We want to become a tech trendsetter brand: Madhav Sheth, VP and CEO, Realme India

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July 2, 2020 2:30 AM

Realme is the fastest growing smartphone brand globally and in India. In fact, we have successfully maintained No. 4 position in India during Q1 2020 with the fastest 119% YoY growth rate.

MADHAV SHETH, VP, Realme, & CEO, Realme IndiaMADHAV SHETH, VP, Realme, & CEO, Realme India

Realme is an acutely youth-centric brand with a strong India focus. Its vice-president and CEO of India operations, Madhav Sheth, has, in just a two year-span, made realme the fourth largest smartphone brand in India (as per both Counterpoint and IDC). The company has announced an ambitious plan to be much more than a smartphone brand. Its “1+4+N” product strategy will see the company introduce high-end TVs, smartphones, smartwatches, wireless headphones, etc., in the coming months. “Our vision is to become the most popular tech lifestyle brand in India; we plan to bring new AIOT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) and lifestyle products this year. We will soon start manufacturing some of our AIOT products here in India and increase our local workforce strength to 15,000 by end of 2020,” he tells Sudhir Chowdhary in a recent interview. Excerpts:

Realme’s new X3 series claims to be the best 4G flagship device. What is the differentiating factor with respect to other offerings in the same price segment?

The Indian smartphone market is extremely competitive across price segments. In the mid-premium price category itself, many options are available to the customers. However, if we compare them, there won’t be much difference. But, when we say that realme is the best 4G flagship, we truly mean it. This is because it is built on 7nm Snapdragon 855+ soc, which is the latest 4G flagship chipset and is packed with high-end features such as 64MP main camera with 5X periscope lens, 4200mAh battery with 30W Dart charge that can only be found at a much higher price in the market.

In the new series which feature will intrigue the Indian consumers most?

Realme X3 series offers a perfect blend of power and style. Apart from latest flagship features such as 7nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ and 120Hz dual punch hole display, both smartphones have
powerful camera setup. X3 SuperZoom offers 64MP main camera with 5x periscope telephoto lens that delivers 60x hybrid zoom and realme X3 offers 12MP 20x hybrid optical zoom lens that delivers up to 20x hybrid zoom. Realme X3 series will be available in two variants 8GB+128GB and 12GB+256GB. We are particularly excited about the unique Starry Mode that allows users to capture breathtaking night pictures.

How has the response been for recently launched Narzo series and realme TV models in India?
Response for both these products has been tremendous. In the first India sale of Narzo series, we sold 70,000 units under three minutes. Till date, over 3 lakhs units have been sold. To further tap rising demand for this device, we recently launched a new variant —realme Narzo 10A with 4GB+64GB. For realme TV, we saw much excitement among buyers before and even after the launch. We sold over 15,000 units under 10 minutes during the first sale in India.

What’s next after smartwatch and TVs? What other categories will realme enter?

We want to become a tech trendsetter smartphone brand in India and to turn this into a reality, we plan to bring new AIOT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) and lifestyle products this year. We will bring premium 55-inch TV, higher-end smartwatches and wireless headphones soon in India, along with other accessories like in-car chargers, luggage cases, smart home gadgets, etc.

Realme is investing into its AIOT portfolio. Can you tell us about your India plans with respect to this category?

While users recognise realme as the fastest-growing smartphone brand, our vision is to become the most popular tech lifestyle brand in India. For this, we adopted ‘1+4+N’ strategy that will allow us to reach consumers beyond smartphones. Launch of realme Smart TV, realme Buds Q and Adventurer backpack are all aligned with this vision. We want to deliver high-end AIOT products to every Indian. For instance, realme Buds Q is packed with features such as 119ms super-low latency gaming mode, 20-hour long battery life etc. and is priced at `1,999. It will be available soon via online channels. We will soon start manufacturing some of our AIOT products in India and we aim to increase our local workforce strength to 15,000 by end of 2020.

How do you foresee realme contributing to the Indian smartphone market? What’s your India vision for 2020?

Realme is the fastest growing smartphone brand globally and in India. In fact, we have successfully maintained No. 4 position in India during Q1 2020 with the fastest 119% YoY growth rate. It’s a testimony of the tremendous response that we’ve been receiving. In 2020, our vision is to bring trendier and smarter lifestyle products to every Indian., hence we are expanding our AIOT portfolio. Additionally, to support retail, we plan to expand distribution channels to even tier-4 and tier-5 towns, covering 35,000-plus mobile stores pan-India.

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