Interview With Alex Feng, CEO, Vivo India & CMO, Vivo Global

Interview-With-Alex-Feng,-CEO,-Vivo-India-&-CMO,-Vivo-Global“We are almost a year old in the Indian smartphone market and we have already claimed 2 percent market share,”: Alex Feng, CEO, Vivo India

How do you see the Indian mobile phone industry for the current calendar year? What are some of the biggest trends and developments you saw during this period?
From our observation and practice, the Indian smartphone market is all set to take second position in the global smartphone market and this in itself is a huge boost to all the players in India as there is a huge opportunity to grab. The transition from 2G/3G to 4G, the upgrade from feature phones to smartphones present an evolving environment to all international and domestic players. We are almost a year old in the Indian smartphone market and we have already claimed 2 percent market share.

Smartphone today is the need of the hour and everyone in India is realizing its importance. The fact that Internet penetration in India is 300 million users of which half of them are on mobile phones and which is all set to double by 2017 so the demand of smartphones is deemed to go up.

How has been the CY 2015 for you? Can you share some of your company’s biggest achievements, innovations or milestones during this year?
It’s been only eleven months since we started our operations in India. On 15th December 2014, we launched Vivo in India and since then, it’s been an overwhelming journey. In a short span of time, the company has positioned itself in India as an established mobile brand which has the best Hi-Fi music in the market and have a presence in more than 300 cities in India. Also, our Greater Noida assembly unit will be operational by end of this month with a maximum production capacity of one million units per month. Plus, the fact that in this short time we even have the privilege to become the title sponsors for IPL which is regarded as the biggest and most sought-after League in India.

How many phones you launched during this period? Can you give a break up of smartphones and feature phones?
We launched three series- X, V and Y in India with total of 11 models so far. X Series with XShot, X5Max & X5Pro is our premium series catering to HNI group (entrepreneurs and fashion lovers), while V Series is our exclusive series to the Indian market which caters to the mid segment, targeting young music lovers. Y series lies in the affordable segment and is high on features and low on price.

How many phones your company sold during this period? Can you give a break up of smartphones and feature phones, if any?
We sell more than one lakh units every month and number is expected to rise. However we already crossed the bar of one million smartphones this year and we expect to sell two million units by end of this year. For us it’s more important to develop our eco-system than merely achieving sales figures.

Vivo mobile India sells only smartphones. We have never been into feature phones.

What was the ASP of your devices during this period?
The price range of our devices is from Rs 10,000 – Rs 20,000.

What was your best selling phone/device in this period?
All our products have been selling good in their respective categories and price ranges, especially our V1 & V1Max phone from V series, which were launched exclusively in India, have been the most selling smartphones. They keep in mind the Indian consumers and their requirements with a smartphone in mid-range.

If you have participated in the “Make in India” program, how much investment you made to start local manufacturing or assembly and what would be the product output capacity annually?
“Make in India”, an initiative of Indian government, is a good start to increase opportunities for Indians and also contribute to Indian economy. India is a developing country and growing economy, with that it becomes very important for government to create more jobs for Indians and hence increase per capita income. Vivo Mobile India supports the campaign and hence our focus is to create more jobs for Indian people at all the levels. Our upcoming Greater Noida manufacturing unit will set an example for it, where we not just plan to assemble, but develop R&D division and create 2,200 jobs. The first phase of investment in the manufacturing unit is Rs 125 crores.

Are you getting the required support from the government and can you highlight your demand from the government?
Yes, we are getting required support from the government.

What kind of after sales support system you have? Can you give some details like number of after sales outlet, company owned/third party, what level of repair at which outlets (L1, L2, L3 etc), and what is your TAD?
Currently we have 25 service centres across India, all exclusively run by Vivo. By the end of 2016, we expect 200 service centres. To ensure service quality and speed, we insist in building our own service network.

Keeping the performance of 2015 in mind, what do you expect in 2016? What are the new things/innovations we could see from you/your company in the 2016?
The target is to build an even stronger sales network and keep our assembly unit in Greater Noida operational. We expect to increase our retail network and after-sales service centres. The number of service centre will grow to 200 next year.

Do you see consolidation among the handset players in the country in 2016?
No doubt that the competition would be fierce and we will witness players come and go. But we always understand the key to survival, which is keeping customers’ need in our heart and improve our products and services consistently.

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    Hello sir.
    I am using x5 pro from a month and its a good phone when will be android 6.0 available.

  2. Purushottam Singh says:

    I had purchased Vivo V1 by impressed by its design but I am sad
    to say that since then I had been hugely disappointed owning to its hanging issue,battery backup,and its very strange that a 16k phone doesn’t support whatsapp flawlessly.I guess even a basic phones these days support whatsapp flawlessly.
    We all are well aware of the fact that Vivo has been spending large amount on marketing.But please be aware of the fact that without having a strong product vivo can not disrupt the current market scenario which currently is not the case with your brand.
    I am very much frustrated with my phone and cannot withstand it any more.
    Please have a look at my complain at the earliest and arrange to solve the issues with my phone at the earliest.

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