Chinese smartphone maker Comio to invest Rs. 500 crore in India
The Dollar Business Bureau
Topwise Communication Co Ltd, China’s original device maker (ODM), will launch smartphones under its ‘Comio’ brand in India and is also planning an investment of Rs.500 crore in the coming two years to establish its presence in the Indian market.
The company which is aiming to acquire 5% market share over the next three years, has to face competition from firms like Samsung, Micromax and Xiaomi in India.
“We have been an ODM to many players, including those in India. There is a huge opportunity in India and we are keen on tapping that,” Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, CEO, Comio, told reporters.
Comio will focus in the smartphones market within the price range of Rs.6,000-12,000. This is a prime spot taking up 35-40% of the Indian market in terms of volume, he added.
“There aren’t many players in the offline market in this price range. Most Indian companies are focusing on sub-Rs.6,000, while other Chinese firms are looking at devices over Rs.15,000,” Kalirona said.
On the question of how Comio will compete with companies like Vivo and Oppo that have invested millions of rupees towards promotion and marketing, Chief Marketing Officer Sumit Sehgal said that they believe in “smart marketing”.
He further said that the company is planning to follow the marketing model of offline-only, which is aimed at distributorship and in creating a strong after-sales service to augment the experience, and not just buying the market share.
“We plan to invest Rs.500 crore by March 2019. Rs.250 crore is for marketing, Rs.150 crore marked for R&D and manufacturing, the remaining Rs.100 crore has been earmarked for distribution and other activities,” Kalirona said.
The company is looking to set up a manufacturing base in the country after it establishes a nation-wide presence. It plans to launch 3-4 handset models shortly and shall initially procure handsets from China and later on from third-party manufacturers of devices in India, he added.
TopWise Communication, founded in June 2005, is one of the largest ODMs in China. The company used to manufacture products for several Indian companies, including Micromax.
The company will no more manufacture devices for other companies as it is looking to establish its own brand in India, Kalirona revealed.