The Tech- Trendsetter | realme Bangladesh’s Managing Director Tim Shao reflects on realme’s concentrations, smartphone ecosystem, relentless pursuit for quality

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After completing more than one year in Bangladesh as a ‘Dare to Leap’ Tech trendsetter, realme Bangladesh’s Managing Director Tim Shao reflects on realme’s concentrations, local smartphone ecosystem and their relentless pursuit for quality products
Who are the primary target consumers of realme smartphones? How do realme smartphones cater to their expectations?

The youth are our primary target customers. From the very inception of our journey as a smartphone brand we have been focused on the young generation. Powered by an afflatus driven by the ‘Dare to Leap’ spirit, realme has always been working towards creating products which become a trendsetter. The youth always want something that will help them take a leap in their lives and look for a smartphone that will not only complement their lifestyle but also upgrade it on many fronts. So, we always strive to cater to the needs and priorities of the youth and that’s how we develop our smartphones. Taking the trends, aesthetics and preferences of the youth into account, we have come up with smartphones classified as C series, number series, narzo and GT series for different customer groups. The C series is our entry level series for entry level users, the number series comes in mid- range for mid-range users with each series having its own distinct style, the narzo series is for game lovers who look for upgraded performance and the GT Series are our flagship phones for premium users. In contrast, in the C series, C embodies color – something that symbolizes emotions associated with the youth such as their feelings, personalities, cultures, interests and even preferences. realme’s 8 series, on the other hand, belongs to our number series, which is for mid-range users.

This series comes equipped with superb camera setup and other necessary features that catalyze social amelioration for the youth. In continuation to our efforts to amplify the smartphone experience of the youth, we have launched smartphones with TUV Rheinland High Reliability Certification – realme 21, realme C25 & C25s and most recently we launched the most affordable 5G smartphone the realme 8 5G. In order to establish these different series and set the trend we had to ‘Dare to Leap’ and got a wonderful response from the market after their launch. These phones, I hope, will also be liked by our target customers owing to the cutting-edge technology and specifications these smartphones are facilitated with.

realme has completed more than a year of operating in Bangladesh. How is realme commemorating this milestone?

Yes, this is indeed a milestone for realme that we have completed more than one year in Bangladesh with flying colors against all speculations and become one of the top 3 brands in Q1, 2021 according to Canalys global smartphone shipment report . In the last one year realme has added so many caps to its feather and released many high-end and mid-range smartphones for the Bangladeshi smartphone enthusiasts. During our first year we got many endorsements from the media and e-Commerce platforms. The realme C11 sold 3000 units in only 3 mins and realme 6 sold 1500 units in only 1 min making it the one of the fastest selling smartphones in Daraz in 2020 among other records in e-commerce sites

By the end of the year 2020, we became a favorite choice of the youth. In Daraz, we became the Top 1 Mobile brand in their Bangla New Year Campaign in 2021, also realme became Top 1 in Daraz 11.11 campaign last year. realme also became the Highest sold smartphone brand in Eid Ul Adha 2020 in Daraz and in Picakboo became the best-selling brand of Ramadan 2020. According to the leading global technology market analyst firm Canalys, youth-favorite brand realme has taken the top spot among smartphone makers in Bangladesh in Q2, 2021, with an annual growth of 258% in the Bangladesh smartphone market.

The kind of love we have received from our fans and users in only one year is overwhelming and so, we offered special discounts and gift hampers containing our classic wireless headphones, bags, t-shirts and many more exciting prizes for our users on the occasion of our first anniversary that was celebrated in February to commemorate this momentous journey. It is mentionable that during any kind of celebration – be it our anniversary or any other national festival – our fans and users remain in the center of attention.

What sets realme apart from its competitors in the market?

As I have already mentioned earlier that realme is a tech trendsetter and mainly focuses on the youth and setting new trends. So, the design, features and pricing of our smartphones – all are based on the fact that the youth should get more access to technology so that they can reveal their creativity and latent talent. Keeping that in mind, we adhere to some tenets that set realme apart from others doing business in the market. First, we always aspire to bring something better and enhanced for our users, the youth to be particular. To do so, we leave no stone unturned to innovate and come up with something more exhilarating. Just a few months ago realme had unleashed its first smartphone facilitated with 108MP camera set-up and slim design. We try to give the best features in the best price wrapped in trendsetting design. To cater to the youth, our team is also powered by energetic and innovative youth who have the ‘Dare to Leap’ spirit.

