Pardeep Jain, the promoter of Karbonn Mobile’s holding company Jaina Group, and former CEO of Gionee India Arvind Vohra have signed a letter of intent and non-disclosure agreement with Gionee to purchase the Chinese company’s stake in Gionee India, according to a report by Economic Times. Gionee Communication Equipment, the Chinese parent company, currently holds 74 percent stake in Gionee India, with the rest already held by Arvind Vohra and his family.
The deal is expected to be worth Rs 200-250 crore, and will see the new Indian holding entity have the right to use the Gionee brand, which itself is thought to be worth Rs 125 crore. Arvind Vohra was CEO of Gionee India till last year, but stepped down as Gionee in China wanted to better control the operations in India. However, Gionee has since fallen on financial woes, and is facing legal proceedings in China for its failures to pay suppliers.
Gionee India is thought to have a 2-3 percent market share in the country, and was till recently one of the leading brands in the country. Thanks to its partners, Gionee had managed to capture strong market share in North India, and was at one time the leading smartphone manufacturer by shipments in the state of Rajasthan. The Gionee brand could be successfully revived under the leadership of Vohra and Jain, both of whom are experienced in the Indian smartphone space.
WATCH: Oppo Find X First Look
Much of Gionee’s early success in India comes as a result of its early entry into the market. The brand was launched in India in 2012, and one of the first Chinese smartphone makers to sell its products in India. While newer manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Vivo, Oppo and Honor have since taken over the market, Gionee continues to enjoy brand recall thanks to its initial successes. The company recently launched its S11 Lite smartphone in India, priced at Rs 13,999.