David Li in conversation with Marjiya Baktyer, shares his insight into the success of and Bangladesh being a strategically important market where Vivo continues to upscale its presence by setting leading benchmarks and driving the industry to newer heights in the wake of its philosophy.
IBT: Vivo marked its 3rd anniversary in Bangladesh on 6 December 2020 – what has the journey of introducing Vivo to the Bangladesh market been like? What were some of the challenges you had to overcome?
David Li: 3 years back, in 2017, global technology manufacturer brand Vivo started its immense journey in Bangladesh. Vivo started its journey in Bangladesh with the introduction of its fantastic phone, Vivo V7+, from its iconic V series. Bangladesh is a strategic and vital market for Vivo. Entering in the Bangladeshi market was a great challenge for us. With a long-standing commitment and a clear strategy to keep the customer at the center of all our operations, we entered the Bangladeshi market. We formed a winning team with enthusiastic employees who eagerly contributed in order to achieve greatness by overcoming corresponding challenges.
IBT: With a three-year spanning career as South Asia Product Manager; then Bangladesh B2B head, then Bangladesh Product Director with B2B, Then HR & Commercial Director, what has your journey with Vivo been like?
David Li: I started my career with Vivo 3 years back. After finishing the tenure as South Asia Product Manager, I started my journey in Bangladesh as B2B head. It has been an eccentric and excellent years for me to work in Bangladesh. Currently, I work as Product Director of Vivo Bangladesh. Bangladesh is a wonderful place and the people of Bangladesh are quite good. They love new technology and innovation. So, I always see Bangladesh as a very strategic market for Vivo.
IBT: Your career motto includes Benfen, integrity, Team spirit, Superior Quality, Constant Learning, Innovation – how were you able to translate and incorporate these mottos in the Bangladesh market for Vivo?
David Li: Well, Benfen is a philosophical term that means doing the right thing. And I think we are doing right. We started our journey as a new brand in Bangladesh where nobody knew us. From there, now we are among the top 3 brands in the country and it has only become possible for Benfen, doing the right thing, along with Team Spirit, Superior Quality, Constant Learning, Innovation. With more than 80% of its staff invested in research and development, Vivo holds its core beliefs firmly on being innovative for the consumer and continues to place world-leading features into its smartphones. Bangladesh is a strategically important market, and therefore, Vivo continues to upscale its presence in the local mobile market by setting leading benchmarks and driving the industry to newer heights in the wake of its philosophy.
IBT: Vivo has a strong presence in Bangladesh with 3500+ retail stores and over 14 service centers in the country. What do you think has been the reason behind the massive success of the brand in Bangladesh?
David Li: Vivo’s presence in Bangladesh is strengthened with 3500+ retail stores, and over14 service centers have strengthened our foothold in the offline space. One of the significant reasons for our massive success is attributed to the fact that we focus on sales through offline channels. Bangladesh is a price-sensitive market and we try to understand the sense of our beloved users. We try to follow the right strategy to bring some excellent smartphones compatible with our user’s price sensitivity.
Moreover, Vivo continues to have an unrelenting focus on Bangladesh. Associated with its commitment to ‘Make in Bangladesh’, Vivo has longstanding plans for the Bangladesh market and also plans to contribute to the national economic development of the country at large.
To adopt its ‘More Global, More Local’ initiative, Vivo has also opened a mobile assembly plant in Bangladesh in 2019, showing commitment to Made in Bangladesh, relentlessly expanding in the region bringing new and innovative technology for the country.
IBT: How has the brand managed to differentiate itself from its competitors?
David Li: I think innovation is the significant differentiator for Vivo from its competitors. Our work is continuous for creating a premium endwise experience for our beloved consumers. Our success and growth in Bangladesh are nothing but a blend of several aspects – a robust product portfolio compatible with price segments, a wide-ranging distribution network, committed and reliable after-sales service, and extensive marketing inputs to build a strong brand. We mentioned earlier, in just over three years, we were able to reach nearly 3500+ retail stores and over 14 service centers across the country from zero.
