5G too far as Vivo aims to deliver better smartphones to Indians


By Nishant Arora New Delhi, July 11 : As smartphone brands go gung-ho about launching 5G-ready devices while the technology is years away from mass adoption in India, Vivo is not into the mad rush to launch 5G devices, but rather focuses on delivering better, customised smartphones for the users in the country, a top executive said on Sunday. According to Nipun Marya, Director-Brand strategy, Vivo India, Indian users, especially millennials and Gen Z, are deeply invested in their smartphones and understand the technology that goes behind the scene. "We are closely listening to these young customers. Although the consumers are excited about 5G in India despite the technology not yet in sight, we have to respect their choices. Our main focus is to deliver tailor-made, best-in-class smartphones with top-of-the-line hardware and software," Marya told IANS. A strong player in the offline segment, Vivo was at the third position in the Indian smartphone market in Q1 2021. It continued to maintain its lead in the offline channel with a 29 per cent share, ahead of Samsung, according to the latest IDC data. The company regained its title sponsorship for the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket extravaganza, ensuring high decibel promotional activities around newly-launched models in March and April 2021. According to Marya, Indians are upgrading and replacing their devices faster than ever, and the average selling price (ASP) of smartphones has increased. "When Indians want to change phones, they do a lot of research nowadays. In this huge replacement market, the consumers have become very demanding. At Vivo, our energies are synced towards meeting those demands and bringing products that match their expectations," Marya emphasised. According to him, Vivo has been a leader in the Rs 20,000 and above segment and is now determined to lead the highly-competitive Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 price bracket. "The Rs 10,000-Rs 20,000 range is a very large-sized segment in India and people who were earlier buying devices in the Rs 6,000-Rs 10,000 price band have now upgraded to this segment, which is our next big growth area," Marya noted. He also sounded hopeful that retail buying will bounce back after the second Covid wave. "We are geared up to expand our offline footprint in India. I certainly believe that retail stores will further bounce back as people still wish to have a feel of devices before making purchase decisions," said Marya. During the second Covid wave, Vivo successfully delivered one lakh smartphones between May 10 and June 10 at the doorsteps of its customers via its Vivo Smart Retail Initiative (VSR). The first of its kind click-to-mortar model allowed the customers to experience and buy Vivo products and services from the safety and convenience of their homes. Vivo had entered India in late 2014. Manufacturing in Greater Noida, the company has a robust distribution network across the country, both online and offline, backed by more than 600 service centres spread across India. "The year 2020 was a time of extreme stress and uncertainty for business. So, we decided to create this unique lead generation platform to provide business continuity to our partners during the unprecedented crisis," Marya said. (Nishant Arora can be reached at nishant.a@ians.in) /IANS


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