Gionee Revenue Grows 550% In 2014-15, Plans To Open India Manufacturing Unit
While most of the online Indian junta has been focusing on Xiaomi, Micromax and others in India, there is another company that is silently taking giant strides in smartphone market in India. With a growth rate of 550%, Gionee is probably the fastest growing smartphone company in India today.
At a Gionee S7 launch event held in Hyderabad over the weekend, Arvind R Vohra, Gionee India CEO and Managing Director announced some of their future plans and impressive growth numbers.
In 2013-14, Gionee’s first year of operations in India, they logged a revenue of Rs. 500 cr and it grew to phenomenal Rs. 2750 crore in 2014-15.
Some of you may be surprised by these numbers, but in Northern India, especially in Rajasthan, they have been selling their smartphones even faster than Samsung and Micromax. Within, 2 years, Gionee has become the number one smartphone brand in Rajasthan.
Here is another fact that may take you by surprise – Gionee imported 3 times more smartphone handsets into India compared to Lenovo, and 4 times more than much talked about Xiaomi between March 2014 and Feb 2015.
With close to 3.8 million units imported during this time, Gionee is one of the largest Smartphone importers in India. The next highest import figures are for ZTE who imported approximately 1.8 million units during the same time.
Looking at these numbers, it is clear that Gionee has understood Indian market better than others. They know majority of smartphone sales, even today, happen offline. And, over past 2-3 years, they have put considerable efforts in building a strong offline dealer and distributor channel, which is the primary reason for their success. At present, Gionee boasts of a network of over 1500 dealers and distributors across India.
Gionee Growth Plans
During the event, William Lu, President of Gionee, announced their ambitious growth plans – By 2020, they want to be one of the Top 5 brands globaly, and number 1 in India. In 2015, Gionee will be spending considerable efforts this year in brand building and their first step in that direction has been to become the principal sponsor of most popular IPL team, Kolkata Knight Riders.
Gionee plans to spend about Rs 225 crore for marketing and advertising this year, up from Rs 132 crore last year.
In 2014, Gionee sold 4 million devices in India and 28 million globally. In 2015, the target has been doubled to 8 million in India and 40 million Globaly. By then, India will account for one-fifth of Gionee’s revenue.
Gionee India Manufacturing Plans
One of the biggest announcements that William made during the presentation was their plans to start manufacturing their devices locally. The company also plans to set up a manufacturing base in India with an investment of Rs 300 crore in the next three years.
As per the plans laid out, the company is also exploring possibilities where India could become an export hub for SAARC and African countries.
To make sure Gionee’s “Make in India” plans are successful, they have roped in Ernst & Young to decide on the location, looking at different types of contracts and feasibility of getting local manpower among other things. It is expected that their report on ‘Make in India’ will be out in about a month’s time.
Gionee was the one of the first Chinese handset makers to make an entry into India, and their journey has been quite impressive since their arrival. In many ways they are sailing in exact opposite boat compared to Xiaomi – They do not cater to budget phones category and neither have they taken online only route. Also, compared to the hype generated by Xiaomi, they have been pretty much under the radar. And interestingly, both have been successful, Gionee more so.