China's itel targets 15 million handset sales in India this FY

China's itel targets 15 million handset sales in India this FY

China-based Transsion Holdings’ flagship brand itel Mobile is targeting to sell 15 million handsetss by the end of the current financial year.

“Despite several unexpected market challenges such as demonetisation, we have reached cumulative sales volume of around 8 million handsets in barely nine months since our India launch in April-end. We are targeting sales volume of 15 million units by the end of the current financial year,” itel Mobile CEO Sudhir Kumar told DH.

“We have launched 27 products so far in India, which include 15 feature phones. Our product portfolio comprises both feature phones and smartphones. This might be the era of smartphones, but we can’t deny that nearly 60% consumers in the country still use feature phones,” he said.

“Our product strategy is to cater to the demand for both feature phones and entry- to mid-level smartphones. With another 20% Indian consumers preferring smartphones priced between Rs 3,000 and Rs 7,000, we are covering nearly 80% of the overall market with our diverse product line-up,” Kumar said.

The company has presence in India through 850 distributors and 65,000 retail outlets. itel currently has 720 service centres across India and a service factory in Noida with 720 employees.

Explaining the marketing strategy, Kumar said, “The strategy is to build from the bottom up. We are targeting the untapped rural and semi-urban consumers as well as those belonging to socio-economic classes C, D and E.”

“We are also committed to the vision of creating a complete ecosystem for our products in India. We are planning to set up a software R&D unit in Bengaluru to bring customised global products for India, as well as the African markets, and bring in local content support. This will generate significant employment opportunities in the country,” he said.

“India is an extremely strategic market for us. The purchase behaviour, socio-economic factors, and consumer requirements in the country are similar to Africa, which is one of the key markets for itel Mobile. Additional support and assistance is available from the government thanks to progressive initiatives such as ‘Make in India’. Setting up our manufacturing apparatus in India also makes more business sense, as the country — being strategically located between China and Africa — can serve as a major contributor to the global manufacturing,” Kumar added.

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