Ingmar Wang, director (device business) of Huawei Technologies in Bangladesh, has recently been interviewed by Dhaka Tribune
. Excerpts from the interview are as follows.
How will you evaluate Huawei’s performance in Bangladesh market?
Huawei is the fastest growing brand in Bangladesh. The market share was 3% till the beginning of last year, it is now the third largest brand following Symphony and Samsung in Bangladesh. Currently, Huawei's market share in Bangladesh is 18% which dictates its current 3rd position.
We, in fact, started Smartphone business here just last year on a large scale. Previously, we had a limited production for the market.
Huawei is growing fast. Is it going to overtake other competitors in the market soon?
We want to be the number one brand in Bangladesh by 2018. We expect we will rise to the second position next year.
Smartphone now accounts for around 30% of the country’s mobile phone market, which is growing every year. The growth was boosted especially after the launch of the 3G mobile broadband.
Users of all ages are now having smartphones as prices have become reasonable. We believe that there is an ample scope for the sector to grow further. We can further expand the marker to semi-urban and rural areas. While now more than half a million smartphone sets are being sold a month, the number may increase to 800,000 in next couple of years.
Why did users respond so well?
First, this was because of our product itself. People love our innovative product designs. Our product prices are also within reasonable level compared to others.
We also have invested big amounts in promotional campaign and publicity. Star cricketer Shakib Al Hasan is our partner in the publicity campaign. We already opened nearly 350 outlets across the country. Huawei has opened six service centres to provide post-sale customer services. By the end of this year, the number of service centres will reach 13.
How did Huawei face competition when it entered the market?
At the beginning, we faced a hard competition from the brands already existing. But we believed that we could overcome by ensuring quality. We understood that our prices should be reasonable as other brands had a bit high prices.
Does Huawei have any plan to set up handset manufacturing plant in Bangladesh?
Definitely, we have a plan to open a mobile phone handset plant here. Huawei focuses on quality products. We have handset test centres in Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen of China. First, we want to ensure quality and so, before launching a plant, we will set up a test centre. India is quite a similar to that of Bangladesh. Three years ago, when I visited India, someone asked me the same question about setting up of factories. After 3 years, the dream would come true in India.
How much the company investments in its Research and Development wing?
Every year Huawei invested more than 10% of its total revenue in research and development. We guarantee our customers that we will offer them the latest technology. For example, we can offer the best quality in collaboration with various digital service platforms, like google. Google has chosen us because of our product quality.
What are the challenges in this market?
Grey market is one of the key challenges that we see in the coming days. We ask for strict policy and proper enforcement in this regard. High import duty is also another challenge. If this can be kept within a reasonable limit, we believe the smartphone industry will grow further in Bangladesh. Big competition is in price as most of Bangladesh consumers are sensitive to price levels.
Do you have any good news for the Bangladesh customers?
We are launching a new flagship handset GR5 2017 for our Bangladeshi customers. We will launch the product on December 1, 2016 in the market. Moreover, a new promotional handset will be launched jointly with Grameenphone, Banglalink and Robi with special bundle offers. Besides, we are giving customers SD cards, T-shirts and selfie sticks as gifts with handsets.
Going beyond Bangladesh, where does Huawei stand in the global market?
I would say we are doing the excellent job in the global smartphone market. In 2012 we launched the product under Huawei brand. We design our products so they suit to the tastes of people of all ages. In just two years, we rose to the third position in global market. Now we hope to be the top global brand.