Lenovo, one of the biggest PC vendors in the world, is looking at expanding its smartphone business in the Indian market, driven by new product launches and increasing distribution network.

“India is an important market for us. The smartphone market in the country is growing at a tremendous pace. It will grow more as people explore more and more things that they can do with there phones. Also, the price points are coming down...this is one of the reasons driving growth,” Sudhin Mathur, Director (Smartphones), Lenovo India, told The Hindu in an interview.

The company, which entered the smartphone market in the country about to 6-7 months back, is already seeing a good growth. According to Mathur, the business is growing cent per cent quarter-on-quarter.

The Beijing-headquartered company is hopeful of replicating the success it has seen in its PC business even as competition in the segment is heating up by the day.

“Lenovo is perceived to be a strong, large multinational organisation with a strong brand acceptance. We have already proven ourselves. We have seen huge success in our PC business and I see no reason why we can not replicate it in our smartphones business. The market opportunity is very big,” he said.

He added that the purchase behaviour of the Indian consumer has gone through a change.

“There is a change in trend dramatically… they (buyers) willing to give a chance to everybody. Gone are they days when they used to say I want to buy a particular brand. There are still some brand loyalists. But they are willing to give chances and test new technologies. And that is where Lenovo brings in that differentiation because of the innovation. We are very confident that the India journey has just started for us and we’ll be able to repeat our success,” he added.

The company has launched 12 smartphones till now in the price range of Rs 4,000 and Rs 36,000 in India and plans to launch a new device every 3 months.

“This is a very interesting category... life cycle of the product is very short. Every 5 months there are new spec coming in. From a smartphone point of view, any given time we always will have 10-12 smartphones in our portfolio,” he noted.

Further, the company also plans to ramp up its distribution network to 10,000 points of sale before the end of March 2014 from 7,000 at present.

Talking about company's sales target, Mathur said, “That is a question best answered may be a year from now. Right now we are fixing all the fundamentals. We should we present in outlets, products should be cutting edge, more visible in the markets.. we are working on these areas.”

According to the latest IDC numbers, smartphone shipments in India grew three times from 16.2 million in 2012 to 44 million in 2013.

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