Several China based mobile manufacturing brands including the likes of Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Gionee are doing superb business in Nepal
A report published on Chinese Media website Xinhua claimed that India’s neighbour Nepal, during the first quarter of current financial year, imported 86 per cent of the total mobile sets from China. The figures quoted are as per the Department of Customs (DoC).
The total number of mobile phones imported by Nepal from China stood at 1,173,107 units. This number was followed by 114,751 mobile phone units imported from India and 74,198 mobile phone units imported from Vietnam.
The total import value paid by Nepal to China stood at a staggering $46 million (5.26 billion Nepali Rupees). All these imports were made during the mid-July to mid-October period this year.
Big opportunity for India
Nepal’s growing mobile phone market and its reliance on imports to meet the needs is a big opportunity for mobile manufacturers based in India. India’s improved relations with Nepal and Prime Minister Modi’s frequent trips to the country also hint towards the possibility of India in exporting mobile phones to its neighboring country.
However, with India producing around 225 million smartphones per year, the scope for exporting mobile phones seems highly unlikely. A forecast by US based market research firm e Marketer had earlier claimed that smartphone users in India are expected to reach a number of 337 million in 2018.
Josh Foulger, country head and Managing Director, Foxconn International Holding, India during the Advantage India Summit had said that India’s mobile phone imports had reduced by more than half during the 2017-18 financial year. Country’s dependence on the import of completely-built-mobile-phone-units had also came down to 18 per cent from 78 per cent.
Need to increase the mobile phone manufacturing capability
It is to be noted here that despite India’s reduced dependence on mobile imports, the country is still importing smartphone units. These numbers clearly reveal that India based smartphone manufacturers will have to up their game if they want to compete against China. Against 225 million mobile phones that India manufactured, China manufactured a staggering 900 million units of mobile phones.
Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation during a recent event held in Delhi had said, “In order to expand our export potential as an industry, we have to robustly support the notion of entrepreneurship and manufacture goods for Indian market in line with the global standards. Only then will we be able to achieve our vision and become a $5- trillion economy.”
Importers claim that several China based mobile manufacturing brands including the likes of Huawei, Vivo, Oppo, OnePlus, Xiaomi and Gionee are doing superb business in Nepal.
Sanjaya Agrawal, CEO, Tele Direct, authorised distributor for Xiaomi mobile phones in Nepal, told Chinese news agency Xinhua that Chinese mobile set brands are popular in Nepal because they supply high quality mobile phones at reasonable prices.
He further added, “Since we took the dealership of Xiaomi about eight months ago, sales have risen by 40 per cent.”