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Meet the Real-me Three years back, we started our journey with disrupted steps.Today, we are among the world's top six brands: CEO Realme

By Shrabona Ghosh

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"Three years back, we started our journey with disrupted steps and challenged ourselves time and again. Today, I am proud to say that we are among the world's top six brands and I believe we will be able to achieve more milestones next year," says Madhav Sheth, vice-president, Realme and CEO, Realme India, Europe & Latin America.

The Realme community is a family of three million and recently it emerged among the top six smartphone brands globally. "This is one of the most defining moments for me," says the CEO.

The company began operations in the second quarter of 2018, and by the fourth quarter of that year, it climbed into the top four brands in India, with over four million users. Out of 100 million Realme users worldwide, 50 million users are from India alone. Besides, the very first Realme flagship store will be launched in Gujarat soon.

"We are proud to say Realme is the youngest smartphone brand to be among the global top six. It is also the youngest brand to achieve 100 million sales globally, within 37 months. In Europe, we have also become the youngest brand to be among the top five. Realme has always been a customer and product centric brand that offers products catering to consumers' needs. Throughout my professional career, I've been motivated by the needs of consumers."

With a dare to leap spirit he believes in pushing limits, remaining adaptable, adapting, and having conviction.

Talking about the challenges faced during the pandemic, he says, "The pandemic made us resilient, more agile and taught us how to manoeuvre through challenging times."

During this phase, the company redefined its strategy to build a Realme tech life ecosystem — a smart, connected, trendy lifestyle for the youth. "As a young and holistic technology brand, we have adapted and are working towards providing the consumers with the latest technology, trendsetting design at democratized prices."

For him managing the team remotely was an opportunity to reflect, relearn and connect.

Recently he has taken up a new role, which he describes as a bold move. "I will now spearhead the Realme's presence and business operations in the Latin America region. Of course, these will provide numerous challenges, but I am a firm believer in stepping outside of my comfort zone. It is a promising market."

Sharing his secret of running an effervescent business, Sheth says, "The work from home phase, brought me closer to technology and exploring products through the lens of the users. As a result there was germination of new ideas for creating products which are much cooler for the generation today. Capitalising on the trend, we enhanced our engagement with our customers through our online and digital channels along with the ecommerce platforms. At the same time we continued to strengthen our offline presence as they are essential for long term growth and sustainability. We have set targets to unveil at least 300 Realme exclusive stores by 2021 and expand it to 1,000 plus stores by 2022."

The last two years or less have presented the company with numerous challenges, whether pandemic, lockdowns, chip shortage or the growing unemployment. To navigate through the challenges the company started to rely on local production. "We focused on strengthening our initiative of "Make in India'. To support this we committed ourselves to manufacture all smartphones and smart TVs in India — in fact all Realme smartphones are now 100 per cent 'Made in India.' We are also encouraging our suppliers and partners to set up local factories in India so that they can contribute more to the economy of our country. Recently, in August, we also started exporting to Nepal."

It has also partnered with KHY Electronics to manufacture smart wearables & smart hearables in India. "So far, In the Indian market, we have created over 10,000 job opportunities."

Giving a sneak peek into the future endeavours the CEO says, "Our aim is to add more devices to our 5G portfolio, in India as well as globally."

In the coming months, the company will remain focused to build an ecosystem that caters and creates a smart, connected and trendy life for the youth to let technology empower life. "We will be investing a significant amount of US $300 million globally in research and product development based on the 5G technology. As a 5G democratizer, all the new products above INR 15,000 will be 5G."

Shrabona Ghosh


A journalist with a cosmopolitan mindset. I lead a project called 'Corporate Innovations' wherein I cover corporates across verticals and try to tell stories on innovations. Apart from this, I write industry pieces on FMCGs, auto, aviation, 5G and defense. 
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