Channel Post speaks with Eric Bhagwat, the AVP for I-LIFE Digital Technology about their recent entry into the growing Pakistan market
What prompted you to launch your products in Pakistan?
iLife has been present in the Pakistan market in small numbers for a while through the export channel and lately we have been witnessing decent traction for our products in the country. As per IDC, the market size of Pakistan for tablets & PC was estimated at 857,000 units for the year 2017. Looking at the price sensitive nature of the market, coupled with a fairly large market for reconditioned notebooks, the country boosts a big opportunity for affordable devices and iLife makes a exact fit with its cost effective solutions for Pakistan. Hence, it was only the logical move for us to enter the market to offer our wide portfolio of affordable modern devices to the consumers in Pakistan.
Which will be your prime products i.e., Notebooks, Tablets etc.
iLife’s Zed series of entry level thin and light notebooks, which have been very successful across several markets will be a apt option for Pakistan market and on desktop side, our touch screen all-in-one PC with inbuilt battery, Zed PC will be a perfect solution for both home and offices.
How big is the Pakistan market for notebooks and tablets?
As mentioned earlier the total market size estimated by IDC for 2017 for both tablet and PC is 857,000 units, of which 439,000 is the market for tablets and the PC market size stands at 417,000. There is a sizeable market for reconditioned/refurbished notebooks, even some of the major online retailers offer refurbished devices, however there are no official figures available for this market segment.
How do you intend to market your brand in Pakistan?
iLife has appointed Techsirat (a subsidy of Muller and Phipps) as the national distributor for Pakistan. Techsirat has a wide and in-depth network of partners covering more than 250 cities and towns across the country. We had a very successful official launch for iLife products in Karachi that was attended by 200 plus partners and the launch was followed up with smaller events in Lahore and Islamabad.
iLife will continue to conduct partner events across all major cities to create awareness for the brand. We are also chalking out an aggressive marketing plan involving social media platforms, TV and Radio commercials to create the brand awareness among consumers.
What will be your major thrust; Retail, ecommerce or IT channel?
The success for the Pakistan market will be in ensuring our extensive reach and successful penetration into the remote parts of the country. Although, IT channel will be a crucial part of this landscape, but modern retail, ecommerce will also be our focus.
What is your warranty policy and What kind of after sales support are you going to provide?
iLife provides 1 year warranty for all our products and our distributor, Muller & Phipps will also be our authorized service partner with a network of 250 service points across the country.
Why did you choose to work with Techsirat as your distributor in Pakistan?
The credentials for Techsirat speak for themselves as the company is a part of the 106 year old Muller and Phipps group, and is also one of the prime players in the market with proven track record, nation wide reach and significant understanding of the distribution landscape in the country. We believe Techsirat is a perfect fit for positioning the iLife brand in the forefront of the market.
What kind of channel partners are you looking to work with in Pakistan?
iLife is looking forward to work with traditional resellers, Independent Retails for entry level notebooks. And, for major cities we are looking to work with big etailers and large format retail partners.
What kind of market share you looking to achieve in next one year?
We are keep our hopes pretty conservative and looking to a modest 7 to 10% market share in the first year of operations.