We are restructuring India operations, here to stay: Gionee

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Gionee. (Photo: Twitter/@GioneeIndia)

New Delhi, Feb 3 : Confirming its restructuring plans for India, Chinese smartphone maker Gionee on Saturday said the company is not scaling down its operations in the country.

Reacting to an IANS report that financial woes in China may hit Gionee’s India operations, David Chang, Global Sales Director, Gionee India, said that the brand is here to stay.

“We are in the process of restructuring our India team and executing a completely different business model for the brand in the market very soon,” Chang told IANS.

Sources told IANS on Friday the company may scale down its operations in India and introduce a different business model to ramp up growth.

“We are equally excited about our presence in the Indian market and would like to assure all Gionee lovers that the brand is here to stay,” Chang added.

The company had 2.2 per cent share in the Indian smartphone market for 2017, according to Counterpoint Research.

Gionee, which established its presence in India in 2012, claims to have retail presence in over 42,000 stores and has 600 exclusive service centres in the country. It also claims a customer base of 1.25 crore in the country.

The company has also been aggressively pushing for sports sponsorship.

Chang also refuted reports in the Chinese media that the company is facing financial woes in paying its suppliers.

“Recently, on 16th January 2018, some slanderous information about Gionee’s senior executive was reported on social media, in an attempt to malign the reputation of the company,” Chang told IANS. 

“We, hereby, announce this information is proved to be untrue,” the Gionee executive added. 

Chinese media outlets reported last month that a local court has frozen 41.4 per cent stake of Gionee Chairman and Chief Executive Liu Li Rong for two years.

Although the exact reason was not made public, reports said it was because of the “gambling debts”.

“Gionee continues to hold a market share of 3.3 per cent in China and is determined to grow steadily over the years to come,” Chang noted.

Back in India, after running domestic operations for almost five years, Gionee India’s CEO and Managing Director Arvind Vohra stepped down last August. Vohra still continues as Executive Director.

Last year, the company announced it would invest Rs 500 crore in a new manufacturing/assembling unit in Faridabad, Haryana, but there was no news after that.

The company also makes/assembles handsets at a Foxconn plant in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh.

On January 9, Gionee sent out a teaser to the media, revealing its plan to launch another smartphone in India soon. No launch date was shared thereafter.

The last device Gionee brought to India was selfie-centric “S10 Lite” for Rs 15,999 on December 22.