Chinese handset maker Gionee will expand its research and development team in the country, as it targets doubling its sales to 8 million units this year.
“We have a dedicated team of 12 people, who are working on customising the experience for local needs. Hardware is universally the same, it is the software that differentiates the experience. We plan to ramp this up and have about 30 highly skilled people as part of the team by the end of the year,” Gionee President William Lu told PTI.
The company, which claims to have about 4 percent share of the Indian handset market, said it is targeting to become one of the top 3-5 smartphone brands in the country in the next few years.
“Last year, we sold four million devices in India and 28 million globally. That is one-seventh of the total sales. This year, we expect the sales to touch 8 million. India would account for 20 percent of our revenues,” he said.
The company also plans to set up a manufacturing base in India with an investment of Rs. 300 crores in the next three years. The company has roped in consultancy firm EY to advise on partners and potential locations across the country.
“We have already seen two locations. Our head of manufacturing, who takes the final call, is visiting in three weeks. Post that, we will be in a better position to talk about the location,” Gionee India Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Arvind Vohra said.
Gionee has also earmarked a budget of Rs. 225 crores for marketing and advertising this year, up from Rs. 132 crores last year.
One of the largest and fastest growing smartphone markets globally, India saw total shipments of about 22.5 million in the October-December 2014.