Gionee expanding R&D team in India, launches slimmest dual SIM Elife S7
Chinese smartphone maker Gionee is all set to invest as much as Rs 3 billion in the Indian market. This is one of the biggest investments by any smartphone maker in the Indian market.
Amazingly most of the investment is coming from Chinese smartphone companies in the market. Earlier Xiaomi had announced around Rs 200 crore investment plans for the market and now Gionee has beaten it with far bigger investment plans.
The company has said that it is also targeting to double its sales to 8 million units this year.
While talking about the companyâ€™s plans, Gionee President William Lu said, â€œWe have a dedicated team of 12 people, who are working on customising the experience for local needs. Hardware is universally the same, it is the software that differentiates the experienceâ€¦We plan to ramp this up and have about 30 highly skilled people as part of the team by the end of the yearâ€.
Gionee is more popular in rural areas and the company, which claims to have about four per cent share of the Indian handset market, said it is targeting to become one of the top 3-5 smartphone brands in the country in the next few years. “Last year, we sold four million devices in India and 28 million globally. That is one-seventh of the total sales. This year, we expect the sales to touch 8 million. India would account for 20 per cent of our revenues,” he said. The company also plans to set up a manufacturing base in India with an investment of Rs 300 crore in the next three years.
The company seems to be working out its future strategy. The company has roped in consultancy firm EY to advise on partners and potential locations across the country. “We have already seen two locations. Our head of manufacturing, who takes the final call, is visiting in three weeks. Post that, we will be in a better position to talk about the location,” Gionee India Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Arvind Vohra said. Gionee has also earmarked a budget of Rs 225 crore for marketing and advertising this year, up from Rs 132 crore last year. One of the largest and fastest growing smartphone markets globally, India saw total shipments of about 22.5 million in the October-December 2014.