After tasting success in the online market, Realme has started expanding in the offline market as well, but retailers (your next door phone shop wale bhaiya) are complaining.
The Mobile Indian spoke to five distributors and 37 retailers to get some insight about the recent strategy of a lot of brands, including Realme, who are operating in India and are trying to make inroads in the offline market to improve their reach and revenue.
Retailers who will stock Realme smartphones for the first time said, “ When we place our first order with Realme we are allowed to buy only 15- 20 devices, but there is a catch.”
Explaining the catch Retailers said, “Out of the 20 devices we can pick and choose only five or seven smartphones which may be mix and match of different models or one particular model of our choice and the rest will be Realme’s choice. The problem is most the smartphones that the company forces us to stock are non-performing devices.” We were further informed that Realme is not offering any credit period to the retailers to buy their stocks.
The Mobile Indian did reach out to Realme to get their reaction, but they overlooked our email and didn’t respond. We had also enquired about the current status, is Realme an independent company or still part of Oppo, of the company in India and it also met the same fate.
Update:( 10:20 PM, 7th Feb 2019)
We have received responses fromMadhav Sheth, CEO, Realme India and are incorporatingthe same so as to present both sides of the picture.
“Realme is registered as an independent entity under the nameRealme Mobile Telecommunications (India) Private Limited. Realme and OPPO operate completely independent from each other.We completely decline the recent allegations on us as we at Realme have always followed a transparent approach while working with our network of distributors and retailers. Our partners have a complete freedom to pick and choose the models according to their market requirements.Realme as a young brand is committed to deliver the best to our customers hence we do not engage in such malpractices.At Realme, we take all such concerns seriously and we have internally checked with our partners on this issue and we haven’t received any such complaints.”
It may be recalled, in June 2018, Realme which was a sub-brand of Oppo parted ways with its parent company in China to establish its independent identity ( standalone company) but in India, legally speaking, Realme is still a sub-brand of Oppo.
In July 2018, Realme spokesperson had said to us, “We are in the process of establishing Realme’s independent identity in India, and we have already commenced the necessary paperwork, and the filling are underway.”
Realme has plans to expand the offline sales to 150 cities in 2019 and in January they had planned to cover ten cities and eventually have plans of adding 50 cities every quarter. Previously to test waters, Realme had got into an exclusive partnership with Reliance stores for offline sales of the products.
The company has launched the Realme 1, Realme 2, Realme 2 Pro, Realme C1 and Realme U1 smartphones this year.