Secondly, we always bring something new and fresh for the users when it comes to the design of our smartphones. Each of our designs are inspired by modern day life. In our 8 series, we are used Infinite Bold Design for realme smartphones. For realme 8, we have combined Split Design and Splicing Process to integrate elements of digital world and real world in a fabulous fusion to create an exhilarating effect. Moreover, realme 8 has been designed based on relame UI 2.0 out of the box where pillars such as creativity, sociality, productivity have been prioritized for a highly customized smartphone experience. realme has entered the AIoT 2.0 development phase with an advanced ‘1+5+T’ strategy, which is defined as a smartphone, five AIoT products and products under Teclife.

Thirdly, we at realme never compromise with the quality of our smartphones. As you know, consistency is one of the major criteria that is a must for ensuring the smooth production of high-quality products. To that end, realme has been plowing its revenue back into establishing smart factory, which will be fully automated in the near future. By simplifying the complex manufacturing processes realme intends to produce smartphones incorporating more advanced technologies.

Taking cue from the quality factor, I would like to hear about realme’s recent collaboration with TÜV Rheinland.

realme wants to introduce only the best products having no pitfalls and shortcomings for the smartphone enthusiasts. That’s why realme has worked in collaboration with TÜV Rheinland, a global leader in provision of testing services according to international standards, to set quality standard and identify parameters to assess the quality of manufactured smartphones. After tiring efforts of around 8 months, youth-favorite smartphone brand realme in collaboration with TÜV Rheinland has set new smartphone quality standard, which will be used as a standard for all smartphone markets around the world. realme and TÜV Rheinland jointly created the TÜV Rheinland Smartphone High Reliability Certification, based on the initial 3-year life cycle experience. realme is the first smartphone brand in the world to get TÜV Rheinland High Reliability Certification whereas our new releases from C series – realme C21 & realme C25 – are the first smartphones to earn this certification.

How does realme ensure quality for their products?

From now onwards realme will be using the quality standard procedures determined by TÜV Rheinland to do quality control and tests for their smartphones. This process encompasses 23 major tests, including ten daily use test scenarios, such as drop, wear, and tear; there are seven extreme environment test scenarios, including super extreme temperature, extreme humidity, voltage fluctuation, button life, static electricity, air pressure; and 6 component reliability test scenarios. realme smartphones will have to go through all these tests.
At realme, quality comes first. So, realme follows 6 stages involving the Quality Control team in the process. At any one point, if the product fails to comply with the quality standards and falls short of any criterion, the Quality Control team has a veto right to reject the product outright. And this is what happens at realme.

realme also tests the endurance of the smartphones based on young users’ scenario in related environmental settings. As for travel, realme simulates extreme temperature from negative 40 degrees Celsius to 75 degrees Celsius in an outdoor environmental setting to make sure all realme products can stay alive. In order to test endurance in case of drop, the product goes through a more aggressive drop tests at a height up to 1.8 meters at multiple sides on different surface materials. Inspired by such zeal for quality, realme strictly follows a set of principles and criteria while developing their smartphones.

How has your experience been with the Bangladeshi mobile market compared to other markets realme operates in? What are the challenges?

Our experience has been phenomenal in the Bangladeshi market as we had a roller-coaster ride in the last one year. Two factors – willingness and cooperative outlook of the government to expand smartphone market and tech-savvy attitude of the youth – have contributed to a great extent to the growth of smartphone ecosystem in this country. As a result, there is a huge demand for high-end and mid-range phones in this market. To meet the increasing demand, realme has launched many smartphones from time to time in the last one year, all of which have garnered rave reviews and positive user feedback.

