Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has said that it will invest more in India to bring its design, research and development (R&D) centres to support its ‘Make in India’ strategy, having already announced a Rs 4,000-crore investment in setting up a new manufacturing plant in Uttar Pradesh that will generate 5,000 jobs in its first phase.
“In the near future, we believe we will invest even more in bringing design to India and R&D to India. We are evaluating all those options,” Nipun Marya, directorbrand strategy at Vivo, told ET.
Vivo, citing the GfK data, said that it grew 63.2% in terms of value and 60.9% in terms of volume in January 2019, even as the industry grew at a mere 16.8% and 14.2% by value and volume respectively.
The handset maker had 9% market share by volume in October-December 2018, making it the third largest player after Xiaomi and Samsung, against 6% a year ago, as per Counterpoint Research.
Oppo, ranked fourth, and the premium segment leader One-Plus, which is also owned by Vivo’s parent organisation, BBK Electronics Corporation, have already set up their respective R&D centres in Hyderabad.
Analysts said that setting up R&D centres is a natural extension of the smartphone makers’ India strategy, which will help the brands predict and be on top of the trends faster than the competitors. They said that over the next few years these research and development centres will catalyse the Indian mobile handset ecosystem and contribute to the generation of new intellectual property as well as new made-for-India smartphone innovations.
Currently vivo has more than 70,000 retailers in India.