ZTE India's new CEO Xu Dejun has made smartphone sales a key focus for foreseeable future after reevaluating India's telecom market. Now, he wants to raise smartphone sales and be among the top three smartphone manufacturer in the country within the next few years.
The China Daily reported Monday that smartphone sales currently account for 10 percent of overall sales for ZTE India, but Xu wants this to increase to 30 percent in the next few years. To achieve this, the company had launched five new smartphones last Saturday and inked a deal with local company Calyx Telecommunications to distribute its handsets in the country, he said.
Calyx's executive director, Gaurav Somani, added in the report the initial focus for the distributer will be to bring ZTE's phones into five states in the country. Nationwide distribution of these handsets will be available by October this year, he said.
Xu added another way to keep ZTE growing is to increase its localization efforts. Some 85 percent of its 1,500 staff in India are local, and a third of the management positions are filled by Indians, but the company wants to do more by promoting more locals to management posts.
"We want ZTE India to be an Indian company, not the Indian branch of a Chinese company," he said.
Xu was appointed the CEO of ZTE India in March this year, replacing Cui Liangjun.
The decision to focus on smartphones could be due to increased government scrutiny on its networking gear. Earlier this month, the Indian government revealed it was investigating ZTE and Huawei Technologies over the networking equipment amid concerns the two companies may be involved in cyberespionage.