Phone World interviewed Mr. Blueking Wang, Manager, Huawei CBG at the maiden launch of Huawei’s nova Series in Pakistan. Mr. Blueking leads the development of Huawei Consumer Business Group in Pakistan, by overseeing a large and multi-dimensional team which has grown rapidly over the past several years. He took up his current role in January 2017 and since that time has been responsible for driving sales, guiding brand strategy, enhancing distributor partnerships, service localization, and expanding the talent base of Pakistan offices.
PW: Huawei entered Pakistan back in 2012. It has been six years of experience for you and the company. How challenging has this journey been so far?
Ans: Over the past six years since Huawei has successfully established itself in Pakistan as a global technology leader. The brand has received an overwhelming response in this emerging market, as we continue to gain the trust of our consumers. Being ranked among the top three smartphone brands in the world, we are setting new standards with continuous innovation, to cater to the evolving needs of numerous segments of consumers. In Pakistan, it is well reputed for offering cutting-edge technologies and revolutionary smart devices in different price ranges. Our products, both hardware and software, promise superior performance, advanced features, connectivity and craftsmanship. Thus, we are consistently exceeding consumers’ expectations, to become the most loved brand in Pakistan.
PW: How significant Pakistan remains for your global operations?
Ans: Since Pakistan is globally recognized as a rapidly emerging market for smart devices, Huawei’s endeavors had enabled it to conquer 10.5% of Pakistan’s market share in Q2 2017. This jumped to 22.2% at the end of Q2 2018 reflecting an year-on-year increase of 111.4%.
The smartphone market in Pakistan has developed robustly over the recent years.
It is a testament to the tremendous potential of this domestic market to grow in future. Huawei has plans to capitalize on this opportunity, with the introduction of next-gen smartphones, to deliver the ultimate smartphone experience for users.
PW: Over the years, the smartphone industry has seen rapid changes, how do you see things shaping up in future?
Ans: The Pakistan market is highly receptive to innovative technologies.
Huawei is strategically introducing feature-rich devices to enable consumers to adopt 3G and 4G services, to capitalize on these great opportunities , being created by the evolution of telecom industry.
Huawei is known for creating the best-in-class smart devices to enrich its consumers’ lives with delightful experiences and higher productivity, while the company is opening new vistas for technological innovations.
PW: How do you plan to counter challenges from other rivals such as Samsung and Apple in the region? Especially now when many Chinese smartphone brands have also entered the Pakistani market and have secured a very strong foothold?
Ans: Over the past two years, Huawei’s performance has been extraordinary.
Market-Research and statistics show that; Huawei is closing in on the No. 1 spot in Pakistan with a difference of 0.9% remaining.
The GSMA Intelligence report states that; “Pakistan is poised to witness 17 million unique mobile phone subscribers till 2020”. Therefore, Huawei is focused on capturing the maximum ratio of this market-growth. We have already seen indications of rapid growth for Huawei, as the year 2017 was incredible for Huawei CBG in Pakistan, where the company maintained a steady growth and increased its market share.
PW: What are Huawei’s present and future strategies/plans for Pakistan? How is Huawei trying to expand its market coverage in coming days?
Ans: Our strategy for market penetration comprises of multiple prongs. We have built the trust of our consumers by ensuring unmatched reliability in our products. On the other hand, we have marketed the brand aggressively as a global leader in innovation, to improve awareness about our quality and reliability. In the beginning of 2016, Huawei’s brand-awareness was at 79%, while the ratio of consumers’ ‘Consideration’ for this newly launched brand was at 10% only. Within one year, at the end of 2017, Huawei’s brand-awareness has risen to 91%, reflecting a growth of over 15%. Within the same period, consumer preference for Huawei increased tremendously. So today the ‘Consideration’ ratio for Huawei stands at 48%. This reflects a staggering 380% increase in the consumer’s inclination to buy a Huawei device.
