Chinese handset-maker Vivo to double marketing spend to ₹200 crore this year

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on January 20, 2018

Actor Ranvir Singh, Alex Feng, CEO of VIVO India, and IPL Chairman Rajiv Shukla, with newly launched VIVO smartphones in Mumbai, on Tuesday. PTI

Ropes in Bollywood’s Ranvir Singh as brand ambassador

Chinese handset manufacturer Vivo mobile said it has doubled its marketing budget for 2016 to ₹200 crore as it signed up Bollywood star Ranvir Singh as its brand ambassador on Tuesday.

Vivo, which entered the Indian market in December 2014, bagged the IPL title sponsorship in November for 2016 and 2017 for ₹160 crore is getting more aggressive in its marketing campaigns.

“In just over a year, we have grown from zero to 3.1 per cent of the smartphone market in India with the help of our marketing efforts. We will continue to invest more in marketing here as we are in India for a long term,” Vivo’s India CEO Alex Feng told BusinessLine.

Focus areas

Feng said the focus of the company’s marketing activities this year will be split into two major events — IPL and Diwali. “We are launching two new handsets in India right now—V3 and V3 Max—which are both made specially for the Indian market. Around Diwali, we will have a couple of more such launches.

“We will back these launches with aggressive marketing activities such as TV commercials, social media push and in-store branding,” Feng said, adding that the company 150 exclusive brand stores by the year-end in addition to another 150 stores that will act as service centres.

Vivo shares its parent BBK Electronics with OnePlus and Oppo, both of whom are aggressively targeting India as their second largest market, similar to what Vivo has been talking about. However, Feng said all the three companies work very independently and act as competitors.

In talks with music labels

“Our unique proposition is high fidelity music. We were the first to introduce a high fidelity music chip in our phones and that remains the biggest differentiator for us,” said Feng, adding that the company is also in talks with music labels and music apps in India to offer a better music experience to users.

Feng added that Vivo is working on adding a services line to its business in India, wherein it will sell games, music and other apps in partnership with Indian content providers.

“We will partner Indian companies to add to our services revenue instead of looking at acquisitions at the moment,” Feng said.

Music is increasingly becoming an important selling proposition for handset makers in India.

Another Chinese maker Xiaomi on Monday announced its investment in Hungama Digital to tap into the same market.

Feng said localisation would be another focus area for the company in India as it looks beyond offering local language interface on its phones.

“We have over 1,000 engineers in China who are constantly working on creating localised products for the Indian market,” Feng said.

Published on April 05, 2016

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