We prefer to spend money on bettering our product than marketing activities: Madhav Sheth

The CEO of Realme says they aim to establish 20,000 outlets across the country by 2019-end


Realme, a new entrant in the already crowded Indian smartphone market, has created a space for itself in a rather short time. The brand, which was earlier known as the sub brand of OPPO, decided to work independently in the country few months ago. When Realme was launched in May last year, it opted for the online sales model and was made available exclusively on Amazon. The company has not even completed a year in the market, and has already announced its entry in the offline space as well. The announcement came in last November. To start with, the company will expand the offline sales to 150 cities across the country.

Sharing his thoughts on this sudden change in the strategy, Madhav Sheth, Chief Executive Officer, Realme India, said, “The online mode contributes 35 per cent of smartphone sales, while offline is still at a high of 65 per cent. We believe that touch & feel is an important factor for customer while making a purchase decision.”

The decision to add the offline channel for distribution in India could be seen as a well- prepared strategy to tap tier towns and rural areas for increasing the market share in the smartphone industry. The brand aims to establish 20,000 outlets throughout the country by the end of 2019.

According to Sheth, their target audience isn’t limited to the urban market. “Out of the 1.34 billion people spread across India, the demographics are scattered and hence our audience are in rural parts as well. The primary objective is to reach the target outlet in the most cost-effective manner. And since majority of our audience is currently connected with us digitally, it’s important for us that the store is known to the end customers. We are only aiming to go to best stores in the area and tie up with the distributors who understand our sentiment as a brand,” he said.

On brands marketing strategy for this year, he replied, “Our entire spotlight is our TG. Our focus is on customer need; that’s the core strategy. We avoid investing in random marketing activities. Realme believes that the customers are the real brand ambassadors as they help in promoting the brand if we cater to their demands.”

Also, the brand doesn’t wants to have a brand ambassador in future as well. “Instead of spending money on a celebrity, we’d prefer to utilize the resources in research & development,” he added.

At a time, when brands are spending big on advertising, Realme has a different approach. It doesn’t want to spend money on marketing initiatives. “We don’t want to promote any TVC by sacrificing the requirements of the customers. We are more interested in providing our customers a better experience with best phones, which are extremely user friendly and fits their budget. We’ve no interest in random expensive marketing activities just to reach-out to the audience,” Madhav asserted. 

When asked how the use of technology and marketing is redefining marketing practices, he said, “It is important for us to understand the cost at which an innovation is brought. My target as a brand is to bring day-to-day and useful innovation at an affordable price. I would define innovation in two ways-- radical and incremental. One that is introduced afresh and another that is upgraded for better.

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