According to Canalys, realme has become the top smartphone maker in Bangladesh in Q2, 2021. which is of course an incredible achievement for realme considering the fact that we are relatively a new entrant in this market. Also, realme snatched away a place in the ‘Top 10 TWS Brands’ in terms of shipments for Q3 2020 (according to Counterpoint Research). Counterpoint highlighted the possibility that ‘realme could repeat its smartphone success to become 2021’s dark horse in wearables. As a youth-centric smartphone brand, we cannot ask for more from an emerging market like Bangladesh.

However, there are some challenges as well. As the market size in increasing, so are the number of competitors. There are so many competitors in this market and all are fixated on occupying a good market share. So, the competition is fierce. But, the pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to our business. This pandemic has turned out to be a new challenge for us as people are reluctant to spend money, which is a bad indicator for smartphone business. In the meantime, it is also true that smartphone users in Bangladesh are very price conscious. It means they are always showrooming and webrooming with a view to comparing the prices. Such nature of the users compels you to always offer competitive price for your smartphones. And this is what realme always does – we try to offer the best smartphones in the best price points.

How do you evaluate your performance in terms of users’ response in the last one year?

As a tech trendsetter we have received amazing response from the youth. Immediately after realme 5i was made available for purchase on online marketplace Daraz, the whole consignment was sold out within a few days with users wanting for more. The same phone was then put on display at Pickaboo for sale. According to Pickaboo, by the end of the day of first online sale, around 1000 units of realme 5i were sold to become the highest selling smartphone in a single day in Pickaboo.

In the meantime, realme kicked off a new year surprise campaign on the occasion of celebrating the new year from January 7-31. You will be surprised to know that total sales in the campaign was 17,899, of which 6,818 units of realme 7i, 2,517 units of realme 7 Pro and 8,564 units of realme C17 were sold. From the suburbs to the rural backwater, people from all walks of life from all around the country participated in the campaign with utmost zeal.

This is the kind of response we have received from smartphone users in Bangladesh.

What is your vision for realme in Bangladesh?

After bagging one of the top three positions in Bangladesh according to the report made by Canalys Market Research, we are all the more invigorated to make realme no.1 smartphone brand in Bangladesh. Inspired by ‘Dare to Leap’ spirit, realme will also keep striving hard to excel in the smartphone market by dint of its high-end smartphones and top-notch products and we are hopeful about holding on to our commitment to serve smartphone aficionados in the days to come. Meanwhile, as the smartphone market is expanding in Bangladesh, we want to play our bit to contribute to the growth of this industry. Apart from affordable 5G phones, realme will also bring more AIoT products to young consumers to expedite the rollout of 5G technology and ensure ‘5G for All’.

realme has cemented its name in consumer minds. What does realme have in the pipelines for consumers to look forward to?

realme as a youth-favorite smartphone brand believes in empowering the youth by equipping them with necessary device and other products that will take the smartphone experience of the young people notches higher. Especially after carving a niche in the smartphone ecosystem of Bangladesh and making a place into the hearts of the youth, realme is more committed to introducing more lucrative smartphones and new line of products for the consumers. realme will be launching new series in Bangladesh and long line of AIoT products are also in the queue. realme has already launched over 50 AIoT products, with many more exciting ones in the pipeline. We will also release new gaming kit for the gaming nerds so that they can enjoy seamless gaming experience without any break or hitch.

Apart from all these, we also want to make this year all the more happening for the youth by kicking off some initiatives that will create a bridge between realme and their smartphone users. Just like our first year different campaigns will also be arranged this year as well to bring about positive changes in the lives of our fans and take their smartphone experience to a new height. As we have recently launched the MagDart, the world’s fastest magnetic wireless charging. A series of MagDart accessories will also be released in near future. Apart from that we will be launching realme Laptop as well as realme Pad as something new for the tech trendy youth.

Very recently realme as a 5G popularizer had arranged a 5G summit where they disclosed that they are developing a diverse portfolio of 5G products with an aim to offer 100 million 5G phones in the next three years to the young users. Besides affordable 5G phones, realme will also bring more AIoT products to young consumers as realme has entered AIoT 2.0 development phase with its advanced ‘1+5+T’ strategy. realme will keep introducing smart devices in the days to come to expedite the rollout of 5G technology and ensure ‘5G for All’.

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