IBT: Vivo adheres to the core values of ‘customer-centric ‘design’ and ‘innovation’ by introducing innovative technology and being a trendsetter in the world of mobile technology. Can you shed some light on the innovation the brand is bringing to the Bangladesh market?
David Li: Innovation is something that we have continuously done. Vivo is motivated by the approach of ‘customer-centric’ innovation and is guided by deeper insights into consumer needs. Illustrating its vow to bringing the finest-in-class smartphones in Bangladesh, Vivo introduced its customers to several prominent ‘Firsts’ global innovations and archetypal technologies like the world’s first Dual Pop-up selfie camera, signature In-Display Fingerprint Scanning – Vivo Bangladesh has always been at the forefront of innovation. Vivo grounds its smartphone innovation on the changing trends in photography, gaming, entertainment, and smartphone design. Bringing something new in our all newly launched smartphones is always a core thinking of us. We always try to bring new technology, innovations, iconic design, unique camera features, and something monumental for our beloved users.
IBT: What are some of the innovative trends set to take over the mobile market?
David Li: When it comes to technological innovations and setting trends, Vivo is steadfast to proactively work to bring some innovative products with 5G technologies in the upcoming years. We believe that the deep integration of AI and 5G is the way to take over the digital market. Whereas 5G has just started large-scale commercialization worldwide, the industry’s research and exploration of 6G is on the agenda. Recently, Vivo has announced the launch of a new smartphone operating system called OriginOS at the 2020 Developer Conference. OriginOS, a new Android operating system that offers an array of original features combined with different customization options, further demonstrating its strategy of developing products and services that move consumers.
IBT: What are some of the key differences between the global mobile market and the mobile market in Bangladesh?
David Li: There are some differences between the global and Bangladeshi mobile market. We need to praise the Bangladeshi market as they are new technology lovers. The number of smartphone users is growing in Bangladesh. Though Apple and other smartphones are vital players in the global market, Chinese grown companies are important players in the Bangladeshi market. Bangladesh is an incremental market with huge potential for mobile phone sales. In the Smartphone market of Bangladesh, the bargaining capacity of consumers is intensifying because of the increasing number of choices in the smartphone industry. So, to capture the Bangladeshi market, you have to be strategic, a technology innovator, and must, trendsetter.
IBT: Vivo introduced several notable ‘Firsts’ global innovations and exemplary technologies from the world’s first Dual Pop-up selfie camera to its signature In-Display Fingerprint Scanning for its customers. With the launch of Vivo V20, what kind of upgrade can consumers anticipate?
David Li: Vivo V20 was the latest flagship smartphone of 2020. Our all-new Vivo V20 is the sleekest smartphone of 2020 and also equipped with a professional-grade 44MP Eye Autofocus camera with advanced Autofocus (AF) capabilities for a highly defined selfie experience. The astonishing 64MP Main Rear Camera, 8MP Multi-Function Camera (Super Wide Angle/Bokeh/Super Macro), and 2MP Mono Camera setup deliver an ultra-clear and high-definition photography experience. Vivo V20 has the feature that doubles the creative skills by recording with the front and rear camera at the same time. Moreover, the extraordinary cameras of Vivo V20 have the unique features of slo-mo selfie video, steadiface selfie video, 4K selfie video, and multi-style portrait. Vivo V20 is also equipped with features like Multi-Turbo, memory recaller, and a massive processor and battery with flash charge.
IBT: What was the thought process behind launching ‘Vivo Service Day’? How have customers responded to the service?
David Li: We are committed to steadfast and reliable after-sales service. We comprehend the importance of after-sale service. It allows us to connect with our customers face to face and understand their needs and concerns. Keeping this in mind, we are dedicating a whole day in a month to meet our customers’ needs and demands. Every 3rd Thursday of each month will be celebrated as “Vivo Service Day” wherein customers can walk to authorized Vivo service centers and enjoy free services along with the purchase of mobile accessories at a discounted price.