Here's Lenovo's Comeback Plan to the Indian Mobile Market
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Lenovo has been competing in India with the likes of Xiaomi, Samsung and others in the mid-range smartphone segment, but the Chinese firm—which is the world’s largest computer vendor—is nowhere near the top.
According to an IDC report, Lenovo had the second largest share in the Indian mobile handset market in 2016; Samsung being the leader. However, Indian consumers veered towards cheaper offerings by the-then online-only available options such as Xiaomi, Huawei and RealMe. Having lost dominance, Lenovo’s mobile business unit went back to the drawing board to rework strategy.
Being one of the hottest mobile markets in the world, India is a virtual battleground for phone manufacturers around the globe. The market went through an implosive period post the launch of Reliance Jio in September 2016. As the cost of data went down, smartphone market heated up.
After a hiatus, Lenovo plans to resurge. “We will come back very strongly with both Moto and Lenovo brands,” Rahul Agarwal, managing director and CEO of Lenovo India, told Entrepreneur India.
Lenovo’s Comeback Plan
Despite continuous product innovation and smartphone releases, the brand has been waiting for the dust to settle before making a comeback. The company believes now that the market is not growing at a breakneck speed, the chances of a shakedown are more. “We are waiting for the market to settle down. We are expecting a shakeout as no market can continue with so many players,” Agarwal stated.
Currently, the Indian mobile market is being driven by nearly 80 mobile manufacturers, including local and global players. The second quarter of 2019 witnessed only 9.9 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) growth, giving both the online-heavy brands and the ones competing for offline space an opportunity to fight aggressively for the limited shelf space.
Compared to smaller players that are still struggling to find their niche, Lenovo’s mobile devices enjoy a latent awareness and acceptability among the masses, according to Agarwal. Over the years, Lenovo has been working to develop smarter technology solutions.
The ‘Smart’ Strategy
Lenovo has been focused on delivering smarter technology for all. The brand boasts of developing technologies that create a more inclusive, trustworthy and sustainable digital society. According to Agarwal, “The next wave (of transformation) would have to go beyond smart.” Electronic brands today are working extensively on improving design but are lacking in adding value to their software.
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) have already started disrupting the tech ecosystem but the smartphone manufacturers are yet to fully leverage these technologies. Lenovo, meanwhile, is exploring possibilities by introducing an array of AI-enabled devices that promote smarter productivity and better connectivity.
Operational in 180 markets around the world, Lenovo’s overall business has witnessed 40 per cent y-o-y growth in 2019 whereas the shipment volume grew by 70 per cent. Beside the laptop business, the brand also sells devices under Moto brand. It acquired Motorola Mobility in 2014 from Google for $2.91 billion in a cash-and-stock deal.