Interview With Faisal Siddiqui, Country Head, HTC

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Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC which has been struggling in the Indian smartphone market for the last couple of years, is now eying to grab 15% of the pie.¬† This confident statement comes from HTC’s India country head Faisal Siddiqui.TeleAnalysis spoke to him while the company launched two smartphones in India – HTC One E8 and HTC Desire 616.

Q. You said you want to win back India’s heart. What does this mean? Had you lost it somewhere?

Its a product lead industry. If you have the right kind of product with the right kind of pricing then you are good to go. There was never been an aorta of doubt regarding the product quality, its built, user friendliness, its UI or anything you take for consideration, but over the years we realized that, besides the quality, the product pricing has also to be very right. In the last few months, we designed a different kind of product portfolio, and we are seeing the results now. Without compromising on the quality, we worked on our pricing strategy. We launched 210 and then 310, and then we launched M 816. Ad this product is flying off the shelf. I must share this with you that we are finding it difficult to keep pace with the demand. Today you saw couple of products and here also we wanted to maintain a balance between quality and cost. So, these are the changes we brought to the table and we have seen our market share going up in the last few months. India is a very important market and we are here for a long run.

Q. What kind of market share you have currently and where do you want to reach?

From the various reports we collect, we probably have a market share between 4 to 6%. And we aim to reach 15% of this.

Q. By when?

I wish I could do it by tomorrow (smiles). On a serious note, though we don’t give ourselves a deadline, we would like to achieve as early as we can. I can’t tell you by when but we aim to achieve 15% of share of Indian market.

Q. What gives the company so much of confidence?

We brought out many changes in our system. India is a price sensitive market and of late we realised that, besides a right product, your product pricing also has to be very right. So we changed our pricing model. We brought down the price of many models without compromising even a bit on neither the specifications nor the built quality.

Q. Besides price what other changes you brought into the company as price can not be sole deciding factor?

Well, I said, price is one of the major factors. Besides that, we also completely revamped our distribution system. Earlier we had one national distributor. India is a diverse country with varied consumer behaviour. East is different from the west and South is very different from the North. So, now, we appointed four national distributors to look after our pan India sales. We have Ingram Micro for LFRs, MPS to look after North and West, Link Telecom for east and UTL for our south operations. We also increased our retail presence from 5000 outlets to 9000 this year, that apart, we are planning to increase our service center tally to 600 from 200. We also have become very aggressive on social media and at present we have  close to 5 million FB members.

 

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