Infinix expects to sell about 1.3 million units in 2017 and increase its market share, despite an expected decline in sales to 10m devices across the market, compared to the 14m units sold in 2015. Charles Gong, brand manager at Infinix Mobility Limited, said that the Egyptian market, despite all challenges, has promising potential for growth.
Gong told Daily News Egypt that his company aims to provide the needs of Egyptian consumers and offer distinguished after-sales services.
What growth opportunities do you see in the Egyptian market?
The Egyptian market is one of the biggest markets in Africa with many growth opportunities. The population of over 90 million people is a positive investment opportunity in itself. The company entered the market in 2013 and was limited to online sales only. Now, the company offers its products through e-commerce websites, as well as traditional outlets.
During the first three months in the Egyptian market, the company’s performance remained below the target. However, six months after, sales began to gain speed, which proved our place in the market. We currently have a market share of 6%.
What are the most prominent challenges in Egypt?
There are some challenges in Egypt—just like in any other market. All markets will always have investment potential and challenges. The government’s restraints on imports are one of our biggest challenges here. The strong competition is another factor, especially as many competitors have been in Egypt for longer periods and have more funds to invest in marketing.
What competitive advantage do you have?
We are working to meet the Egyptian consumer’s requirements. We had many partnerships with some mobile operators. We are also working to provide after-sales services that offer more support to clients. We conduct monthly discussions with the consumers through our social platforms to meet their needs and listen to their complaints.
Is there a plan to further cooperate with mobile operators?
We already have good partnerships with the three mobile operators, especially Orange. We launched many devices exclusively with the company over the last period. In the future, we will sign more partnerships. Moreover, we are currently working to spread through establishing our own outlets and customer service centres. Our first store will be inaugurated this month. This will make Egypt the first country in the Middle East where we have our own store.
How did the fluctuation of the exchange rate impact your products?
We were impacted by the instability of the exchange rate, because we were forced to periodically review our prices. However, we decided not to raise our prices at the same rate as our competitors, and only moved them a little in order not to burden the consumers. Our products are now selling at EGP 1,000 to EGP 3,000.
What are the main features of your strategy for the Egyptian market in 2017?
We have a clear strategy for the Egyptian market during 2017. This strategy includes expanding with our sales outlets and service centres to improve our market share. We believe that our market share will increase to 17-18% in 2017.
What about your investments in research and development (R&D)?
R&D is one of our most important departments, being the main engine for growth and sales. We have an R&D centre in the Middle East and we spend about 30-50% of our budget on that department.
What was the size of your sales last year compared to the market?
Over 2015 and the first half of 2016, we sold 500,000 devices in Egypt. We also have plans to reach sales of 1.3 million units in 2017. As for the entire market, reports indicate sales of 14 million devices in 2015, while sales in 2016 reached about 11 million units. The sales volume is expected to decline by the end of this year on the back of the US dollar price hike. Estimates are ranging between around 11 million units sold in 2016 and 10 million in 2017.