What are the opportunities you see in the Egyptian market?
We have studied the Egyptian market, and even though there is purchasing power in it, it is not very strong because of the currency devaluation and monetary issues. Respecting our brand, we are enjoying big growth, more than 35% last year.
What about the challenges?
They are everywhere. For us, the most important thing is how to fight the challenge. We have raised our market share in some categories to more than 20% of the local market; and this is a success.
What is your plan for Egypt?
We are interested in having a high-end market share, but it is not big in Egypt because most consumers would not want to pay EGP 15,000 for a phone. Consumers’ needs are what matters. This is about the nature of consumers. Innovation is a part of our brand, and we will continue to innovate because what we do different than others is listening to customers regarding to what should be changed.
What are the mother company’s plans in R&D?
More than 70% of our employees are focusing on R&D. It is in the heart and soul of HTC. This is what we have been doing for the past 20 years and what we will continue to do. We are competing with big players in the market.
What is your targeted market share?
We are targeting more than 10% of the market share for all of our products.
Does HTC plan to open a factory in the local market?
In general, phones do not have a long life-cycle; so the more diverse production facilities are, the less competitive you will be. It is important to offer the consumer the products at a very reasonable price. We prefer to keep the production facilities close together.
How do you plan to compete in the Egyptian market?
Basically, our whole plan is very straightforward: we want to be visible. We want our audience to always be able to see and hear us. We have new phones, designs, and innovation, and we also have a very good availability in the market.
Do you have a plan to launch products in lower market segments which might be more suitable for the Egyptian customers’ current circumstances?
This has been our strategy for the past two years. We have released a lot of products in the lowest price range of HTC. What you need to understand is that you need to succeed on the high end, because if you do, you are able to meet other segments too. Because high-end is where innovation starts and nobody makes money from lower-end products.
Are there any strategies to bring in more service centres?
We are increasing the number of service points. In some regions, we offer better services than we have to. We take services very seriously, but I do not have specific calculations of the number of these centres; however, we cover all of Egypt.
2016 saw a drop of 10% in the market of mobile phones in Egypt. How has that affected you?
We increased our company’s sales by 40%. In order to gain more traction in the market, we need to get to the lower-end products. We enjoyed almost a 40% increase on the phones with 5.5-inch screens.