Pakistan is at the crossroad of feature phones’ shift to smartphones David Yuan, CEO OPPO Pakistan
OPPO is a global electronics and technology service provider that delivers the latest and most exquisite mobile electronic devices in over 20 countries, including the United States, China, Australia and many countries throughout Europe, Southeast Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and Africa. OPPO is dedicated to delivering customers with the most extraordinary mobile experience through meticulous designs and smart technology. In 2014 it started its business in Pakistan and up till now many stunning and stylish smartphones with cutting edge technology have been released.
Phone World team (PW) has conducted an exclusive interview of David Yuan (DY), the OPPO CEO Pakistan in which he shared his prodigious insight with us regarding the device market of Pakistan. Here is what he had to say.
PW: According to our investigation, some Chinese regional managers have left Pakistan, is that true?
Yes, it is true. Right now we are having personnel shifting of Chinese regional managers in small cities; however we still have Chinese team working in Tier 1 cities.
The localization of OPPO team in different markets is one of the biggest parts of OPPO globalization strategy
The localization of OPPO team in different markets is one of the biggest parts of OPPO globalization strategy. Taking Pakistan as the example, we think only Pakistani understand best about local market and customers’ requirements, and this is the only reason that OPPO Pakistan has hired many Pakistani employees. Besides, OPPO Pakistan has some senior positions for locals. For example, our Brand Executive Director and Assistant CEO are from Pakistan. In the future, we will create and provide more senior positions for local employees in order to encourage their dedications.
OPPO has launched different policies to ensure the security of dealers’ benefits and help our co-operation to go further
Chinese employees aim to bring corporate culture and value to different markets, in order to ensure the OPPO brand consistency in the global scale. We have different goals and plans according to different stages of market development, so it is normal if we have to shift personnel to other countries accordingly to keep the talents flow. We apologize for any misunderstandings from dealers due to this case and we will improve our communications immediately.
PW: As a global brand, are there any different strategies from OPPO regarding on channel management?
DY: The growth of OPPO dealers is strongly connecting with OPPO’s success. The steady interest of dealers is the priority to us, so we continuously minimize all the operating risks for dealers, and help them to establish the great and long-term business. In order to do so, OPPO has launched different policies to ensure the security of dealers’ benefits and help our co-operation to go further.Furthermore, OPPO has professional teams to support dealers nationwide, we have experienced training and sales team in order to help dealers to educate customers and sell the handsets.Furthermore, OPPO has professional teams to support dealers nationwide, we have experienced training and sales team in order to help dealers to educate customers and sell the handsets.
OPPO has a global image for local markets, which includes exclusive Branding rights of Fast &Furious 7 Hollywood movie, and collaboration with FC Barcelona as their official partner for the mobile phone device category
PW: How does OPPO think about Pakistan mobile phone market?
DY: OPPO believes Pakistan is the key market in South Asia region, and this is because:
The population of Pakistan is almost 190 million and about 70% consists of youth. Youth is the majority consumers for technical devices, and they are our main target customers.
Pakistan is at the crossroad of feature phones’ shift to smartphones and development of 4G network is growing fast which is beyond expectations.
According to ‘One Belt and One Road’ strategy, Chinese government will invest heavily in Pakistan, and there are a lot of potential opportunities in this emerging market. Therefore, more international brands like OPPO will also invest in Pakistan in order to provide better products and serve to satisfy increasing demands from local customers.
So we believe the opportunities in Pakistan are enormous, and we are planning to seize them. OPPO will not only keep its premium flagship handsets availability in Pakistan, but it will also launch more models of smartphone with low and middle price range, like new products Neo 5s, Neo 5 and Joy 3 prices are no more than 20,000Rs, in order to meet the requirements from local market.
PW: What is the response so far since the launch of OPPO in Pakistan?
DY: OPPO launched its operations almost a year ago in Pakistan, and the most responses from local market are quite positive. Local customers are attracted by our quality products and meticulous design. OPPO is also a brand with innovative technologies, for example: VOOC Flash Charge is the leading technology in smartphone industry, which is 4 times faster charging speed than conventional chargers, a 5 minute charge can make 2 hours call, and OPPO R5 is still the thinnest smartphone in Pakistan. Furthermore, OPPO has a global image for local markets, which includes exclusive Branding rights of Fast &Furious 7 Hollywood movie, and collaboration with FC Barcelona as their official partner for the mobile phone category in order to maximize our brand voice at global scale.
PW: What are the big challenges that you are facing as a new entrant in Pakistan?
DY: We believe the biggest challenge for OPPO operating in Pakistan is the cultural differences. How people work here, what people believe in, what life style and value people have in this country are quite different from any other country. We are trying to overcome the cultural barriers, understand and respect local culture, and then bring OPPO corporate value to the local market in a proper way.
PW: What is the major target of OPPO in Pakistan? Does each new smartphone targets a specific group of people?
