Published in Sep-Oct 2015
As per statistics published by the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) in March 2015, Pakistan has over 134 million mobile phone users, making the country a very lucrative market for mobile phone manufacturers. The smartphone industry of Pakistan has seen a remarkable growth of 124% year on year according to the International Data Corporation and with 3G/4G operational since last year Pakistanis are increasingly demanding user friendly, value added smartphones.
Infinix Mobility identified the market’s need for pocket friendly, yet trendy smartphones and recently launched two devices in Pakistan: the Infinix Hotnote and its flagship device, the Infinix Zero2. Both are mid-range smartphones priced at Rs 12,900 and Rs 18,900 respectively and are specifically targeted to the needs of teenagers and young professionals.
Infinix is a Hong Kong based smartphone manufacturer and a subsidiary of the Transsion Group. Established in 2013, Infinix has already established itself as a leading player in the smartphone/tablets market. Infinix has R&D centres in France and Korea and has manufacturing centres in China along with local subsidiaries in 60 countries worldwide. Infinix devices are available in Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, the UAE and now Pakistan.
Andy Yan, Group VP, Transsion Group and co-founder, Infinix Mobility, believes Pakistan is a strategically important market because of its young population and their increasing appetite for smartphones.
The company’s vision is to provide high-end devices at affordable prices and does this by using a unique ‘factory to consumer model’ which eliminates the use of distributors (thereby reducing channel costs substantially) and takes the smartphone directly from the factory to the consumer. To put this unique business model into action in Pakistan, Infinix partnered with Daraz.pk as its sole retail partner and Yan believes that this “strategic partnership ensures that we get direct feedback from our customers and improve our upcoming products in Pakistan.” For context, Infinix has similar partnerships in the UAE where it has partnered with ecommerce retailer Souq and in Kenya where retail is handled by telecom provider, Safaricom.
In terms of how Infinix will deal with after sales complaints and services without a physical outlet or presence, Yan says the warranty can be claimed through Daraz.pk.
Despite the affordable pricing and easy accessibility, the biggest challenge for Infinix is to establish a brand image in Pakistan’s cutthroat mobile handset market.
Yan believes that getting to know what consumers want and then delivering it to them will help overcome this challenge. To this end the company has invested in online platforms such as the Infinix Xclub Facebook community to gauge customer response and acquire feedback.
However, with a small marketing spend limited to a few launch billboards, can Infinix compete with the local and international giants that are spending huge amounts on media? Yan’s response is that Infinix believes in the “product concept of marketing, which means that if your product is good, it will sell itself. Our products are different in terms of specs and features and no other smartphone company in Pakistan is able to offer them at the same price point as Infinix.”
In Yan’s view, more devices will be introduced at different price points in the coming months to cater to Pakistan’s young. By using their unique business model, advanced technology and best price, Infinix is hoping to bring to Pakistan the best in class smartphones.