme works closely with chipset makers to make sure to equip Realme devices with the latest 5G processors. Realme is also in active dialogues with the operators, to plan product compatibility in advance so that the trials could be done on the 5G networks as soon as they are available. With continuous momentum, awareness, and massification of 5G technology and products, I am confident that Realme will command a sizable share of the 5G handset market.
What’s your strategy to grow into the top 3 smartphone players in India?
We believe the product is the key. Realme will always be focusing on providing the best value products at all price segments. This year, Realme is focusing on 5G as the major driver of growth. To that end, we will offer 5G-enabled smartphones at democratized price points which will enable users to experience the latest processor with much better power control, camera support, and other features while also preparing consumers for the future of 5G.
Realme is also exploring more on AIOT business. This will further help build word of mouth of Realme products and reversely bring new users to Realme smartphones.
While keeping on strengthening our relationship with all online platforms, offline expansion is also significant to Realme. We will be launching 300-500 Realme smart stores nationwide and a few flagship stores, enabling more users to experience Realme smartphones and AIoT products.