Resuming operations with 25 pc production capacity: Realme

New Delhi: Smartphone maker Realme on Monday said it is resuming operations with 25 per cent of production capacity after receiving nod from the Uttar Pradesh government to reopen its facility in Greater Noida.

The company, which launched a new 'Narzo' series of devices on Monday, also exuded confidence of being able to "recover faster than others" on the back of its e-commerce and offline channel penetration, and strong product portfolio across mid-range and budget segments.

"We have received the required permissions from the UP government to reopen our production facility in Greater Noida. We are resuming our operations with 25 per cent of our production capacity, and are bringing back close to 2,000 employees at the facility," Realme Vice President and India CEO Madhav Sheth told PTI.

He added that the company has arranged for transportation to bring back outstation employees and made accommodation provisions to ensure the health and safety of its workforce.

"We will also ensure that the employees maintain distance at the workstations and common area, while working in plants with adequate safety measures and sanitisation. However, it will take around 2 to 4 weeks to revamp the production back to normal," Sheth said adding that the company is conducting COVID-19 tests and workers testing negative only will be allowed to enter the factory.

According to analysts, smartphone shipments grew 1.5-4 per cent in the March quarter, and demand in the smartphone category is expected to revive only by the third quarter.

After 40 days of lockdown, which began on March 25, certain business activities like opening of standalone stores and e-commerce delivery of non-essential items have now been allowed in Green and Orange Zones (locations with few or no COVID-19 cases). Companies are now resuming production after getting necessary approvals from state governments.

Sheth said the ongoing pandemic could delay the demand for smartphones, and not necessarily see people cancelling their purchase decisions. Also, more buying is expected in budget to mid-range phones this year.

"We will accordingly adjust our product portfolios to meet the more diverse demands in the price segment, and that's why Narzo 10 series was introduced. The demand for a more performance centric phone in budget segments has never been better satisfied. Both Narzo 10 and 10A will provide the best gaming experience and processors at their prices," he added.

Sheth said the company will also focus on expanding its sales channels especially for the offline market as more consumers are expected to purchase phones from their nearby preferred stores.

"Once the situation is normalised, we will be reaching our customers based in tier-IV and V towns along with other cities, through over 400 distributors who will cover 35,000 mobile stores pan India...we will be having over 5,000 promoters and a (make) solid investment in their training, store branding, and mass media marketing," he added.

Realme on Monday launched its new performance-centric 'Narzo' series and launched two devices (Narzo 10 and Narzo 10A) under the range, priced Rs 8,499 onwards. Online sale will start after May 18 and the devices will also be available in offline retail stores in select states as well.

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