In conversation: Poco India’s C Manmohan on lockdown impact, quality, and comeback 2.0
We spoke to Poco India General Manager C Manmohan on how it tackled the lockdown and what’s in store for its fans.
Poco is looking to get back in business after its comeback in the Indian market came to an abrupt halt due to the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns. Comeback 2.0, as it is popular nowadays to describe anything with numeric sequels, bets on a resurgence of the consumer demand.
“If a person today has to live in this world, first necessity is definitely essentials. But the second most important thing for him is to communicate with others and for that, only smartphone can bridge that gap. Given that there was not any sale or smartphone that has happened for the lockdown phase, now, suddenly there is a huge demand pent up for the smartphones. And online is seeing even more traction,” Poco India General Manager C Manmohan said in an interview to Hindustan Times.
Manmohan said that the lockdown did affect the company to some extent, but his team utilised this time to engage with the community to map the user feedback.
“…Two things happened. We had to rethink our business plans. That was, of course, going forward in this year, but at the same time, it gave us an opportunity to rethink about how we engage with our fans,” Manmohan said.
Poco's situation is slightly different from its siblings Redmi and Mi which enjoy a larger mass presence. Poco has so far only two products in India with the first one launched way back in August 2018. It, however, is not unheard that a smartphone company relies on a limited product lineup. For instance, Apple has just three phones each year. The iPhone maker is known for setting high quality benchmarks.
Explaining Poco's slim profile lineup and efforts to deliver quality, Manmohan said, “One of the reasons why we have a slim profile is internal because of our small team. But that has also helped us generate one output which ensures the quality of the product as well as staying relevant for a longer period of time.”
“… we started with this hypothesis that a phone can last for a longer period of time and that the best example is Poco F1.
“…when someone external agency like Red Quanta, which has no relationship with us, is coming and telling us that Poco is indeed the number one quality brand. It also proves a lot of cases a lot of competence that we are doing the right thing,” he added.
Manmohan also explained how the company is making sure its supply chains are getting back on track after the Covid-19 lockdown put a brake on everything.
“The moment lockdown happened, of course, there was no assembly, but once the lockdown has eased, we are ramping up. But when it comes to the delivery side to the customer, we have to follow the central government rules as well as the state governments. So, what we have done is we have talked to all the state governments to ensure that we are following their rules and regulations… So, what has happened is it took us some time for us to kind of ramp up the deliveries as well. There has been a time taken to ramp up the manufacturing and supply chain,” he added.
The company has already at least two products in pipeline – one TWS earbuds and one new smartphone.
Manmohan revealed that Poco will launch a new smartphone in India in the next 20-25 days. He did not divulge more details about the phone. Already, the company has confirmed plans of launching new earbuds, Poco Pop Buds.
“We are definitely going to launch a new phone soon… We want to ensure the philosophy we had is brought to different price ranges,” he concluded.