Alcatel sees good growth potential in MEA smartphones

Alcatel sees good growth potential in MEA smartphones

The brand, which was founded in France in 1872 and then acquired by China-based and Hong Kong listed TCL Communication in 2005, aims to generate $2 billion sales turnover by 2019 by strengthening its presence in MEA region.

By Muzaffar Rizvi

Published: Wed 9 Mar 2016, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 10 Mar 2016, 8:27 AM

Alcatel sees bright prospects for its smartphone business in Middle East and Africa (MEA) and confident of achieving 250 per cent annual growth rate in coming years, its senior official says.

The brand, which was founded in France in 1872 and then acquired by China-based and Hong Kong listed TCL Communication in 2005, aims to generate $2 billion sales turnover by 2019 by strengthening its presence in MEA region.  

"We are ambitious and confident and are working towards a growth rate of 250 per cent. We aim to become a one billion dollar company by 2017 and a $2 billion firm by 2019," Ahmed Khalil, general manager for Middle East and Africa at Alcatel, told
Khaleej Times on the sidelines of an event in Dubai recently.

TCL Communication is headquartered in Chinese city of Shenzhen and has 21 global production facilities, 23 research and development centres and employs more than 75,000 people worldwide. It has presence in more than 170 countries across North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and MEA.

"The MEA region is overall a core market for us. We have presence in the GCC countries, but also in Egypt and in some African markets, such as South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Algeria and Senegal. We aim to keep expanding our presence in the MEA region," Khalil said.

Democratise innovation in MEA

To a question about plans to expand the brand presence in the region, he said Alcatel is keen to democratise innovation across the MEA region this year.

"Our priority for 2016 is to democratise innovation across the MEA and Saudi Arabia is a key market for us. We are already present in Saudi Arabia and the feedback that we have received so far regarding our products has been very positive," he said.

"With regards to our strategy, our goal for MEA is to continue growing our team of willed and diversified industry professionals to build our business. Further to that, we plan to expand our brand's footprint through forming strategic partnerships with major operators and distributors as they are key building blocks to our success as we shift our business model to an open market scheme," he added.

Moreover, the company will be developing a strong foundation for its channel strategy to drive business in upward direction.

"We will continue to provide cutting edge technologies and premium designs, while ensuring affordability to different consumer segments," he said.

Asked why Alcatel is back to the region, he said: "To describe it as a return to the region would be a little inaccurate. Rather, what we're doing is reinventing the Alcatel brand in order to resonate and stay relevant among today's consumers."

"Sold through operators, the Alcatel brand has been as a top performing smartphone in several markets, including the highly competitive US market. Alcatel's brand has been profitable and successful; and we now see an opportunity in leveraging our success and expanding our presence in the open market," he said.

User-friendly and affordable

To a question why should people buy Alcatel smartphones and prefer its products over other leading brands, he said Alcatel smartphones are integrated with the latest technologies, features and apps at a very competitive price with a high level of performance.

"We not only design, but we also manufacture our smartphones and that's very competitive as we control the whole process. Our products integrate the latest technology at an affordable price. Nowadays, I believe that any smartphone that costs more than Dh1,599 is overpriced," he said. "Alcatel is focussed on serving consumers with different backgrounds, aims and needs. Our priority is democratise innovation by ensuring that our range of products across the different price points offer consumers significant differentiation and benefits."

Khalil said Alcatel smartphones are user friendly within a 'reasonable budget' range without compromising on style and features.

"Absolutely. We have a full range of products, ranging from Dh35 feature phones all the way up to Dh1,500 premium smartphones. We aim to provide premium specs at affordable prices while bringing the latest innovations in technology to all consumers and we seek to have a positive impact on their lives, at an affordable price."

In terms of wearables, he said the 'Go watch' is already available in the UAE. "The wearable gadget can be matched with the user's 'Go play' smartphone and is packed with exciting features whilst being just as tough and stylish as the phone," Khalil concluded.


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