Oppo Managing Director for Africa and the Middle East Andy Shi revealed that the company’s sales doubled in 2017, compared to last year. He added that Oppo plans to expand its stores and aftersales centres in Egypt, in addition to releasing its new F5 phone in Egypt during this week.
How did the company increase its growth in the Egyptian market during 2017?
Oppo worked through three main anchors in 2017. We intensified the marketing campaigns of our brand in the market, and we clearly succeeded in this part, as it positively affected our sales. We also expanded our stores and outlets in partnership with mobile dealers, with 3,500 stores nationwide currently.
Where does Oppo rank with regards to sales in the Egyptian market? What are your plans regarding aftersales services?
I am not sure about the actual ranking of mobile companies in the Egyptian market as I do not have a survey from an accredited research centre.
Oppo is a new company in the Egyptian market. During our three-year presence in Egypt, we tried to reach young people because they are the target customers of the company, so we provided products that meet their needs, such as high-quality cameras for selfies.
We also focused on reaching the largest number of customers by expanding our outlets in cooperation with mobile dealers.
Oppo’s strategy relies on providing products with good specifications at affordable prices.
Actually, our market share has been small in the first two years, but now many customers know Oppo’s products, which reflects the growth of our business in the Egyptian market.
With regards to after sales services, we offer these services on our own without relying on any local agent to ensure providing the best service to our consumers. The company uses these services to know the flaws and complaints around its services and products.
We have six aftersales service centres nationwide, in accordance with the population density of Oppo phone users. Cairo has the highest density of our customers, so we opened two aftersales service centres in the governorate to provide maintenance. Oppo centres can also be found in Zagazig, Mansoura, Alexandria, and Tanta.
We are currently studying the expansion of our centres to other areas, through conducting market research to know areas that need our aftersales services most.
What is the company’s sales growth rate in the Egyptian market?
We cannot share detailed information, but our sales were doubled in 2017 compared to the year before.
What are Oppo’s target price categories?
We do not offer low quality products, so we do not have low-priced phones. We focus on medium-priced products and try to present the highest possible quality.
There is intense competition in the Egyptian market, what are Oppo’s competitive advantages compared to other companies?
We believe that the Egyptian market is very competitive; it is a good and healthy sign. Oppo ranked first or second in China and India due to the fierce competition in these two markets, while we come in fourth place internationally.
This reflects our confidence in our products’ ability to compete under the competitive conditions in the Egyptian market. We focus on youth through providing good products at affordable prices unlike other competitors who do not focus on a specific segment.
In addition, no company competes with Oppo in this category, so we predict a great growth potential in Egypt.
Oppo spent generously on traders, do you think this is an appropriate way to succeed in the Egyptian market? Will this strategy change in the future?
Oppo’s strategy in dealing with traders is based on helping them achieve profits, because they are our linkage with customers, and a large part of our revenue was achieved through them.
Our relationship is not temporary, but a strategic tie that is applied globally and continuously. We provide our traders with the best incentives and advantages to encourage them on increasing the sales of our products. We will continue to implement this plan.
We do the same even with our partners, who provide us with spare parts, which helps to harmonise the work system as a whole.
Do you have affiliate outlets?
We have three sales outlets: one of them in Greater Cairo, and two in other provinces.
How much does Oppo spend on research and development?
I cannot say specific numbers, but in China, for example, we have 15,000 patents since we started manufacturing smartphones in 2004. It reflects our interest in supporting research and development sectors. Our patents include the areas of fast charging, the selfie technique, and its special features.
On the other hand, we conduct research on the target market before releasing each product, since our products focus on young people who require high quality cameras, especially the front camera to take selfies.
For example, before the release of Alfa 5, Oppo conducted market research to identify the defects of selfie cameras and develop new features, based on artificial intelligence.
Does Oppo negotiate with Telecom Egypt to establish a partnership?
All of our devices support 4G services, but we do not have a partnership agreement with Telecom Egypt.
What is the effect of the floated exchange rate on Oppo’s plans in Egypt? How did it impact purchasing power?
The floatation of the exchange rate was a positive step. After the stability of the exchange rate, we could make clear future plans for the local market, which helped us a lot. The purchasing power decreased significantly which affected the sales of all companies.
At the time, we released a new phone whose sales had a significant impact, as well as the following models released.
However, after six months of the floatation, the market has improved significantly, and we have been able to recover our growth rate.
Has Oppo’s strategy to provide the best camera phone limited the company’s development?
We lead the evolution of smartphone cameras worldwide. This is our strategy, but it does not mean that we neglect other features of the phone. There are also other important features in our devices, such as the design, and the battery’s lifetime and size.