Riding on the success of its "Honor" sub-brand, the time is ripe for the Chinese smartphone maker Huawei to ramp up its offline presence in India, especially in tier II and III cities, says a top company executive.
Xiaomi already has two exclusive retail stores Mi Home in Bengaluru while Lenovo-owned Motorola on August 3 launched six Moto Hubs in Delhi-NCR and Mumbai.
"Since the skew is heavily in favour of going offline, we are working on strengthening this channel. Given the growing 4G penetration, we are set to serve tier II and III markets and working towards this on a priority basis," P. Sanjeev, Vice President, Sales, Huawei India-Consumer Business Group, told IANS.
Chinese brands are not only strengthening their positions on home turf but fast expanding beyond mainland China, and India is among their top destinations for registering big numbers.
While overall global smartphone shipments grew three per cent Year-over-Year (YoY), reaching 365 million units in the second quarter of 2017, Chinese smartphone brands marked a record 48 per cent market share worldwide, with India remaining a key focus geography, says market research firm Counterpoint Research.
With 20 percent overseas smartphones shipments (YoY), Huawei is one of the fastest-growing Chinese brands. In India, it recorded 1.5 per cent market share in the second quarter this year.
Keeping an eye on the upcoming festive season, Honor is focused on enhancing engagement with its customers which goes beyond transactional offers to that of more enduring value.
"Since Honor is a pan-India brand, our strategy would be two-pronged: Region-specific and national. For the former, we plan to leverage festivals like Onam, which is known for its consumer-buying frenzy (in Kerala), to widen our customer base with special promotions and irresistible offers."
"Similarly, for Durga Puja, we would adopt a focus to tap consumers in the eastern region with schemes specially tailored for that audience," Sanjeev said.
Huawei is confident of registering a significant spike with its rich Honor portfolio across various price-points led by the recently launched Honor 8 Pro.
"What is going to bolster this is the fact that Honor straddles offline and online retail channels, which means we effectively cater to a wide swathe of customers who can avail our festive offers," the executive noted.
In a bid to enhance after-sale device support, smartphone manufacturer Huawei last month launched 17 exclusive service centres across the country. According to Sanjeev, with the launch of these service centres, Huawei can now assure best in class after-sale services to its consumers.
In the coming months, Honor plans to unleash a host of products, in various segments and categories.
In the hot-selling Rs 10,000-Rs 15,000 category in India, Honor has three of its best-selling products -- Honor 6X, Honor Holly 3 and 3 Plus.
Launched in January this year, Honor 6X has been leading this segment when it comes to dual-camera innovation and overall experience.
"Honor Holly 3 and Honor 6X are our first 'Made in India' smartphones and have registered strong growth since their launch," Sanjeev said.
Recently launched premium device Honor 8 Pro has also received a highly encouraging response.
"The consumer affirmation and trust in the consistent high-quality and uncompromising performance of Honor products has been a key driver for introducing new devices in the country," Sanjeev added.
"India continues to be a priority market for us and, going forward, you will see that new product launches here will be simultaneous with other global geographies. In fact, there could even be instances of launches here ahead of other markets," he added.
Honor 8 Pro smartphone comes with a box that doubles up as a VR headset.