Madhav Seth looks to revive Honor in India; eyes 5% market share by end of 2024

Madhav Seth looks to revive Honor in India; eyes 5% market share by end of 2024

After successfully establishing Realme, Madhav Seth has moved on to a new venture and plans to revive the smartphone brand Honor in India. Honor, the Huawei sub-brand, almost vanished overnight from India after the United States of America imposed restrictions on the Chinese tech giant and tensions on the India-China border. However, in 2020, Huawei sold Honor to Shenzhen Zhixin New Information Technology Co. Ltd. Since then, Honor has been operating as an independent tech company in several markets. In India, Gurugram-based HonorTech has partnered with PSAV Global (the existing HONOR partner) to expand the HONOR smartphones’ network in India.

Madhav Seth, CEO of HonorTech, told Business Today, “This time Honor is not coming directly. They are coming completely through 100% Indian entity.” Seth explains “All the other Chinese (smartphone) manufacturers in India (are) 100% Chinese-owned equity companies. Our government wanted somebody authoritatively, not only just in face but authoritatively some Indian person to run the company and be the decision maker in the company. Ours is this one-of-a-kind venture, where probably we are a 100% Indian equity company with 100% funding also from the Indian equities. At the same time, Honor will be supporting the entire supply chain management because they have got a global robust supply chain and manufacturing facilities.”

Globally, Honor has three categories in which it operates. The first is the X series, which covers entry-level smartphones going up to mid ranges (up to Rs 30,000). The second series is its number series, which has smartphones in the range starting at Rs 30,000 and going up to Rs 60,000. The last is the Magic series, which is the ultra-premium offering with high-end technology such as foldable smartphones, priced upwards of Rs 1 lakh. To start with, HonorTech will be launching the mid-range series (number series) in India. However, Seth was optimistic about bringing all the technologies to India.

“With growing consumer appetite for premium smartphones in India, there is significant potential and headroom for serious smartphone brands to make an impact. Honor enjoys good brand equity, and has impressed consumers with its product portfolio. For Honor to carve out a distinct market niche, it would need to commit significant investments in India, focus on product differentiation, and most importantly, getting the go-to-market strategy right,” says Prabhu Ram, Head- Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), Cyber Media Research.

Seth says the company is planning to invest around to Rs 1,000 crore by the end of this year. “The investment will be for technology know-how, product transfer, service networks, developing localized software and more. I think we will be probably investing more than Rs 1,000 [crore] completely on all these things by December.”

Also, while initially the smartphones will be imported, Seth intends to start manufacturing these smartphones in India soon. He adds, “Local manufacturing is on the cards and before this year ends, we’ll be signing a few contracts to start doing the local manufacturing as well.”

As Seth looks to re-establish Honor in India, in 2023, he will be focused on establishing the network along with manufacturing in the country. However, his vision is to capture a 5% market share (in volume) by the end of calendar year 2024. 

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