Oplus India, a subsidiary of Oplus Taiwan, has launched their handset XonPhone 5exclusively on Snapdeal, going by the trend of new brands picking online retailers as launch partners. Oplushas entered India as a new player but plans to beat the competition with an entirely new strategy: keep the vendor’s margin at minimum, eliminate all intermediate channel margins and launch only online (Snapdeal) with nominal margin for the portal; this helps to offer the consumer best features at lowest possible prices. Oplus launched XonPhone 5 for the Indian market, priced at Rs 7999.In an interaction with Mobility, Oplus Technologies India CEO,Soumitra Gupta, shares his company’s pricing & marketing strategy and future plans.
Soumitra states, “Our tablet XonPad 7, launched a month ago, got an overwhelming response from consumers without the traditional promotional methods. Now we launched our smartphone XonPhone 5exclusively on Snapdeal with a similar strategy. For this product, we kept our margin as low as possible so as to pass on the benefit of low price to the customer. Within a few days of its launch, XonPhone 5 started selling in good numbers and we are expecting 1000 sets a day sale soonand the figure is expected to increase further.”
The OplusXonPhone 5 is powered by a MediaTek 6582 quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex A7 processor and sports a 5-inch HD display, 1 GB of RAM and an 8-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and a 2 MP front camera. The phone is powered by a 2000 mAh battery. The device runs on Android 4.4 KitKat OS, which is the latest version. It comes with an internal memory of 16 GB and a micro SD card slot for up to 32 GB capacity.
Soumitra adds, “XonPhone 5 is placed in the below Rs 10000 category, but if you see the features and capabilities, it is similar to an Rs 15000 phoneoffered by big brands. Any big brand would have placed it in theRs 15000-20000 range. Since we are new to the market and we want to create a brand image for ourselves, we put it at Rs 8000.We are the only company providing pickup and drop facility for service in below Rs 10,000 category. Customers need not have to travel to the branch, stand in a queue, etc—all such hassles are eliminated. Our service is of A-class quality. Similar facility and service has been offered by some big brands, but that was only for Rs 30,000 rangephones, but not for Rs 10000 range phones. Pickup and then delivery of theserviced products back to the customer takes a max of 5 to 7 days. This can be done even for the customers in the Tier-2 and -3 cities.”
Soumitrabelieves that with the rapid expansion of e-commerce in India and with the growing number of Internet users, new brands like Oplus get a large audience online if they sell the best handsets at competitive prices, by eliminating or minimizing intermediary margins and expenses. He thinks e-commerce is spreading fast even to Tier-2 and -3 cities which so far remained beyond the reach.
Soumitra asserts, “Today, Indian consumers have become well educated and smart. They do a lot of survey about features, quality, durability, etc before they buy something. The kind of quality, affordability and A-class service we are offering, competition is no challenge for us. Next, we want the consumers to experience it and speak about it and then message automatically spreads through word of mouth and hat will drive our sales graph up. We do not want to go thru the traditional distribution channel either; only through online sales. Since we kept our margins thin, the channel is not suitable for us. We want to pass on max benefit to the end user. And this strategy has started working well.”
Oplus has also introduced the “Service at your doorstep” model of support that is revolutionary for smartphones in the particular price point. The highlight of the model is the hassle-free service delivery for the customer who need spend time visiting service centres for his/her XonPhone 5. Oplus’ CRC (Customer Response Centre) will remotely resolve Software issues over the phone and for hardware issues, the device will be picked up, serviced and dropped back to the customer at the place and time of his/her choice.
Oplus has also rolled our “Demo Zones” in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Patna & Noida to give the customer a touch and feel experience before buying in case they want – since the XonPhone 5 is going to be sold exclusively online through Snapdeal, the Demo Zones will help showcase the product and its fantastic features to customers who are more orthodox in their purchase methods.
Smartphone market in India is highly competitive. In this regard and Oplus’ future plans, Soumitra concludes, “Right now we have launched only 1 model power-packed with best of the specs. Soon we may come up with new models. As far as our goals are concerned, we want to be in the Top 3 bracket in India.”