Lenovo coupled with the Motorola brand is looking at India as a new avenue of growth and wants to target a bigger share of the pie. .
When it comes to smartphone business, Lenovo has seen some strong growth in India in 2015 and is now part of the top five vendors. Lenovo coupled with the Motorola brand is looking at India as a new avenue of growth and wants to target a bigger share of the pie, revealed Aymar de Lencquesaing, Senior Vice President, Lenovo Group, and Chairman & President of the Motorola Mobility group during a recent India visit.
Lenovo’s senior vice-president interacted with members of the media last week, and also confirmed that the Moto Z smartphones will indeed be launched in the country. The senior executive outlined Lenovo’s broader smartphone strategy for India and gave an insight into how the Lenovo-Motorola equation is working post the acquisition. Below are edited excerpts from his interaction with the press.
On competition and pricing pressures in India
AL: Yes, the smartphone business is a cut-throat one…from time-to-time, you will see focus shift to different geographies, there are number of brands that are here one day and gone to the next. We have to continue delivering value products and building our brands.
In the Indian market today, despite the competition, we’ve managed to build ourselves and are flirting with a 10 per cent bar on market share. We’re as capable of competing with anyone else.Lenovo mobile business co-president and Motorola Mobility Chairman Aymar de Lencquesaing in this photo.
The Lenovo-Motorola integration
AL: It is about aligning the two organisations. Acquisitions always take a bit of time, it doesn’t happen overnight. You have to clearly assess the strengths, weaknesses of two organisations and how you match them and leverage the best practices.
This marriage was made-in-heaven as both companies were extremely complimentary. Now we have organised more of our back-end, in particular the R&D functions are incorporated within Motorola, so the teams are all under the Motorola umbrella. The design, the product line-up, all of that is more comprehensive across the board.
Growth in Indian market and the recent drop in China
AL: It is a long game. Quarter-to-quarter it depends on your product release, positioning, so I’m not going to judge the team on a q-on-q basis. We’ve to look at it from a longer horizon. I remain confident that if you look at it year-on-year, then next year we’ll have grown share in India.
On the fall in China, there’s been a change in the market. We were very closely working with operators to subside the phones, and the model of the operators shifted. As a result, we had a transition to manage, and we need to regain share that was lost. That’s a very China-centric statement.
We have a dedicated effort to regain China, India is big on the horizon, we want to gain share and scale here, and then there’s North America.Lenovo Vibe X3 smartphone, which was one of the more premium offerings from the company.
Rest of the world is, however, growing at 68 per cent year on year in a number of places. In India we saw 90 per cent annual growth. Our business actually has a strong footprint in Brazil, Latin America, Middle East; India is doing well as are the South East Asian markets. North American market we had a strong relationship with Verizon, which will expand further.
You see, there is no single dependency on just one country. In Brazil, we’re number two in the market, and we can replicate it in other markets as well, including India.
Focus in India
AL: The onus in India right now is to grow market share and we will continue to ramp up production as needed. My number one concern in India is that we continue to grow share. This is a $400 plus billion market in value, and our business is somewhere under $10 billion, so it leaves us ample opportunity to grow. How do we consistently grow market share is our top concern.
You’ll also see us ramping our offline presence in India as well. There are some markets where we are already number two, so it is possible to get to number two in India. Now, I’m not making a broad prediction that we’ll get to that overnight in India.
On maintaining customer loyalty, plans to target more premium segment
AL: I think for a brand it is important to exist in all the segments.With Lenovo and Motorola brand names, we have strong brand equity that already exists and gives us a lot of legitimacy to cover the spectrum and whole range.
So it’s not like we have to play only in the entry-level or the mid-range. Our approach in the premium market is to be differentiated, and we are differentiated on innovation. This is the whole point of Mods, they are a game-changer in this industry we believe. We understand that a consumer wants to do a lot more with their phone and that’s what Mods enable them to do.
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