“Even though we lost a quarter of sales due to supply chain disruptions, I believe there was an opportunity in disguise and Realme grew by around 25 per cent (from 15 million in 2019 to 19 million in 2020). I think the minimum would be nothing less than 25-30 million handsets, that’s what we are targeting for 2021,” he said.
He noted that the belly of the market has always been Rs 15,000 smartphones, and the pandemic has seen the replacement cycles expand.
India smartphone market shipments grew 17 per cent year-on-year (y-o-y) with record shipments of 54.3 million units in the September 2020 quarter, as per research firm IDC.
In the month of October, India’s smartphone market grew 42 per cent y-o-y with shipments at 21 million units.
“People are looking for more value for money, it’s not about the cheaper phone, but one that gives them the value for money…We have always been a product driven company and we understand consumers well..
“The replacement cycles have got longer and consumers are looking for a long term product, something that involves lesser visits to service centres, gives them value for money and brings in innovations,” Sheth said.
“And Realme checks all these boxes and that gives us the confidence for growth this year,” he added.
Sheth, who is also responsible for the European market, said since starting its operations in India, Realme has expanded to other markets.
“We started with India and so, it is going to be one of the most strategic businesses. Being a global company, India is always going to be relevant, but yes we are expanding further and we want to expand further to different geographies.
“Right now, India is more than 50 per cent of our global revenue and we would like India to continue contributing over 35 per cent over the next many years,” he added.
The company, which competes aggressively against players like Xiaomi and Samsung in the Indian market, is also focused on expanding its hold in the AIOT (artificial intelligence based Internet of Things) space with its wearables and smart audio products.
Realme’s AIOT products include smart TVs, smart watches and fitness bands and earbuds.
“AIoT has been a wonderful category and we have performed exceptionally well in these categories. People are looking for more technology help to ease up their life, and this will only increase further…We will be expanding our portfolio of AIOT products in wider price segments to give consumers better choices,” he said.