Established in 1993, Coolpad is part of a long list of major Chinese smartphone manufacturers. The Shenzhen-based company is considered to be one of the principle pioneers of some innovative mobile technology features such as dual-SIM cards, dual camera and speaker systems and fast fingerprint recognition. Partnering with Jaima Intercontinental Pvt Ltd (JIPL), Coolpad marked its market foray in Nepal with the launch of its flagship Cool 1 smartphone last month where it also introduced three additional models namely, Note 3S, Mega 3 and Mega 2.5D. James Du, CEO of Coolpad Global Sales and Service and Executive Vice-president of Coolpad Group, was in Nepal for the launch. In an interview with Gagan Shrestha of New Business Age, Du talked about the key features in Coolpad phones, plans in Nepal, among other topics. Excerpts:
Tell us something about the Coolpad brand.
Coolpad came into existence 24 years ago in China. It is among the largest handset makers in China. Globally, Coolpad is ranked among the top 10 smartphone brands. We hold over two percent of the share of the global smartphone market.
Coolpad has been focusing more on the Indian market. How is the brand performing there?
We have transited from a newcomer to a major brand in India in just one year. Currently, we are mainly engaged in the online marketplace there. We have just started our offline sales in India. We are in the top three in terms of online sales.
What are Coolpad’s plans for 2017?
In 2017, we have plans to reduce the number of handset models to fewer than 50 and increase the quality in each of them.
What can Nepali customers expect from the brand?
Compared to other brands, Coolpad focuses on two key aspects to serve the best to its customers. The first one is that the products are the result of exhaustive R&D and incorporate advanced technologies. For instance, our smartphones are equipped with dual SIM cards, cameras and speaker systems. Coolpad is a brand with a 24 year long history with over 10,000 product patents. We were the first brand to introduce dual camera and dual-SIM handsets in 2004 which have now become industry standards.
We have some of the most innovative devices in the market. Our flagship model comes with dual software and double hardware systems that enable users to operate two interfaces at the same time. With such phones, users can operate apps like WhatsApp and Facebook and contact apps at the same time. Our customers can have feel of using two smartphones from one device.
Secondly, we aim to provide excellent after sales services to our customers.
How do you evaluate the Nepali gadget market?
Nepal has a very good market scope as it is close to India. Similarly, Nepal has been providing a good platform for Chinese brands. Coolpad has products supporting 4G networks and Nepal has just entered the era of 4G making this market a good opportunity for us. Many people here want to use faster internet connectivity and we have products to cater to their needs. It is important to note that it is not just the price factor that is considered here. Nepali consumers also seek quality in the products they look to buy.
Who are the main competitors of Coolpad?
We compete with other brands in both online and offline categories. Xiaomi and Motorola are our main competitors in the online marketplace. Meanwhile, we are competing with Oppo, Huawei and Vivo in offline sales. Similarly, we also have competition with Apple and Samsung.
What strategies are you employing to establish the Coolpad brand in Nepal?
We will be preparing and employing strategies according to the goals we seek to achieve. Our current objective is to become the top five smartphone brand in Nepal by 2017. We aim to get that position with our trustworthy local partner Jaima Intercontinental Pvt Ltd (JIPL), the sole distributor of our products for Nepal. JIPL will be instrumental to building all the channels for distributing Coolpad products in the retail stores. We are planning to open around 800 stores across Nepal this year with efficient service centres. We will organise various brand campaigns in the coming days.
Finally, would you like to add anything else?
We have already started to work in our future project in launching 5G smartphones with dual display and triple SIM slots. Good technology changes the lives of people. We will continue to provide that sort of technology to our Nepali customers.