The company has its assembling factory in Gurgaon, India. It is planning to enter the northeastern and southern parts of India before the end of this year
Gurgaon-headquartered smartphone company Yuho believes that feature phones are a thing of the past. The company wants to focus on smartphones only and has no plans to enter other consumer electronics verticals.
Chanpreet Singh (CS), Country CEO and Managing Director, Yuho Mobiles, India, in an exclusive interaction with EFY Group, said that a company’s success largely depends upon its sales network. But he feels that diverting energies into two different channels (online and offline) is not necessary as the offline channel is doing superb business for the brand.
Here are some more interesting excerpts from the interaction
Question – What was the vision behind launching Yuho smartphones brand in India? There are a lot of smartphone brands operating in India, are you following any strategy to compete against them? Don’t you think India has reached saturation level in smartphone market?
CS – The market is not at all saturated. If you go to any local retail shop looking for Indian brands you will find 40 to 50 names. But if you step into the market looking for a brand like Motorola, no matter how popular it is, it will not be available there. This is because people who are handling these brands are not familiar with the reality of the Indian market.
I have worked in this market for around 10 years, so I know what makes a brand to penetrate the market at the ground level. Yuho is a unique combination between markets, professionals and technologists. We are continuously thinking to make better products. Then we have an entity that is continuously thinking how to reach market. We do not have an ambition of conquering the market like Samsung or Xiaomi, but we aim to become the top PSU brand in the future in India.
We have achieved some great numbers – about seven lakh devices have been sold in 2018-19. The plan is to triple this figure in 2019-20.
Question – Tell us about the product line up of Yuho smartphones in India?
CS – We have launched approx 14 models in the last one year. Our product line up is entirely and truly dependent on development of technologies. Previously we were offering smartphones with screen sizes varying from 5 to 5.3 and 5.5 inches. 1GB and 2GB RAM smartphones used to rule the market. But now the entire market is working on 17 nanometers, so we can now expect smartphones in 3GB /4GB RAM options in lesser prices.
Yuho has launched smartphones with 6.2-inch screens and notch displays in 4 GB and 2 GB RAM options. We are also planning to launch water drop display smartphones in India. It is expected by the end of April or May.
Question – Regarding the production of your smartphones, where are they being manufactured? What are your India manufacturing plans?
CS – We started our first factory in Gurgaon, India, about six months ago. This factory is dedicated to assembling Yuho smartphones in the country. We are also going to start manufacturing PCB by next financial year. Designing, manufacturing and sourcing are done in China, only packaging is done in India.
Question – When we talk about success of a smartphone brand, we generally encompass the dealer, retailer and reseller network, how strong is that network for you?
CS – Strength of the network, brand and its people are all inter-related. You will get better distributors, better dealers and better network if your brand is better. Your brand is better if other things are better. Everything is in a loop and the development takes place in small steps.
Currently, our network consists of 200 to 300 distributors and around 7000 retailers. The next thing we are working on is to finalize a better distribution channel.
Our target is to go beyond the retail outlets and reach a certain number. Out of this certain number of distributors, some will get better, some will get replaced and some will get enhanced, as we continue to progress.
Question – Where are you expecting major sales – offline or online channel?
Ans – We have not at all tried to project our products online till now. The major reason behind not projecting our products online is the fact that our offline channel is doing exceptionally well.
We have major expansions taking place in the offline channel and diverting energies towards two different channels may confuse things.
Question – If a reseller from Faridabad, from Palwal, from Mathura or from Gurgaon wants to connect with the network of Yohu Mobile, how would he approach you? What qualities you look for in a business house or a person when you add a reseller or distributor into your network?
CS – The idea behind all the promotions we run is to make more people know about us. Anyone can contact us through our website and people handling different areas.
Yuho wants people who can work shoulder-to-shoulder with us as a team and handle the daily pressures. We are ready to support our distributors/retailers in every way possible so that they can also grow along with us.
Question – Why should retailers, re-sellers and distributors join your network?
CS – We have been working fairly in the market since Yuho’s inception and everyone in the industry knows that. Today the most important thing retailers, re-sellers and distributors look at is security. A lot of smartphone brands have vanished into thin air in the last two years.
Yuho has the stability and fair business practices that a sales channel wants from a company. We also ensure to give support to our channels in the market place. We have local teams, local service centers and local promotion modules. Yuho provides all sorts of support to its retailers. In addition to this, we are providing the best margins to the retailers and distributors.
One thing I would like to add is the fact that we are very channel friendly. We understand the pain of the channel and are continuously working on minimizing the same.
Question – Tell us about your service network?
CS – We have tied up with third party service centers for collection and service of smartphones. Level one and two of services are handled by third party vendors whereas level three and four are taken care by our team.
The collection within district or beyond district level is handled by the third party resources that we have. We have 450 service centers across India.
Que – Are you thinking of expanding Yuho’s portfolio to different consumer electronic verticals like TVs, speakers and headphones?
CS – Our technology is focused on mobility and we have been doing this for the last few years. We do not want to work on any other vertical than mobile phones. Every other thing requires resources in terms of designing.
We can say that we are now very comfortably positioned and Yuho as a brand has great value, but right now, we have no such plans to introduce other consumer electronics.
Question – What about feature phones?
CS – No, we won’t be entering the feature phones market also. Our principles and technologists do not want to make feature phones. In fact we stopped making feature phones some four years ago.
Why to go into a market which is reducing in size? We want to focus on something that is growing, and smartphones make the perfect trend.
Question:-Can you share the biggest challenges faced by the sales channels? How do you address them?
Ans – The biggest challenges faced by the channels include unsold inventory and after-sales services. Both the pains are taken care of by Yuho local service centers, the pendency in case of after-sales service for Yuho Mobiles is almost negligible. Even if we don’t have any spare parts, the service centers are authorised to open new handsets in order to complete the job and satisfy the customer and the retailer.
Secondly, if we see that distributors are not able to sell products, we help them by conducting promotional activities and marketing campaigns. It is my firm thinking that if they make money then we make money, if they are not able to make money, we are not able to make money.
Question- Which Indian states are you present in and where will you be expanding by the end of this year?
Ans – Right now we are present in about 16 states. We are doing good in West Bengal, Orissa, Rajasthan, Haryana and some parts of Karnataka. We are very well positioned in Gujrat as well. We plan to expand in the Northeastern and Southern parts of the country before the end of this year.
We are not present in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. Yuho plans to cover every nook and corner of India before the end of this year.