The online-first market in India is currently dominated by brands such as Xiaomi and Lenovo, while the offline space continues to be driven by the efforts of Samsung, Vivo and Oppo. With the kind of budgets, efforts and drive that go into holding strong positions in the competitive smartphone industry, it s hard to imagine any other smartphone makers breaking into the top five any time soon. However, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Nubia is not shying away from the challenge. Also Read - ZTE Blade V2021 5G goes official with MediaTek Dimensity 720 SoCAlso Read - Nubia Watch to be available globally in October with USD 400 price tag
With Chinese smartphone and technology giant ZTE as one of its key shareholders, Nubia collaborates with ZTE in certain areas of software and hardware. But in India, as with everywhere else, the Nubia brand name stands on its own. At Nubia, we are firm believers in our philosophy of Be Yourself . Our competition is with ourselves and we strive to consistently do better in every aspect of the product that we bring to the market. For nubia the biggest challenge lies in integrating technology with humanity and helping people realize their passions, says Eric Hu, country head for Nubia India. Also Read - Xiaomi may be beaten by ZTE in making first commercially available under-display camera
But how has the Indian market been for Nubia so far? Since the company began its operations in India in October 2016, a fair amount has happened for Nubia. India has been a great journey and a massive learning experience for us. We have been fortunate to have received love and affection of so many people, so early in our journey. Since we began, we have introduced 9 products and 11 variants in 15 colors in India.
And Nubia has been seeing India s growing economy as the perfect opportunity. Eric explains that as he fruits of a growing economy are reaching further into the smaller towns and villages of India, people are graduating from entry-level phones to mid-range devices. Sociologically speaking, the phone too has travelled from being a communication device to becoming an extension of its user s identity. This is a phenomenon that can be directly co-related to the Indian car market, where people are now increasingly looking at an SUV over an entry-level vehicle. This social change fits in with our products as well as business case.
Nubia further believes that its expertise lies in its camera development. Indeed, the focus of its recent phones have been on the camera, and the latest success in that department is the Nubia Z17 Mini, which we reviewed recently. With an excellent dual-camera set up at the rear, the phone performs well with low-light photography, thanks to its monochrome sensor that captures pure light detail. Other modes such as clone photography and the software-based bokeh and blur effects also help put the camera s technology to effective use.
The Nubia Z17 Mini was introduced in India after our studies told us that there was a latent demand for high quality imaging, sleek design and an exceptional UI. Indian users have been looking for a product that offers all these in one package and the response to the device affirmed that we have delivered on expectations. We look set to surpass our target on this something we are extremely pleased about, says Eric, when asked about the Nubia Z17 Mini. Nubia s focus on development is visible, with over 6000 patents and 55 percent of staff devoted to R&D.
For now though, Nubia remains online-first in its distribution approach, which potentially limits availability to many buyers. When asked about this, Eric says Nubia is a young brand in India and the millennial users are present on digital platforms. Therefore it made perfect sense for us to start our journey on a digital platform. As per research the audience on digital platform is more perceptive to technology features. Online-only sales model has helped us keep our costs at the lower end of spectrum while helping us attain reach with the audience we wanted to talk to as a newcomer in the market. As we grow in the market we are in discussions with partners to adopt an offline channel retail business model. Offline is important to us and once we finalize the modalities we will announce the same. It will be complemented by the Nubia s own e-tailing store which is expected to be operational by the end of 2017.
Nubia is currently partnered with Amazon in India for online distribution and sales. Our partnership with has been a great success so far. We are looking forward to going further with Amazon and will introduce 4-5 new products in India shortly on the Amazon platform, continues Eric.
And as has been proven many times, after-sales service can make or break the prospects of a smartphone maker in India. We asked Eric Hu what Nubia is doing to build its after-sales service network in India. At Nubia we are aware that great service is often the foundation or at the core of a great brand. nubia is already present in over 50 cities of India with its service network and happy to report that there are negligible complaints related to hardware on our systems . ALSO READ: Xiaomi after-sales service in India: A closer look at the company s efforts towards customer satisfaction
Nubia has also mandated a turnaround time of 24 hours on complaints which pertain to software-related issues, explain Eric. In case there is a hardware-related complaint we try and resolve it within 48 hours, if there is no solution and a device is within warranty then there have been instances where we have given new devices to customers. In an ideal situation, we should be able to resolve any problem in 12 hours, and this is what we re looking to achieve.
Although Nubia has a long way to go before establishing itself as a key player in the market, the company is making all the right moves thanks to quality products and competitive pricing, and has the potential to build a strong presence in the Indian market.