As the festive season inches closer in India, Vivo is focused on building brand loyalty and offering consumers innovative new "made in India" products across all price segments, a top company official said here on Tuesday.
The Chinese smartphone maker is set to launch another flagship smartphone Vivo V11 Pro on September 6.
"When it comes to the V series, Vivo has done very well. And with V11 Pro, we will take innovation to the next level in Rs 20,000-Rs 30,000 segment," Nipun Marya, Director, Brand Strategy, Vivo India, told IANS.
"To be successful in the long term, we must have great products. That is the reason why you see so many innovations from Vivo, whether it is the elevating camera in Vivo Nex or the in-display fingerprint scanner in X21," he added.
According to Counterpoint Research, Vivo's India market share in terms of shipment went down to 12 per cent in the second quarter of 2018 -- from 13 per cent in the same quarter last year -- while that of Xiaomi's went up to 28 per cent from 16 per cent during the same period.
Marya, however, claimed that in terms of value, Vivo is the leader in the 20K to 30K segment and overall No. 2 in the Indian smartphone market for the past 18 months.
"We have more than 50 per cent market share in the 20K to 30K segment," Marya said, adding that what has worked in its favour is that old Vivo customers have been upgrading to new Vivo phones.
"The Indian smartphone market is increasingly becoming a 'replacement' market, meaning an increasing number of customers are now second time or third time smartphone buyers," Marya said, explaining the reasons behind Vivo India's focus on building brand loyalty.
"Moreover, the average selling price (ASP) is increasing and consumers are becoming more aware - they know what brand they want to buy and what features are their priority, and accordingly they make their choice," he added.
According to him, the brand awareness of Vivo, which bagged the title sponsorship for five consecutive sessions of Indian Premier League (IPL) starting this year with a whopping Rs 2,199 crore bid, is 100 per cent.
"When we entered India four years ago, our initial strategy was to build awareness for the brand and that is what we did. Now we are focusing on building consideration and preference for the brand," Marya said.
"Today everybody knows about us. But the brand awareness has to be backed by great products, great after-sales services and a good retailer network as brand awareness alone can help a company survive for a maximum period of about two years," the company executive noted.
Vivo has long term plans in India and all its investments in the country - be it in marketing or manufacturing - offer testimony to that.
"India is a very important market for us and all the investments we have made here are from a long term point of view. We have so far invested Rs 300 crore in the Greater Noida factory which has a
capacity to assemble 2 million units per month and an SMT (surface-mount technology) capacity of 1.8 million per month," Marya said, adding that all Vivo phones sold in India are now "made in India".
"We are now looking at expanding our manufacturing capacity in the country to meet the increasing demand of our products," he said without divulging further details.
There are currently more than 70,000 retailers in India where Vivo phones are available and the company has more than 200 exclusive stores and two experience centres.
The company has service centres in almost all parts of the country except in Manipur, Lakshadweep and Daman and Diu, Marya pointed out.
"When we entered into India, we were very clear that we wanted to build a very strong foundation here. And four years after entering the Indian market, we stay totally committed to the country," he said.
(Gokul Bhagabati can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)