Gionee Seeks DIPP Permission to Open Own Retail Stores in India


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It seems like handset manufacturers are eyeing the coveted top spot in Indian smartphone industry and are going to infinite lengths to ensure recognition. Last week itself we reported that Apple has filed an application to DIPP seeking approval to open its own set of stores in the country, and the chinese manufacturer follows.

Gionee, one of China’s largest smartphone manufacturer, has also written to the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), seeking approval for setting up its own retail stores in India. This stems from the fact that the Modi government had eased some norms in single brand retail foreign direct investment(FDI). This allows large chains outside India to allow more investment in India without the help of any Indian counterpart to set them up.

Arvind Vohra, CEO Gionee India, commented that the application is in process and will be filed with DIPP in the coming weeks. Hopefully, once the government approved, we should hear the good news from the manufacturer soon.

At the moment, Gionee is not looking to make all its phones in the country by itself, primarily because it would like to stick to its Chinese roots. It had started local production last year in Andhra Pradesh, in association with Foxconn and plans to make all phones in India by March 2016. Gionee has been looking to aim maximum sales from any Chinese brand in the country, which is not a difficult feat considering the only major competition it faces is from Xiaomi.

Gionee smartphones are being sold online through e-commerce majors and multi-brand stores. It has about 30 franchise stores, which it plans to expand to about 100 by March and 250 by the end of this year.

Online and offline retail go hand in hand and it makes complete sense to have a sync between the two. Gionee is not completely eliminating the online model, instead it wants to focus more on the offline model, which it believes drives sales and profits.

“Fundamentally, I believe that first we have to create our brand by focusing on offline rather than online. Online is purely on (discounted) prices with no marketing, branding and loyalty,” said Arvind Vohra about the introduction of new franchise stores and focus on offline retail.

Having said that, one must not ignore online mode of sales because this is where our future is headed to. Offline stores might help them in terms of profits and revenues, but then maximum sales come from online platforms primarily because of the e-commerce boom. India, on the other hand, is a country still inclined towards brick and mortar shops, however the mindset is slowly changing towards buying online. It looks like a very good move on Gionee’s part to have both the online and offline models at the same time to boost sales and increase their revenue.

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