2012-2018, throughout its existence in Nepal, Huawei has never looked more positive as of now, especially after the launch of the Huawei Nova 2i/Mate 10 Pro. The global leaders in telecommunication services have become a recognized smartphone brand in recent years. Not to forget, Huawei is the 3rd largest smartphone maker in the world and looks to become the most popular smartphone brand in Nepal.
Mr. Joyas Zhu, the country director of Huawei in Nepal, made it clear, “We are here to do a long-term business (10 – 20) years, our target is to become the most popular smartphone brand in Nepal“. In a recent interview, Mr. Zhu talks about how Huawei is set to build a better customer experience aiming to be the most popular smartphone brand in Nepal.
In Conversation With Huawei’s Joyas Zhu
TechLekh: Huawei entered Nepal in 2012. It has been six years of experience for you and the company. How challenging has this journey been so far?
Mr. Zhu: It’s very challenging in Nepal. Nepal has a very low GDP. As a company, we want to sell more high-end products but the GDP has hindered us so far. It seems the major problem is the GDP level, low sales volume and limited sales of high-end products; currently, most people here have less purchasing power compared to other South Asian countries. However, there is huge potential in near future, as there has been a good development in Nepal’s economy lately as compared to 3-4 years back.
Nepal has nearly 29 million population but almost 5 million of the population are overseas. And actually, those 5 million people can afford to buy the high-end product. But unfortunately, they are abroad.
– Joyas Zhu
TechLekh: Nepal is a small country but how much does it contribute to the total sales of Huawei?
Mr. Zhu: It is well under a 1/7th percentage of the total sales. Last year, the total revenue of Huawei was 100 billion and accordingly, Nepal would contribute 0.14 billion.
TechLekh: Huawei built a manufacturing plant in Chennai, India in 2016. Since then it has produced many products for the Indian and Global market. Is there any chance of something similar happening in Nepal? If not, what are the major hurdles?
Mr. Zhu: I think as of current situation there is no plan so far to open a plant in Nepal in next 10 years. First, the whole market is really small. Second, if we build a plant; supply chain, government policy, agency, management, import and delivery logistic should match international level. Therefore, it’s not feasible for at least next 10 years.
Country like Philippines, Malaysia, and India, they are at the center of the traffic of asian market. Labour fee is low, the industry is much rich, and the delivery is very convenient. But in Nepal, transportation, traffic, and industry are not suitable.
– Joyas Zhu
TechLekh: Lately, many Chinese smartphone brands such as OPPO and Xiaomi have also entered the Nepali market. With an extensive marketing and quality products, they are performing pretty well here, especially in the mid-tier smartphone segment. Whereas Samsung and Apple are quite dominant when it comes to the flagships. So on which segment is Huawei trying to put its major focus on, in Nepal?
Mr. Zhu: Right now we are focusing on the Nova series. Because, before 3 years Nepal market switched from 2G to 3G, so most of the users started using an entry-level smartphone. But after switching to a smartphone from a bar phone, users get good experience. And gradually they choose a better smartphone as their next option. Therefore, according to the trend, we will be focusing more on the mid-tier segment.
TechLekh: What are Huawei’s present and future strategies/plans for Nepal? How is Huawei trying to expand its market coverage in Nepal in coming days?
Mr. Zhu: We are here for the long haul and we aim to be the best mobile phone brand in Nepal by 2020. For this, we focus on improving user’s smartphone experience and we invest a lot in research and design every year; we spend nearly 10% of revenue in Research and Development (R&D) each year. We put a lot of effort in improving design & technology. In future, we’ll focus on technology, user experience, and better user service. As more customers start to trust us, it aspires us to become the most popular smartphone brand in Nepal by 2020.
Actually Huawei brand loyalty is high. If you ask some people that use Huawei smartphone, more than 70 % will choose Huawei again. And if you use Huawei mobile phone, its most likely that you will recommend your friend to use the same because of its quality, camera, and good battery life.
– Joyas Zhu
TechLekh: Thank you for your time. Do you have any final message for our readers?
Mr. Zhu: We are trying our best to be one of the most loved brands in Nepal. If you go to our showrooms, service centers, and other facilities then you’ll realize that we have been trying hard to improve the experience for our customers. Also, we’ll be launching two new products by the end of the march and both of them will be smartphones.
Huawei is taking leaps in the international market and currently, it is well known in Nepal as well. Provision of a good facility, excellent customer support, and superior user experience seems to be the major focus of Huawei as conveyed by Mr. Zhu. Furthermore, they are more interested in the mid-tier segment and ultimately aim to be the best in the business. Although there is a lack of appropriate market in Nepal, Mr. Zhu seems resolute to provide the latest technology Huawei has to offer.
In the end, he explicitly told us that Huawei will be releasing two new smartphones by the end of March 2018 in Nepal. And Huawei is very confident that these smartphones will be a big hit once they are launched in Nepal.