Realme believes in taking tech to masses: CEO Madhav Sheth

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan New Delhi | Updated on August 14, 2019 Published on August 14, 2019


Oppo’s sub-brand Realme has cornered a chunk of the mid-range smartphone segment in India. The company wants to be in every price segment where the customers are. Speaking to BusinessLine, the company’s CEO, Madhav Sheth, said that although about 75 per cent of the business is in the sub-₹20,000 segment, that doesn’t mean the company will limit itself to that category. Excerpts:

India is a big part of Realme’s global strategy. Any takeaways from the Indian market to grow as a brand?

India-first strategy has helped us a lot because we are trying to devise products according to the Indian taste and users’ requirements. A phone is not just one aspect. There are multiple touch-points of users in their day-to-day life. For instance, how can I improve OS, how AI can improve usage... we try to do a combination of all these things.

Do you propose to stick to the mid-range (₹12,000 to ₹20,000) segment or will Realme enter other price segments as well?

We look at segments in a very different way. We want to be in every single price segment where the customers are.

Yes, 70- 75 per cent of the business is below ₹20,000, but that does not mean we want to limit ourselves to that. If we want to provide better technology and if the price is higher, we will try doing that as well.

How do you intend to prevent cannibalisation of sister brands such as Oppo, Vivo?

Realme’s product line is well defined and we have a set of different operations. Though Oppo is our parent company, we are not aware of their product line. We are focussing on Realme.

Do you see Xiaomi as the company to take on in India?

I think you should ask them that question. I enjoy being a challenger, an underdog. Within one year, we have done quite enough. This year, we are going to overtake a lot of things, I am pretty confident about it. The best part is that now, users get a choice because of the competition and they will be able to compare and buy.

The competition has resulted in high-end specs coming down to lower-priced phones. Will this trend continue?

It will. Realme always believes in taking technology to the masses. Technology shouldn’t just be for specific classes.

What is your overview on online versus offline sales and marketing? You started off as an online-only brand. How has your offline foray been?

We want to be present at all touch points. We don’t consider online or offline, we consider a point of sale. Users sometimes only believe the retailers. They want to see the phone, because the brand is new. Somebody online wants to buy the latest technology. So there are different types of consumers.

We started (like that) because we were a team of only seven to 10 people. Now, we are a team of 70. We are expanding.

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Published on August 14, 2019
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