Working to address challenges, adapting to evolving market landscape, Realme CEO says

Realme is establishing 200 additional service centres in 532 cities, resulting in a total of 727 centres nationwide by 2023

Updated - June 08, 2023 04:37 pm IST

Published - June 08, 2023 02:05 pm IST

Working to address challenges, adapting to evolving market landscape, Realme CEO Sky Li, pictured here, says

Working to address challenges, adapting to evolving market landscape, Realme CEO Sky Li, pictured here, says | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

In the last five years of operations in India, Realme has become a worthy Xiaomi challenger. The brand has also figured in the top five smartphone makers, currently sitting at number five with a market share of 9% in the March ending quarter.

Sky Li, founder and CEO of Realme, spoke to The Hindu on the brand’s positioning strategy, localisation plans, and declining shipments.

Edited Excerpts:

Realme just completed five years in India. How was this journey, as India is a price-sensitive market?

Li: Realme’s presence in India over the past five years has been nothing short of exhilarating. We entered the Indian market with a vision to deliver innovative and high-quality smartphones at accessible price points, catering to the needs and aspirations of Indian consumers. Our commitment has been the driving force behind our success in this price-sensitive landscape.

Today, we have a massive user base of over 160 million worldwide, out of which 70 million are in India alone. Additionally, a community of six million Realme users has played a pivotal role in our success. We actively listen to our customers’ feedback, continuously incorporating their suggestions into our product development and after-sales services.

We are establishing 200 additional service centers in 532 cities, resulting in a total of 727 centers nationwide by 2023. This customer-centric approach has helped us build trust, loyalty, and a deep connection with our user base, further strengthening our position in the Indian market.

(For top technology news of the day, subscribe to our tech newsletter Today’s Cache)

We aim to further consolidate our position as a leading smartphone brand, while simultaneously expanding our presence in related domains such as wearables, audio, and Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT).

A photo of the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G

A photo of the Realme 11 Pro+ 5G | Photo Credit: Haider Ali Khan

What are the reasons for consecutive decline in shipments and market share of Realme in India?

Li: The smartphone market is highly dynamic and competitive, and several factors can influence sales and market performance like changing consumer preferences, evolving market conditions, intense competition, pricing strategies, supply chain challenges, and macroeconomic factors.

I agree there have been fluctuations in shipments and market share in India. However, we are actively working towards addressing these challenges and adapting to the evolving market landscape.

How is 5G affecting demand in your target group, and production at Oppo’s facility?

Li: As the pioneers of 5G smartphones in India and the leading 5G populariser, we have witnessed a significant impact on demand among our target groups, especially the young population. The advent of 5G has revolutionised their gaming experience, enabling seamless and immersive gameplay like never before.

Furthermore, the availability of lightning-fast internet speeds has enhanced their access to entertainment apps, facilitating seamless streaming, and enhancing their overall digital experience.

Do Indo-China relations affect your business interests?

Li: While we operate in various markets worldwide, it is essential to highlight that our business decisions are primarily driven by factors such as customer preferences, market dynamics, and industry trends.

We’re committed to India and are aligned with the Make-in-India initiative. We invested ₹300 crore in smartphone manufacturing lines in Greater Noida in 2019, creating over 13,000 jobs in India so far.

Realme partnered with Bhagwati Electronics, Videotex International and Skyworth for the local manufacturing of smart TVs, and achieved 100% local manufacturing in 2021. We have also partnered with KHY Electronics to manufacture smart wearables and smart hearables in India.

The Realme Watch 2 Pro and Buds wireless are now manufactured 100% in India. We strive to build strong relationships with our partners, suppliers, and stakeholders across all markets to ensure seamless operations and continued growth.

Realme recently announced a dedicated investment of ₹3.50 lakh crore on imaging in 3 years. How is it going to shape up in terms of localisation?

Li: We recognise the significance of localisation in delivering products and services that cater to the unique needs of different markets. As part of our commitment to localisation, our investment in imaging technology aims to further enhance the photography and imaging experience for our users across the globe.

By dedicating substantial resources to imaging, we intend to develop cutting-edge imaging technologies that align with the preferences and requirements of our local markets. This investment will enable us to leverage local insights and collaborate with local partners to create innovative imaging solutions that cater to the diverse demands of our customers.

We are confident that our investment will shape the future of smartphone photography significantly.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.