Business / Talking Business

Why Vivo could be China's first global super-brand

By Siva Sankar (China Daily) Updated: 2015-11-06 09:47

Vivo wants to notch up sales of 2 million smartphones in India this year and 6 million in 2016. Such ambitious targets don't seem misplaced if you consider its frenetic sales growth: up 70 percent on-quarter in July-Sept. Vivo has already grabbed 2 percent of smartphone market share in India.

And it is not focusing on "budget" or low-end and medium-priced phones that Chinese manufacturers are known for, but on the 1,000 yuan ($158) to 3,500 yuan range, a high-and-premium segment dominated by global leaders such as Samsung, Apple, Sony and Google. It is a niche where Chinese brands, it was believed, would not stand a chance because of concerns relating to quality and after-sales service.

Vivo has reportedly sewn up deals with retailers, resellers, distributors and service centers across India, and has plans to set up an assembly unit in the country as well. A CEO of a global company that has recently entered India's smartphone market told the Economic Times newspaper: "Vivo is literally burning money into brand promotion, right from outdoor hoardings to dealer-level promotion."

Market tracker Counterpoint Research rates Vivo among the fastest growing brands in India. If Vivo passes both the India test and the quality and after-sales service test, its $23-million IPL title-sponsorship could well prove the starting point of what looks like a journey to becoming China's first super-brand.

Small price to pay for such a tag.

Caveat: Corporates and tycoons that touched IPL, which started in 2008. have not exactly turned into gold over the years.

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