Be Indian, Buy Chinese: Xiaomi, Oppo, Lenovo, Vivo & Alibaba aggressively target Indian consumers in 2016
India is already familiar with a few Chinese brands like Haier, Xiaomi, Lenovo and Gionee etc., with Oppo being the latest entrant. Moreover, 2016 seems to be the year to ‘Make in India’ as the country recently jumped 12 places higher on the ‘Ease of Doing Business Rankings’ released by the World Bank. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country has reportedly increased by 31% to $24.8 billion (Rs 1.70 lakh crore) during April-November period last year.
According to latest media reports Xiaomi has applied for a permission to set up single-brand retail stores in India. Xiaomi is also said to be in talks to set up two more factories in the country. We can expect more launches this year apart from the Redmi Note 3 and Mi 5.
The Chinese companies are seemingly attracted to this growing business potential in the country and are actively involved in making the country their investment hub. Here’s a look at some Chinese brands and their India plans:
Initiated in January 2004, Haier India has 33 operations spread across Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai to Calcutta, and a complete distribution network throughout the country as well as a manufacturing facility in Pune.
Last year Haier India reportedly announced investments worth Rs 360 crore to double the manufacturing capacity of its Pune plant. Haier has also reportedly hired a Bengaluru-based startup, Ideapoke, to help develop innovative technology that would enable refrigerators to detect pesticides and harmful bacteria in fruits and vegetables using sensors.
Haier was also awarded the prestigious ‘Make In India Award for Excellence’ under the consumer durable category
Oppo is registered in 140 countries and is operating in 20 markets worldwide. With a reported growth of 67% year on year in the global market, this year they plan to maintain the trend in India with a targeted 35000 sales outlets along with 180 plus official service centres.
Oppo is slated to be investing Rs 100 crore to start its own manufacturing unit in India by August this year. The company reportedly spent Rs 22 crore for the powered-by sponsorship for Bigg Boss in 2015 and roped in actors Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor as its brand ambassadors. Oppo is also one of the presenting sponsors for IPL.
Vivo Mobile entered the Indian market in December 2014 and within a year they seem to have made a mark. With a strong focus on 'Innovation and Smart Technology', the smartphone player bagged the title sponsorship for the Indian Premier League (IPL) by replacing PepsiCo.
Vivo Mobile has reportedly captured around 2% market share in the Indian market within a year and is working towards meeting consumer needs. The company will soon launch a phone with a 6GB RAM which is called the XPlay 5.
Moreover, Vivo Mobile (India) has reportedly they plans to spend Rs 100 crore during the calendar year, a large part of the sum of which will be spent during the ninth edition of the IPL to advertise its mid-range smartphones in the country.
Alibaba launched a Hindi portal to connect with the rural population and those in tier-ii and tier-iii cities, this will help the company in its efforts to connect local businesses with global buyers.
The China-based online shopping portal unveiled its first physical trade facility centre in the country at Jaipur. Alibaba already holds a stake in an Indian e-commerce company, Snapdeal, and a 40% stake in Indian online payments firm PayTM.
Gionee plans to seek approval for a single-brand retail licence in the country. Currently, Gionee products are sold in India through multi-brand stores and 30 franchises that are backed by Gionee.
The company also plans to increase the number of franchisee outlets to 100 by March this year and 250 by the year end, other than having plans to open 200 exclusive service centres in India.
Gionee introduced its new smartphone, the S8 at the Mobile World Conference 2016. The phone will reportedly be available in India by April this year. The company plans to spend about Rs 200 crore on marketing in the coming financial year, starting with the Indian Premier League where they have inked a three-year deal with Kolkata Knight Riders for Rs 54 crore.
After Gionee, Lenovo is now in talks to file an application to open company-owned stores under the liberalised single brand retail foreign direct investment rules. India will be the first country where Lenovo will have its company-owned stores
According to documents posted on the Ministry of Corporate Affairs website earlier in February, Lenovo India's revenue jumped 40% to Rs 5,667.2 crore for the year ending March 31, 2015.
The company recently stated that more than half of their devices sold in India this year will be manufactured in the country as well. Lenovo is manufacturing their devices at the Tamil Nadu facility. Outside China, India is the only country where we the company is manufacturing both Moto and Lenovo phones.
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