#NayaBharat | ‘Sooner or later, govt will have to include smartphones in essential products category’: Madhav Sheth
New Delhi | Jagran Technology Desk: In today’s episode of Jagran New Media’s #NayaBharat series, Jagran Hitech’s Editor Siddhartha Sharma was joined by the Vice-President and CEO of Realme, Madhav Sheth. During the conversation, the two discussed the impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the smartphone industry and the strategy to revive the affected sales of the industry post the coronavirus period.
Siddhartha Sharma - What is the affect of COVID-19 and the lockdown on Realme’s business as wel;l as the smartphone industry across the world?
Madhav Sheth - See, in today's time the smartphone has become an essential product rather than a lifestyle product. It has emerged as the most essential product especially during the lockdown. In such a situation, the smartphone should be kept in essential category. Smartphone has been an essential item during social distancing to connect with someone close to you. The Covid-19 has a direct impact on our sales, we cannot deny this. But the customer has suffered a lot in the lockdown. They could not get their phones repaired, also, they could not buy a new phone. During this time many migrants had to face difficulties due to lack of mobile phones. In such a situation, I believe that the smartphone should fall in the list of essential categories. I hope that sooner or later the government will include smartphones in the essential category. However, despite all this, we have big challenges, because the supply chain has deteriorated. As a smartphone industry, we have faced and will face many problems during and after Covid-19.
Siddhartha Sharma - What changes are you seeing in the smartphone industry due to Covid-19, which will increase smartphone demand in the coming days?
Madhav Sheth - Changes are being seen in consumer demand and behavior patterns. Till now smartphones were used for lifestyle. But now people are buying smartphones according to their needs. In such a situation, we have to change the production plan of the smartphone. Apart from this, we have faced other challenges - as the GST rate has increased, the component part prices have gone up. Because of this, the industry has suffered.
Siddhartha Sharma - How are your online partners helping you in increasing sales and business?
Madhav Sheth - Be it online or offline partner, they are all helping in their own way. We are trying to make contact less deliveries, digital payment, how to make the customer feel safe. Today, social distancing has become the new normal. In such a situation, it will be our first attempt to follow it as a brand. We are trying our best to provide the customer with all the information related to the smartphone at home along with offline and online partners. We fully ensure that the consumer gets the product he wants safely by following social distancing.
Siddhartha Sharma - You have said that the supply chain has deteriorated. But PM Modi has meanwhile announced a relief package of Rs 20 lakh crore for SME and MSME. Many MSMEs also work with you. So how do you see this relief package and according to you what should the government do to bring the economy back on track?
Madhav Sheth - We welcome this relief package by the government. The relief package for MSME benefits us somewhere. Meaning Make in India is a good move of the government. This has resulted in a large number of jobs and investment in India. This will show improvement in the economy in the long run. This is a step taken by the government in the right direction. Realme is also participating in Make in India. By the end of this year, Realme will generate about 10 thousand jobs in India. It will also take out 5,000 sales promoter jobs. Apart from this, the company will bring the SMT line. According to me, the relief package and the Make in India campaign together will accelerate the economy.
Siddhartha Sharma - What new products will be launched by Realme after the lockdown?
Madhav Sheth - Realme has always had a one-plus one dual engine strategy, in which we will bring new smartphones along with new products supported by Artificial Intelligence (AI). W e will also bring some products with IoT technology, so that the life of users can be made easier. We will continue the launch of the new smartphone.
Siddhartha Sharma - What are steps taken by Realme in accordance with the CSR during the coronavirus period?
Madhav Sheth - During this time we worked to educate people, so as to prevent the spread of misinformation. Apart from this, we helped the diaspora in many ways. During this time, we are running a campaign to feed 25 thousand people. It has also provided insurance cover for its channel partner.
Siddhartha Sharma - How do you see India after Covid-19? What is your message to the users during this pandemic?
Madhav Sheth - I would like to say that customers help the people around them, after Covid-19, a responsibility has come to help all sections of the society. See, India is a country of youth. In such a situation, we would like to help people through technology, which can help people get relief in times of crisis.
Posted By: Talib Khan