Jim Zhang leads OPPO in Brazil
OPPO, the fourth largest smartphone manufacturer in the world, will start operating in Brazil, after years of expectations from admirers of the brand in the country – the first model to be made available here will be the Reno7an intermediate device that does not support 5G.
Who will face the operation will be the executive Jim Zhang, responsible for, in 2014, taking OnePlus cell phones to India – the brand belongs to the BBK group, the same that controls OPPO.
To Estadão, Zhang detailed for the first time OPPO’s Brazilian operation, which should be focused on online sales and have some strategic partnerships. Check out the best moments.
Why did OPPO decide to enter the Brazilian market now?
We understand that Brazil is one of the largest mobile telephony markets in the world. And the size and importance of this market means that we cannot ignore it. See our story: as soon as OPPO reached the first place in the Chinese market, we entered Southeast Asia and reached the second place. Then it continued expanding into other markets. For example, in India we are the third largest brand in the market. In Europe, we are the fifth largest brand. In 2020, we decided to enter Latin America through Mexico, where we had great success. In 2022, entering the Brazilian market is part of the company’s planning pace.
What will be the strategy for the Brazilian market?
The Brazilian market is strategic and we attach great importance to it. We perceive a great demand for new brands and products. The first model that we are bringing is the Reno7 series, whose highlight is photography. This is a series that has sold very well since 2019. There were 60 million units of devices in the period. We know it’s a popular series and that’s why we opted for it in the beginning. Next year, at an opportune moment, we will also bring the Find series, which is our main line of cell phones.
who mr. Do you understand how your main competitors in Brazil?
OPPO is a user-oriented brand. Our concern is whether their demands are being met. Based on that, we don’t stop bringing new products to meet those day-to-day usage scenarios, such as, for example, taking pictures and charging the battery. In short: our rival is ourselves. We need to challenge and improve ourselves all the time.
Other Chinese brands, such as Xiaomi and Realme, arrived in Brazil with high expectations, but they never managed to take the market away from Samsung and Motorola. What can OPPO do differently? What are the lessons that these brands leave?
We certainly need to learn lessons from the brands you mentioned. The Brazilian market is very unique compared to other countries. As we don’t have much experience here, we need to be prudent and carefully study consumer habits.
What will be the investment for the start of the Brazilian operation?
Brazil has a very complex tax system. We arrived in Brazil last year to research and study. Our head office is preparing the investment plan, which will be disclosed in due course.
What will be the sales target?
Brazil is a mature market and users have established preferences. We know that we will first attract that group of consumers who know and like the brand. Then let’s think about how to increase sales volume. We will work to satisfy the first group of consumers. With this reputation gain, we believe that the sales volume will increase spontaneously. But this is not a priority issue for the time being.
Why does the first device announced for Brazil not have 5G?
OPPO is among the companies with the highest presence in 5G patents. We are one of ten companies with standard patents on the technology in more than 30 countries and regions. In fact, the Reno7 series has 4G and 5G versions. At the moment, however, we wanted to release a more consumer-friendly version. Next year, we will launch devices with 5G.
Will sales be online only or will it partner with physical retail?
Aiming at better communication with users, sales will be mainly online. We will close an exclusive partnership with an e-commerce site to launch the first products. On the other hand, we know that the cell phone is part of a category of products whose user experience is important. So, we will open some physical sales channels, which will be experience centers for consumers.
Will these experience points be your own or will they be carried out in partnership?
For physical channels, we will do it in partnership with an operator.
Initially, cell phones will be imported. Is there any local manufacturing plan?
In the first phase, our products will be imported, but we want to have local manufacturing. This is something indispensable and inevitable. Therefore, we have already started researching and preparing to understand what must be done to start local manufacturing. These studies are not only in Brazil. They occur in other Latin American countries where we have operations.
What will OPPO’s Brazilian operation look like? Mr. will act within the country?
As we decided to start the operation in Brazil, so the service structure has to be in the country to serve consumers. We will choose a distributor who will serve as a national representative and will take care of the logistical and sales work. The in-house team will be responsible for marketing and services, which are two of the most important aspects. I will spend most of the time in Brazil.
Who will be the national distributor?
The representative has already been confirmed, but I cannot reveal the name yet.
what mr. can reveal about product prices?
What we can say now is that as products are imported, prices will follow suit. We are very confident in bringing surprises to Brazilian consumers at the launch event. This surprise may not even be the price, but the other aspects, such as services and benefits.
what mr. Do you know that story from 2018, which supposedly said that OPPO would have a representation in Paraguay to serve the Brazilian market?
This story is totally false. When I arrived in Brazil for the first time, I also heard about it and Googled it to find out what happened. The first time OPPO entered Latin America was in 2020. It was after the success in Mexico, where we have 14% of the market, that OPPO entered the other countries in the region.
What were the lessons learned in Latin America before debuting in Brazil?
We have to admit that it entered Latin America at a relatively late stage, but, to our surprise, interest exceeded expectations. This is probably due to the photographic features, in addition to the beautiful and pleasant design of the devices. Chinese brands have not had much presence in Latin America, but they are promising markets, full of opportunities.