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Lava expects GCC sales to cross 1m this year

Indian brand grows 300% last year as many brands exited the market

Gulf News

Dubai: Indian mobile phone manufacturer Lava International expects 40 per cent increase in sales this year to more than one million units, according to a senior company executive.

Mohammad Khizar Ulla, head of Middle East business at Lava International, told Gulf News that due to some manufacturers downsizing their businesses and some manufacturers exiting the market, Lava made use of the opportunity.

Despite starting from a low volume, he said that Lava has grown year-on-year 300 per cent in 2016 in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. Lava claims to have sold 720,000 units last year.

“We are rubbing shoulders with some of the top brands on the retail shelves. Our growth is very organic and consolidated and we have never spent more on advertising to buy market share. We want to develop and grow the brand.

“Other big players have taken five to six years to achieve the numbers we attained in just over a year,” he said.

Lava was the -growing Indian smartphone brand globally in 2015. According to Counterpoint Research, Lava registered a growth of 214 per cent globally in 2015, which is the highest for growth worldwide for any Indian brand in the smartphone category.

But due to the emergence of Chinese brands like Oppo and Vivo, Lava and many other brands are facing stiff competition.

The company on Thursday launched a new smartphone — A3 — for Dh799 to start the year with a bang.

The 5.5-inch device is powered by 2.5GHz processor with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage capacity. It houses 13MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing camera.

“Our focus area will be below the $250 range this year and major brands are also focusing this price segment but we have our strength. You need to cater to the changing demand of customers and have different strategies for different markets,” he said.

“We want to make ourselves strong in this segment and sustain the growth,” he said

The company sold 35 million units in total in 2015, including 10.7 million overseas sales, and achieved revenues of $1.1 billion in fiscal 2015, registering more than 100 per cent growth over fiscal 2014.

“We want 50 per cent of our business to come from other GCC countries, instead of the current 30 per cent. We still have more to do in this region.” He said.

The company has operations in Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Middle East, Russia and Egypt.

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