Market trackers said this trend gathered pace in this financial year, when Chinese brands are the only ones to have recorded growth.
BBK Group’s sales through its two entities in India – Oppo Mobiles India and Vivo Mobile India – increased 65% year-on-year to Rs 63,635 crore, as per filings made to the Registrar of Companies (RoC). Oppo Mobiles undertakes sales of Oppo, Realme and OnePlus brands, said industry executives.
Samsung India’s filings show its mobile phone sales in 2019-20 grew 21% year-on-year to Rs 52,315 crore. Another Chinese manufacturer, Xiaomi, was third by sales, with revenue of Rs 38,196 crore during the fiscal, as per its filings.
On a standalone brand basis, Samsung India, was still the largest mobile maker by sales in India, followed by Xiaomi.
For 2018-19, Samsung India had reported mobile phone sales of Rs 43,088 crore, as compared to Rs 38,725 crore by the combined BBK Group entities.
Market tracker IDC India said in a report released on Monday that Realme’s smartphone shipments grew 19% in 2020, higher than Vivo’s 12% and Oppo’s 1%. In contrast, Xiaomi’s shipments fell 6% and Samsung’s 4%, while the overall Indian smartphone market contracted 1.7% due to lockdown and supply constraints.
“Apart from the BBK Group brands and Apple, almost every other brand had a tough 2020. The kind of value the BBK brands offer across price points is very compelling for the consumers and a challenge for competitors to match,” said IDC India research director Navkendar Singh.
Singh said brands such as Vivo and Realme handled supplies well despite the constraints and that these brands still have huge headroom for growth while the fringe brands will further get marginalised in 2021.
BBK Group’s businesses grew despite intensified geopolitical tension between India and China, indicating it left little impact on consumer sentiments.
Mohit Yadav, founder of business intelligence firm AltInfo, which analysed the RoC filings, said Chinese brands have a tremendous hunger for a larger share in the Indian market and they have shown great resilience despite the deteriorating Indo-Sino relations.
“These Chinese brands are embedding themselves into the Indian ecosystem by investing heavily into local manufacturing ensuring robust chain supply in place even if they are cut off from China,” said Yadav.
Vivo’s manufacturing investment grew to Rs 600 crore in 2020 from Rs 150 crore in 2017, he said.
As per another tracker, Counterpoint Research, Chinese brands together controlled 75% of the Indian market in 2020, up from 72% a year ago. Xiaomi was the largest by shipment volume, with a 26% share, followed by Samsung (21%), Vivo (16%), Realme (13%) and Oppo (10%).
Among the Chinese brigade, while Xiaomi turned profitable in India in FY20 with net profit of Rs 401 crore after posting net loss of Rs 148 crore in the year earlier, both Vivo and Oppo Mobiles increased their losses in FY20 as compared to the year earlier. Vivo India’s net loss expanded to Rs 349 crore (Rs 189 crore in FY19) and Oppo Mobiles India to Rs 2203 crore in FY 20 from Rs 688 crore the year earlier.