A boss at the world's fastest-growing phone maker Realme reveals how it's keeping up with Huawei, Samsung, and Apple

  • Though mobile brand Realme was founded only two years ago, it's already managed to make a name for itself among giants such as Samsung, Huawei, and Apple.
  • It's the fastest-growing smartphone company in the world, according to consulting firm Counterpoint.
  • Some of the defining characteristics of the company are its ample portfolio, regular updates to its devices, and its value for money.
  • To understand how Realme became so successful, Business Insider spoke with Madhav Sheth, co-founder and CEO of Realme in Europe and India.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Though mobile manufacturer Realme was only founded around two years ago and is pretty new on the scene, the Chinese firm has been growing exponentially.

The brand has successfully carved out its own corner of a market dominated by giants like Samsung, Huawei, and Apple.

Since its inception, the company has already made its way into the top 10 of the world's smartphone makers. As well as ranking seventh in terms of sales volume, according to consultancy firm Counterpoint, it's managed to squeeze into the top five in some markets.

The company grew considerably in the second quarter of the year, according to Counterpoint.

As well as being one of the company's founders, Madhav Sheth is also the CEO of the company in Europe and India.

Business Insider spoke with Sheth to learn about the keys to the company's success.

Realme boasts an ample product range

"Our portfolio speaks for itself," Sheth said.

The brand boasts a hefty product range, including both entry-level and mid-range models: with devices ranging from $230 to $600, its products are suitable for a large number of users.

"Realme isn't just a brand for high-end products; we make everything from entry-level to upmarket, ensuring every consumer can find a model that meets their needs," he explained. "I believe the products themselves are the key to our success. I think using the right strategy to offer the right product at the right price is the only tool for success."

Sheth said the brand focuses on quality, specification, design, and user interface — essentially, it wants to offer a complete range, without tipping the balance between price and performance.

"We're going to expand our portfolio of 5G devices by the end of the year and we'll be bringing more affordable smartphones to the market," he said — Realme joined the latest generation of 5G devices at the start of the year.

There's been a clear focus on reaching younger consumers

Another reason for Realme's growth is the demographic it's targeting.

"What we're doing is very consumer-oriented. It allows you to grow and become successful more quickly. That's why we're doing it better and faster than others," he said.

Sheth believes the reason consumers compare Realme with Xiaomi is that both focus on the millennials. "I think that's why people link us," he said, although he wants all manufacturers, not just his Chinese counterpart, to be his competitors.

Something that the two brands also have in common is the continuous updating of their offer. "We want to have a high refreshment cycle of the products. The technology has very, very fast rhythms", he said. The company plans to renew the models of each device 6 months after launch.

Realme has its sights set on the US

Though Sheth has just taken over the reins of the European side of the business, he hasn't ruled out introducing the brand across the pond.

However, this goal is far from the top of the company's list of priorities for 2020.

"My main focus is a solid introduction to the European market," he said. "I'd rather take it one step at a time than do too much at once. Thinking about the US right now is premature."

For now, Realme is looking to expand its presence across Europe, launching mobiles on the same dates in all countries at similar prices — the plan is to standardize the experience for millions of consumers in Europe.

Though the smartphone will always be "central to the company's ecosystem," the company is also planning on launching more than 50 connected devices before the end of the year — from audio and wearables to TVs and smartwatches.

Sheth said he's learned a lot about doing business and different approaches to customers, and that he considered it an opportunity: "We work on all that. We're not worried about mistakes — the question is how fast we can move on after making one."

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