lephone_dec16 Interview

With new aggressive offline channel strategy, Lephone is ready for the big LEAP


Lephone is a China-based, multinational mobiles company originated in 2005 by Huang Mingquan. Lephone, already present in the Indian market for the past several years, is now all set to strengthen and expand its presence in India in a big way.

Huang Mingquan, Global President from Lehpone Group, shares, “In the coming years, the Indian market is going to offer a lot of opportunities for the mobile providers. We have our own state-of-the-art production facilities in China, but most Indian brands have to get their sets manufactured by ODMs in China. We want to leverage on this advantage. In China, we are already an established brand with many successful and running models. So it will not be difficult for us to expand into India. We are in the process of building a dynamic supply chain to reach out to the end customers in India.”

Lephone is one of the leading mobile companies in China with over a decade of presence. The brand has pioneered the democratization of technology in China by offering affordable handsets with advanced features and innovations. Lephone is currently one of the top 10 smartphone companies in China. The brand which is close to the heart of the youth, celebrates the vibrancies of life and empowerment.
Regarding their channel strategy, Andy Liu, Vice President – Overseas, Lephone, comments, “We are not going by the conventional mode of having National Distributors who will in turn lead the Regional and Local Distributors. Instead, we are appointing direct local distributors and stockists in each state.

For example, right now in UP we have nearly 30 local distributors who have good rapo with the retailers and thorough knowledge of the market. We are getting quick and original feedback from the customers through our local distributors. This will help us take prompt corrective actions and be in tune with the customers’ expectations and needs. We also invest significant amounts on R&D. At present, we are focusing on offline channel. Once, we are strong offline, we will launch some limited models online. Supporting the offline channel remains our fundamental policy.”

Lephone has highly qualified and experienced professionals working in their state-of-the-art R&D and manufacturing facilities and marketing departments to design, develop and market world class mobile devices and accessories, IPTV set-top boxes, etc. Besides a firm foothold in China, Lephone has presence in nearly 120 countries across the globe.

Huang Mingquan adds, “High quality and affordable price will be our focal points. Next, our international business policy is to employ and involve locals in the business as much as possible. That will establish a right connect with the consumers and the market. We have a couple of good models in the specified range. Our target is Rs 5k to 20k segment where the bulk of the business lies and that will help us to get better market share. Then we will have better features like video phone, gaming, etc. Even our entry level smartphone is 4G-ready.”

Lephone Brand Concept is ‘To enable users enjoy their lives’ and the Vision is ‘To become the leading communications company all over the world’ and the Mission is ‘To create a wonderful life.’ Lephone promises to offer customers the most competitive price with best services, streamline direct buying and payment process and to deliver goods all over the world with speed & precision.

Regarding go-to-the-market strategy, branding, service and product policies, Andy Liu comments, “We already have 8 models in the market: 4 feature phones and 4 smartphones. By Jan 2017, we will be launching some more models and there will 12 to 15 models for the supply chain to deal with and then we will keep launching a new model every month. For branding, initially our focus is on regions in North India and our branding will be in line with what the partners need like in-shop branding, etc. We will decide pan-India branding later. Regarding service, we already have 250 3rd party service centers in 4 states. It is our policy to keep the spares ready at our service centers and stockists so that the service centers can react immediately to service requests from the customers. Next, as we maintain high quality, our failure rates are very low. About the future goals, we want to be among the top 5 providers of mobile phones in India.”