China-based manufacturer Huawei has joined hands with Indian brand Micromax to boost its offline sales in India. The move is touted to be Huawei’s largest retail expansion to date. Being the world’s second-largest smartphone seller, Huawei entered the Indian market in 2018. However, its sub-brand Honor is not a part of the partnership. In a statement, Tornado Pan, Country Head, Huawei India said, “With an aim to be present where our consumers are, we plan to focus on a robust offline distribution network catering to the needs of consumers in urban as well as rural regions and to make them experience the innovative technology that has won the hearts of customers’ world over,”
Currently, the company sells through retail partners to reach out to its existing and potential customers. Last year, the brand partnered with Croma to launch exclusive offline products and then with Poorvika mobiles that operate in Southern states of the country. Under the phased expansion plan, the idea is to be present across the country starting from cities such as Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Chennai, Kochi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Dehardun, Kolkata, and Jaipur among others.
Micromax was a once-successful smartphone maker in India until Chinese brands entered the market. The partnership will help Huawei to distribute its smartphones through Micromax’s offline network. “In Micromax brand stores, Micromax phones will be available. But as far as the distribution and retail network that we have, Huawei will be capitalising on that. Micromax will continue separately when it comes to launching of own phones. There is no conflict of interest because Micromax addresses to the mass segment and Huawei the premium category,” said Deepti Mehra, Head, Marketing, Micromax Informatics
Offline retail is still popular in the Indian smartphone market. Brands like Xiaomi, Motorola, OPPO are aggressively expanding their offline presence to garner more market share. Huawei’s partnership with Micromax will help them leverage the latter’s offline network in India instead of building their own.