A Tech Trendsetter: An interview with the CEO of realme Malaysia

realme, one of Malaysia’s top smartphone brands and newcomer has shown substantial growth in the country’s smartphone industry. What started as a fledgling smartphone brand founded in 2018, realme Malaysia has entered the ranks of top smartphone vendors, eventually securing a place among the Top Four in Malaysia, moving past the likes of Xiaomi and Huawei. The smartphone brand recorded a staggering 406 percent year-on-year (YoY) growth in Q1 2020.

This massive YoY growth also resulted in realme Malaysia becoming one of the fastest growing smartphone vendors in Malaysia. Its market share in Malaysia has even surpassed its competitor, Xiaomi, bringing realme Malaysia’s market share to 11 percent, establishing them as a major player in the industry.

realme’s growth in Malaysia was also the highest YoY growth in the Southeast Asia market, surpassing other brands’ performances in neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Thailand.

To attest realme’s success, an analysis by Counterpoint Research Monthly Market Pulse Feb 2020 showed that the smartphone brand is the world’s fastest-growing smartphone brand, continuously ranking among the top seven with a market share of 2.7 percent, maintaining their previous global rankings and proving to be one of the mainstream smartphone brands.

Despite the negative impact caused by the Covid-19 pandemic on the global smartphone market in February, global smartphone sales had shown resilience with only a 14 percent decline. Thanks to realme’s “Dare to Leap” technology power and asset-light, short-channel, e-commerce business model, steady performances from the brand have successfully landed them a secure place in the global smartphone market.

That being said, realme doesn’t plan on stopping there. Business Today Malaysia had a chance to speak with Hunter Wang, Chief Executive Officer, realme Malaysia on their growth, plans for the future, and what led the brand to where they are now.

According to Wang,  realme’s resilience in the smartphone industry is a result of its Dare to Leap spirit and straight-forward business strategy which had also ensured their continued growth in Q1 2020.

Hunter Wang, CEO of realme Malaysia

“We believe that understanding our fans is the number one most important point in ensuring realme continuous record breaking feat as well as significant growth. Our business strategies are really straight-forward. We understand our consumers and we take into account feedback from users. We understand how consumers are closely related to realme’s development as we’re a young and trendy brand as well as how they’ve continued Dare to Leap with realme.

“realme is committed to offering leap-forward devices that have both strong performances and trendy designs so that Malaysia’s youth can experience both ‘technology’ and beauty,” said Wang.

Starting from Q2 2020, however, realme will be taking a more-focused approach by aggressively investing into other avenues of the brand, and not solely focusing on their smartphone segment.

“realme will continuously focus on its young users, we will keep moving forward in both the smartphone and AIoT field with the  realme 1+1 Strategy: Smartphone + AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things), and endow products with more attributes of trendsetting design to create a Smart Trendsetter Life for our young fans.” Wang told Business Today.

“The brand believes that everyone who dares to leap will create a change in the world. The younger generation who has adopted realme’s “Dare to Leap” spirit are usually the ones who break these boring rules which eventually leads to innovation and progress.

“The brand has a precise insight into the needs of young users and is committed to becoming “the first choice for young people in all regions across the world”. We want to provide products with performance, quality and design that are beyond expectation.

According to realme, the company optimises products and launches localised products tailored to the needs of local young users and they have done so in Malaysia as well. By applying mature technology to lower price segments, realme have set sales records over and over again, establishing a benchmark for outstanding performances and fashionable designs based on the needs of the market and customers.

Unprecedented growth, affordable and powerful devices, and appealing to the youth are some of the more pertinent factors in realme’s success. But moving ahead means gaining the ability to adapt to changing times, and realme is committed to offer devices that will keep up with the moving times.

“The future is where smartphones and AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) goes hand in hand. Malaysians can expect more AIoT products to be unveiled this year as realme works to form its AIoT ecology.” concluded Wang.



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