From December 2017 till September 2018, HUAWEI Mate 10 lite has reigned No. 1 in the mid-range segment (USD 200/- to USD 300/-) in Pakistan, leading the way for Huawei to soon become the number one brand in Pakistan.
PW: What set Huawei apart from other smartphone brands especially its Chinese competitors in terms of hardware and quality?
Ans: Continuing with its winning streak and the popularity of its powerful devices, Huawei expanded its market share in Pakistan to 22.2% in Q2 2018, reflecting an year-on-year increase of 111.4%. The GfK report in May 2018 has stated that; One-in-four customers across Pakistan chose HUAWEI Y7 Prime 2018 in the USD 100/- to USD 200/- segment, making it the bestseller in this category. Huawei has also achieved exceptional success in the entry-level segment to become the leading brand in this segment of Pakistan’s market. Among the mid-range devices too, HUAWEI Mate 10 lite is the most preferred device in Pakistan in its price segment.
PW: Huawei is very focused on its camera feature; the 64 MP cameras, dual lens technology, and other such extraordinary features have put Huawei on the top. What are your views on that?
Ans: Smartphone photography has tremendous potential and Huawei has instilled technological breakthroughs in smartphone imagery. It was the first company to debut the dual camera setup on the HUAWEI P9 in partnership with Leica – an industry first that later became the norm for every other smartphone. Once again, Huawei led the industry by debuting triple cameras on a smartphone with the HUAWEI P20 Pro. We believe that smart-device cameras act as the consumers’ eyes on the world around them. More powerful cameras can promise the growth of social networking, live-streaming and Artificial Intelligence, etc. Vivid imaging and crisply captured videos allow better creative expressions and memory sharing by people.
PW: How soon would 5G technology become a reality, do you think Pakistani market is ready for 5G?
Ans: Advancements in technology have given rise to the need of faster internet connectivity. Therefore, 5G is the future of the internet. It will be commercially available in many countries by 2020, and we believe that it will be a ground-breaking experience for everyone. Huawei has been exploring 5G since 2009. It remains dedicated to innovation and 5G over the past few years. The company has injected at least USD 600 million in 5G research and innovation before 2018, achieving breakthroughs in areas such as the network architecture, spectrum usage, air interface tech, prototype development and field verification.
In Pakistan, we will launch 5G-enabled smartphones, but the onus of 5G connectivity lies with the telecom operators.
PW: What reforms do you think are needed to support the development of the ICT industry in Pakistan?
Ans: Huawei acknowledges that the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority’s (PTA) has played a pivotal role in the robust growth of the IT and telecom sectors, by realigning the federal and provincial taxation policies to suit the evolving needs of this promising industry. Huawei has always been a prudent organization that abides by all the laws that govern the industry, while the company also advocates strict code of conduct to control illegal import of devices. Stringent qualification and auditing standards have been implemented for Huawei agents in Pakistan too.
PW: What are some groundbreaking innovations that we can expect from Huawei in the future?
Ans: Huawei can foresee a smart digital revolution that is bringing a paradigm shift in the socio-economic environment around the globe. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is enabling the next-level of global operations, accessibility and productivity. Huawei is pioneering powerful solutions based on AI, while the consumers can now enjoy an unprecedented improvement in digital experiences. Huawei smartphones are now being upgraded to intelligent phones. We believe, by the year 2025, almost 90% of device users will have intelligent phones, with fascinating new advantages and features. With our eyes on these amazing futuristic technologies, Huawei was the first company to innovate and bring AI technology to the common consumers, with the Kirin 970 chipset powering its revolutionary smartphones. Huawei has the pride to introduce the first-ever smartphone processor that can perform AI tasks, using a dedicated neural processing unit (NPU) to deliver a seamless and ultra-fast AI experience. Continuing with our fascinating innovations, Huawei is rapidly transforming into an AI-first company, by integrating natural language and image-processing technologies into its new generation of devices.