DY: Our major target customers belong to 18 to 40 years of age, people who love cutting edge technology, fashionable design and premium quality stuff. Especially, OPPO has three different product lines targeting on different groups.
Find Series is OPPO flagship line, which has the top specifications and is powered by innovative and cutting edge technology. So Find Series is especially for people who pursue the excellent experience of smartphone and for technical geeks who want to experience the art of technology. Such as, Find 7a was the first smartphone with VOOC Flash Charge, the leading technology in the last year.
OPPO is operating in over 20 countries and they are located in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Australia, Africa and Middle America
N Series has rotating camera, especially for people who like unexpected camera experience to liberate the creativity of photography. Such as, N3 has motorized rotating camera which can take automatic panoramic pictures.
R Series has stylish, exquisite and distinctive design; it is ready for people who like extremely beautiful and fashionable design of smartphone. Such as, R5 is still the thinnest smartphone in Pakistan.
PW: What impacts does advertisement have on brand promotion in Pakistan? Where do you place social media in your business in Pakistan?
DY: TV Commercials play a significant role in Pakistan, According to the media research; about 95% target customers get different information from TV channels. We have been sponsoring some major events in Pakistan; OPPO Pakistan was the presenting sponsor of CLT 20 champion’s league 2014, Pakistan VS Australia, Pakistan VS New Zealand cricket Series. OPPO was also the exclusive branding partner of Fast & Furious 7 Hollywood movie in mobile phone category in Pakistan.
Social media is very important for our company, because it is one of the major platforms for OPPO to communicate with fans and customers, and it is also an extension for OPPO to provide effective and excellent service. For instance, in a week time we helped to service more than 200 customers who wanted to buy Find 7a with discounted price via Facebook page. And it is an encouragement for us to establish a special team to manage and operate social media in Pakistan. In the future, we will create more local content and activities to interact with customers on digital platforms.
PW: What is it that set apart OPPO from its competitors?
DY: OPPO invests heavily in R&D, because innovation is one of our core competences. Each year we have thousands of patents applications and we apply the latest technology on our handsets in order to make technology practical and into reality: such as we have the thinnest smartphone R5 which is about 4.85mm thin, we have motorized rotating camera on N3, and we also have VOOC Flash Charge in which 5 minutes charging time provides 2 hours phone call.
OPPO is also the global partner to Qualcomm so we work closely to embed Qualcomm processor in our most products to provide our users with unlimited experience of 4G downloading speed and battery charging speed.
OPPO has its own factory and plants, we also emphasis on TQM (Total Quality Management), so we have very strict policies for product quality control.
Our services are not only limited to our customers but also for our partners and dealers, because we believe that dealers and partners play a crucial part in the value chain. So we have our corporate value called ‘Benfen’ which means we have ethical obligation to bring benefits to the entire value chain.
Finally, OPPO’s strategy is “Localization + Globalization” which is also very different from our competitors.
OPPO is planning to do more activities like campus activities in the following semester in major universities. And OPPO will launch forum in order to complete 360 degree services interact with the local market
PW: What information does OPPO wish our readers to see?
DY: OPPO has a lot of actions recently regarding on brand globalization. Like we already mention that OPPO is the official partner of FC Barcelona. In this second half year, OPPO will co-operate with more premium global entertainment & sport resources in order to stabilize our premium and global brand positioning. So please keep paying attention to us and see the amazing campaigns of OPPO.
PW: What products will OPPO launch in Pakistan in near future?
DY: OPPO Pakistan is introducing more affordable smartphones with delightful user experience: such as OPPO launched Neo 5 for Rs .17, 990 and Joy 3 for Rs. 15,990 in Pakistan during Ramadan, which have great photography performance and smooth operating experience, for Ramadan & Eid campaign. OPPO is going to launch R7 Lite and R7 Plus, which will target people who like exquisitely designed smartphone. We will reveal the specifications of R7 series shortly in Pakistan, please keep updated from our Facebook page which is Facebook.com/PakistanOPPO.
PW: How many countries does OPPO operate so far in the world?
DY: About smartphone business, OPPO is operating in over 20 countries and they are located in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Middle East, Australia, Africa and Middle America. In a very short period development, we have achieved great performance. For example, OPPO is the top 3 ranked smartphone brand in Indonesia and Vietnam, OPPO is the top 4 brand in Malaysia. Furthermore, OPPO is also one of the top manufacturers of blu-ray player business, and ranked No. 1 brand in premium Blu-ray DVD market priced over 300 USD in North America and Europe.
PW: Does OPPO have any plans to attract young customers?
DY: We have been doing a lot to attract young customers in many ways. For example our products always position young with very good designs and practical features, like our Neo 5s with mirrored form and metallic structure, which makes it quite popular among youth.
And our marketing campaigns are also targeting on young customers, like we partnered with Fast & Furious 7 Hollywood movie, we sponsored cricket matches in Pakistan. In the short future, OPPO is planning to do more activities like campus activities in the following semester in major universities. And OPPO will launch forum in order to complete 360 degree services interact with the local market.