6 Questions With BOUKALI MOUNIR, Public Relation Manager, Tecno Mobile
Tecno and the future of smart mobile devices
How is Tecno faring in the mobile device market in Nigeria?
More and more customers are patronizing Tecno’s product, they are leaving other brands because we are giving them the right price and very good products. We are also very happy to see that in the market, things are getting better for Tecno, people are getting used to high technologies with the right prices. That is what Tecno is offering to Nigerians and Nigerians are getting used to our products.
How do you hope to change the mindset of Nigerians that Tecno is not a ‘China phone’ as many Nigerians may want to think?
I heard it a lot that Tecno devices are substandard ‘China phones,’ the rumour was everywhere especially early this year. But I can say our products are designed in France and Korea. We have two R and D departments in France and Korea. These two research departments are working closely together to design innovative products. In delivering these Tecno’s innovative products to the customers, we need knowledge, so that we can offer smartphones with smarter technologies. We are working very hard and it’s a good thing we are getting very good feedback from the customers and that encourages us to keep going.
Why would anyone want to use a Tecno phone?
Before, we were only producing features phone, now that we have shifted to producing smartphones, customers are following us everywhere in Nigeria. Our campaign is being smart. If you want to be smart, you can use Tecno’s smartphones with so many applications and so many different mode of usage. It is not only a phone. It is much more than a phone. Most of the things you do on the PC before, you can now do it on your phone. Now that we are going on smartphones, we are also providing services to the customers. We are giving them a one year and one month warranty. If you have problem with your Tecno devices, you can visit our service centre in Nigeria which is Carlcare service centre.
How huge is the mobile market in Nigeria?
The market in Nigeria is very huge. Africa is the fastest growing market for mobile devices in the world and Nigeria is one of the biggest markets in Africa. You can now understand why Nigeria is important and strategic to us. Over the years, we have gained knowledge and understanding of our customers in Nigeria, and that is why we have been able to provide them the right products with the right price.
Are there plans of building a manufacturing plant in Nigeria to create jobs?
Actually, if you were here on our official launch of Tecno P3, we announced to a group of journalists that we are planning to set up a manufacturing plant in Nigeria. It takes time because it is a big project, we are working on it, and hopefully we will do it very well and follow the project to the end.
Are you focusing also on areas like capacity building in Nigeria?
Tecno is already creating a lot of jobs in Nigeria. We have so many Nigerians working for Tecno which is actually good for Nigeria. Tecno wants to offer a lot of opportunities to a lot of people. We have also Nigerians taking up high positions in Tecno like Mr. Chidi Okonkwo who is the Deputy-General Manager of Tecno in Nigeria. We are very happy that our company is growing with Nigerians together.
Going smart and reading the market right
Perhaps, no mobile device maker has read the Nigerian market right more than Tecno. Its chief image maker, Boukali Mounir, said it correctly: “Over the years, we have gained knowledge and understanding of our customers in Nigeria, and that is why we have been able to provide them the right products with the right price. We are giving them a one year and one month warranty. If you have problem with your Tecno devices, you can visit our service centre in Nigeria.” Smartphones are no longer elitist. They are both work tools – everyone wants them for enhanced work efficiency; and they are vital to join the social media train – a large market segment driven by young people (more than 55% of Nigeria’s population). To prevail in the highly competitive smartphone market, device makers must bring good, robust and affordable devices to the consumers. Tecno got all these right. The result: it is the fastest most acceptable mobile devices brand in Nigeria. The company has a customer care service near you to boot. What didn’t the others get right? Tecno sold good products at affordable rates; others still tagged such products with premium rates. Tecno created direct visibility in low and mid end markets where hunger for sophistication was real and fiery; others stood aloof and almost contemptuously stuck to pushing basic feature phones as well as ‘dumb’ smartphones. Dumb smartphones give you some not all the features of a great smartphones. Tecno gave you smart smartphones for low prices. Tecno has used the large Nigerian market to show where the smartphone is headed. The future is in affordability and availability.