EXCLUSIVE: Poco to expand price horizon, target other categories after COVID-19 crisis, says GM C Manmohan
In an exclusive interview with Zee Business, Poco India General Manager C Manmohan said that while the company is assessing the current situation, it does have bigger plans for future.
Poco India will look to expand its price horizon and target other categories than smartphones, once the ongoing lockdown is over and COVID-19 crisis ends. In an exclusive interview with Zee Business, Poco India General Manager C Manmohan said that while the company is assessing the current situation, it does have bigger plans for future.
“Right now we are just starting and we ran into this situation. Last time when we talked, you asked me what price points will we target. Once the situation improves, we will work on expanding our price horizons. Of course, we are also starting TWS category. We also heard your suggestion (smartwatch)…haha…so, we will see which other category we can target,” Manmohan said.
The coronavirus crisis came at a challenging time for Poco which had recently split from Xiaomi and was trying to establish itself as an independent brand in India with the launch of Poco X2.
“We got a great response for the Poco X2. Unfortunately, we have not been able to meet the demand because of the ongoing situation. But, people were really liking the smartphone,” Manmohan said.
WATCH | Poco India GM C Manmohan's Interview
Despite this, the Poco India GM looks at the current situation as an opportunity.
“It is genuinely a difficult situation Poco is in. I think every brand during the course of their lifetime faces one or the other challenge. For us, it is important to stay focused and take care of customers that have brought us here. Also, we believe that when we get out of the situation, probably there is an opportunity waiting for us on the other side. That’s how we all should progress,” he said.
Asked if there could be a change in company’s overall strategy, Manmohan said, “The strategy and planning is in a flexible mode right now. We are taking information from the manufacturing and government side….but everything depends on how the situation modifies. I am sure there will be some changes but we will see how big those changes are.”
At the start of this year, when Poco announced that it will launch a new smartphone, most people expected it to be Poco F2 – a successor to the highly popular Poco F1. However, the smartphone maker surprised everyone by unveiled the Poco X2. It also led to several questions about the future of the F series.
Addressing that issue, Manmohan said that while Poco is yet to take a decision on its F series, it is certainly working on it and a product could be launched sooner or later.
“We are yet to decide on the Poco F series. We are right now focusing more on the Poco X2 and Poco F1. Yes, we are working on the F series as well but are yet to decide when and how we will launch the new product. It is good to see that people are eagerly waiting for this product but it also adds the extra responsibility to deliver,” he said.
Manmohan explained that the ongoing lockdown allowed him to spend some time for introspection which eventually led to company’s entry into the truly wireless earphone segment.
“I was having a call with my team and we were discussing if we should enter other categories as well. I remember you asking me if we will look beyond smartphones or not. So, we thought since everyone is home these days and spending time on social media, let’s ask them. That’s how we started the poll and people voted for TWS,” Manmohan explained.
“We said cool… let’s start working on TWS,” he added.
WATCH | Poco India GM C Manmohan's Interview
However, Manmohan said that the product will take a while before it is launched. The company hasn’t yet set a timeline on the launch of the product.
Questioned how difficult it is to adapt to a new work culture, he explained, “Things are moving on. It’s a very different experience for all of us. None of us have been through a situation like this in the past. Things are changing very often and dynamically. The entire team, including me, is adjusting to this new way of working. We have finally found the rhythm. Right now I am in a position where I can manage both professional as well as personal part.”
The Poco India GM has the right kind of company at home in the form of his 18-month-old child who keeps crashing his dad’s meetings.
“I have a kid…he is 18-month-old. So, I am spending a lot of time with him these days. Even when I am working, he just directly comes to me and does something or the other. He is always excited to go out which I can’t because of the lockdown. Otherwise it’s fun,” Manmohan said.
“I am also spending a lot of time reading stuff. That is something I should have been doing anyway but now I am getting a lot more time to do that,” he added.
When asked for recommendations, Manmohan said, “I am more into reading about businesses and leaders. There are two books I am currently reading – both by the same author Saurav Mukherjee – Unusual Billionaires and Coffee Can Portfolio Investments. Both are very, very good books.”
Unlike most people these days, Manmohan’s social media handles don’t have any images of his time spent at home. But, the Poco India GM had the perfect explanation for that.
“I have picked up a lot of hobbies and I have failed a lot of times as well. For example, Cooking is one. I tried making ‘Paneer Roll’ and ‘Coffee’. Both were so bad that I couldn’t click a good picture or post it,” he said.
Manmohan also thanked the Indian government for taking measures to reduce the spread of this pandemic. For its customers, he said, Poco is doing its part.
“We have ensured that all our call centers are working from home. So, if the customers face any challenge, they can reach out to us anytime,” Manmohan concluded.
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