As part of the ‘Mobiles 40by20’ strategy, e-commerce major Flipkart today has formed a long-term strategic partnership with Taiwanese handset maker, Asus. The first smartphone under this partnership - ZenFone Max Pro - will be launched on April 23.

The partnership will cover sales and marketing of products by Flipkart and see both the companies collaborating for co-creation of new products for the Indian market based on consumer insights.

Commenting on the partnership, Asus CEO Jerry Shen said the company sees tremendous opportunity in creating products and services that address India’s market needs. “With Flipkart’s partnership, we aim to gain more insights about Indian consumers’ needs which can help us develop even more suitable products for the Indian market,” he added.

The e-tailer said it has seen strong growth in handset sales on its platform and aims to touch 40 per cent market share by 2020 as part of the strategy.

Outlining the details, Flipkart VP (Mobiles and Large Appliances) Ajay Yadav said the company already is a preferred partner for a number of handset brands and is taking a number of steps to further consolidate its leadership position in the category. “Approximately, one in 4 phones bought in India is through Flipkart. We have achieved 60 per cent growth in the mobile phone category, compared to an industry growth of 14 per cent. With ‘Mobiles 40by20’, Flipkart will contribute significantly towards adding the next 100 million smartphone users by 2020,” he told reporters here.

Flipkart aspires 40 per cent of overall market share by 2020, Yadav added.

Market growth

Citing various industry reports and internal estimates, Flipkart CEO Kalyan Krishnamurthy said the retail market in India is expected to grow 1.6X to USD 972 billion by FY21 from USD 600 billion in FY16. E-commerce, on the other hand, is forecast to grow at 8.5X to USD 50-60 billion by FY21 from USD 9-10 billion in FY16.

He noted that e-tailing has also played an important role in organising the mobile phone market in India.

Offline smartphone sales in the country grew 1.2X to 82 million units in 2017 from 70 million units in 2012, while online sales grew 4.2X to 42 million units from 10 million units in 2012, he said. “Flipkart has driven the adoption of smartphones in India, and grown the market, through innovations and a deep sense of knowing what consumers want,” Krishnamurthy added.