BlackBerry India ups sales forecast for new devices by 40%

Thomas K Thomas
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Sunil Dutt
Sunil Dutt

“This is a game changer for BlackBerry and also for the industry. We are already running out of stock.” - Sunil Dutt, Managing Director, BlackBerry India

Based on the initial consumer response, BlackBerry has beefed up its sales forecast in India by 40 per cent for its devices based on the new operating system.

The Canada-based smartphone maker has launched Z10 in India based on BlackBerry 10 operating system in a bid to make a comeback into the market now dominated by Samsung and Apple.

“In a couple of markets where we launched first, about 45 per cent of people who bought BB10 device were unique customers who were using phones of some other brand,” Sunil Dutt, Managing Director, BlackBerry India, told Business Line.

No Specific target

Dutt said that he has not set any specific target for his team in India because he reckons that it will be easily achieved. “Our own internal forecast has been beefed up for BB10 devices by about 40 per cent after seeing the response in other markets. By putting a sales target number, I would be limiting my team in India,” he said.

To push up the market share, BlackBerry is treating this as its biggest launch till now.

“This is a game changer for BlackBerry and also for the industry. We are already running out of stock,” Dutt said.

BlackBerry has conducted training for retailers to enable them to give product demonstration within one minute.

Some of the outlets have also been provided with WiFi connectivity so that users can get experience Internet browsing and apps.

“This is the biggest launch for BlackBerry both in terms of dollar amount and most integrated approach across various functions.

“This is first time we have a brand ambassador and a go-to-market strategy designed for BB10,” said Dutt.

Servicing infrastructure

BlackBerry has also strengthened its servicing infrastructure in the country.

The handset maker has opened up 100 new service centres that will address consumer queries and complaints within 24 hours. BlackBerry has roped in HCL Infosystems and Redington to run these centres across 80 cities.

“This is first time we are embarking upon setting up such centres.

“Eighty per cent of the time, the complaint is not about the product but more about a feature which the user does not understand.

“At these centres, you can give your handset for repair as well as clarify your queries about features,” said Dutt.

(This article was published on March 5, 2013)
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