New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) Chinese handset maker Comio is ramping up its product portfolio and adding retailers to boost offline presence as it looks to strengthen its foothold in the hyper-competitive Indian smartphone market.
The brand, which is operated by Topwise Communication, forayed into the Indian market last year and currently offers its devices in the northern and western parts of the country.
"We have seen significant month-on-month growth and that is giving us the confidence of expanding our portfolio and retail presence," Comio India CEO and Director Sanjay Kumar Kalirona told PTI.
He added that the company will launch two new handsets in the next few weeks, priced between Rs 6,000-9,000.
"We already have 20,000 retailers on board and this will be doubled by April. We are also talking to large format retailers (LFRs) to expand coverage in the Indian market. This will be important as we go pan-India," he said.
Comio has already committed investments to the tune of Rs 500 crore over the next few years as it builds its presence in the country.
Of this, about Rs 150 crore is earmarked for manufacturing. The company has partnered with V-Sun and Hipad Technology for local assembly of its handsets.
Kalirona noted that the competition in the Indian handset market has intensified over the last few months, especially in the entry and mid-price segments.
"While the competition has grown, new players like us have also entered the market. That speaks of the potential that this market holds," he said.
Kalirona said the brand has seen great response from states like Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
India is one of the largest smartphone markets globally. According to research firm Counterpoint, the total shipment crossed 300 million units in 2017 with smartphones capturing almost 44 per cent share.
Chinas Xiaomi managed to topple Samsung from the top spot, a position the Korean tech major held for six years, Counterpoint pointed. Others in the top 5 tally include Lenovo, Vivo and Oppo.
"We are looking at bringing in the latest technology, be it edge to edge display, great camera quality or better battery life at an affordable cost. The user experience will be the differentiator for us," Kalirona said.
Asked about his expectations from the upcoming Budget, he said it should support the growth of the industry by lowering GST (from 12 per cent to 5 per cent) and offering tax reductions, especially towards the budget category.
"This will make mobile phones much more affordable for consumers. Incentives from the government will help build India as a manufacturing hub, complete the mobile supply chain and further support the Make in India vision," he added. PTI SR BAL