- Deepak Nakra was associated with Xiaomi as its offline sales head in India
- Xiaomi and Realme are both concentrating on expansion in the offline sales channel
Xiaomi’s offline sales head Deepak Nakra has joined Realme India as its director of sales. Deepak’s Linkedin profile shows that he has joined Realme India in July 2019. Interestingly, Deepak was employed with Samsung prior to joining Xiaomi in December 2017.
Deepak has more than a decade of experience working in the sales and marketing teams of different consumer electronics and smartphone brands. He has previously worked as a regional sales head for Samsung’s mobile division from February 2012 to December 2014. Deepak had joined Xiaomi in December 2017, probably at the time when Xiaomi was planning out its offline expansion in India.
Sales director at Realme
Though his current profile at Realme is of director sales, he might have been hired by the Realme team to plan out offline expansion as well. It is to be noted here that both the brands have been aggressively expanding their reach in the offline sales channel in India.
It is also to be noted here that both Xiaomi and Realme have had almost similar stories in India. Both the brands started as online heavy before venturing into the offline sales channel. However, Realme has done it faster than Xiaomi and Realme is a younger smartphone brand than Xiaomi in India.
Realme, as per a recent report by IDC, entered the top five vendor list at 4th position on the back of its affordable and aggressively priced Realme 2 and Realme 2 Pro series. The brand also moved from the fourth position in 2018 Q3 to the second position in the online space with a share of 17.3 per cent in 4Q18. The brand plans to extend its footprint into offline channel initially through Large Format Retail Stores like Reliance Digital and gradually scale up to traditional brick and mortar stores.
Xiaomi, on the other hand, continued to dominate, growing YoY by 28.6 per cent in 2018 Q4 on back of its affordable Redmi series devices aided by high decibel marketing campaigns and offline expansion with its Mi preferred partner program and opening of rural stores. Xiaomi’s Redmi 5A and Redmi Note 5/Pro series emerged as the fastest selling devices of 2018 across brands driving 10 million shipments each in the entire year.
The offline channel, as per IDC, had a rather muted year with a modest 6.7 per cent annual growth in 2018 and growing 5 per cent sequentially in 2018 Q4. The offline channel was unable to keep pace with the deep discounts and go-to-market initiatives from the e-tailers almost throughout the year. Having said that, offline remains the largest channel for mobile phone distribution in India and is crucial for the long-term success for any brand in India.
Here’s what Manu Kumar Jain, Global VP, Xiaomi had tweeted when Deepak Nakra had joined Xiaomi back in 2017.
Welcoming Deepak Nakra to @XiaomiIndia! ☺️
He has 20 years of sales & marketing experience and will be leading offline sales for us.
We started our offline journey 9 months ago & have already grown 20X! 💪 I'm confident that Deepak will further strengthen this position. ✌️ pic.twitter.com/gt9JPO68ck
— Manu Kumar Jain (@manukumarjain) December 12, 2017