OPPO has recently launched their latest upper mid-range flagship R17 and R17 Pro smartphones in Saudi Arabia. We had an exclusive meeting sessions with OPPO Middle East team including Richard Sun (President, OPPO KSA), Andy Shi (President, OPPO MEA) and Sa’ed Nufal (Head of Marketing, OPPO KSA).

Here is an excerpt of the discussion we had with OPPO team, revealing their plans and strategy for Saudi Arabian market.

OPPO MEA and OPPO KSA team interview with Shaan Haider

Shaan Haider : Hi. First of all, I would like you to congratulate for entering the Saudi market and launch your latest smartphones R17 and R17 Pro along with the one of the most talked about smartphone of 2018, OPPO Find X.

Richard Sun : Thank you so much and thanks for having this meeting with us today.

Shaan Haider : You are entering the market with your latest flagship and premium smartphones Find X, R17 and R17 Pro. Find X was one of the most popular smartphone of 2018. It received lots of awards for its innovative design and the R17 series is the upper mid-range premium smartphones. You are coming to this market with the most popular smartphones from your company in the very beginning of OPPO in Saudi Arabia. So what are your future plans exactly for the Saudi Arabian market?

Richard Sun : Saudi market is a big potential market and before entering here we studied it many times to understand it well. And accordingly we developed our local team to support the partners and customers well. We'll focus on finding the local user's needs and give them the best products. As a brand, it is very important for us. That is why, we are launching our best products in Saudi Arabia right from the start.

Other than the product itself, I think the first most important thing is the customer's experience with the product and brand. So we will concentrate more on this. The second thing is that we will try to do some activities and reach the audience to establish the brand as a mid and high-end smartphone brand for Saudi market. And we hope to offer good price and provide good service to our customers.

Recently we did some research about Saudi customer's needs as well to be more qualified to fulfill the Saudi customer's requirements and to provide better and more exciting products in the future in Saudi Market.

OPPO MEA and OPPO KSA team interview with Shaan Haider

Shaan Haider : Since you mentioned about customers, OPPO is very popular in Asia specially in India, Philippines, Pakistan etc. but Saudi Arabia as a country is a bit different compared to other countries. Here the population of expats is huge with so much variations in culture, spending pattern, language etc. So how you are planning to target the correct audience for OPPO here?

Andy Shi : Actually before coming to Saudi Arabia we already did a lot of marketing and business in North African countries namely Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia etc. So we have lots and lots of experience up there and currently OPPO is already third biggest smartphone brand in Egypt in terms of market share and that ranking could be higher in terms of sales value.

So we already have some experience and we are learning more about Arabic culture. Of course, it's not the same exactly in KSA like North Africa but we already have some experience and we have learnt something in some other Arabic speaking markets. We have experience in Dubai as well. And now we have decided to enter Saudi market very carefully after studying it and after four years we entered Dubai.

So we are giving Saudi completely different devices compared to other GCC countries and also most African countries. So it is our first move here and we are very careful about this market because Saudi is so big and important. So we are starting here quite slowly but want to make things right. We can't say that we understand Saudi consumers fully but here we're trying our best and ready to listen their feedback after launching our latest beautiful smartphones R17 and R17 Pro. So we want to hear from customers as well possibly from media. And based on their feedback, maybe we will be able to bring different devices for just Saudi market or develop unique features for the local markets specially.

Shaan Haider : You are entering the Saudi market a bit late compared to other brands, and here we have already other brands well established. So how you are planning to market against them to make your products come in front of the people and beat them in terms of market share?

Andy Shi : Actually our target this year is not about sales volume. Our goal now is not how many devices in Saudi Arabia we sell but rather to carefully build the brand for the local people. So, we are not marketing OPPO against any other brand. We are just trying to makes things right for OPPO in Saudi because OPPO is a very different brands with different gene and DNA. So no matter what other competitors do, we do our things.

Shaan Haider : Since MWC is very close and OPPO just had a demo for 10X optical zoom very recently in China and you're going to give a demo of it in MWC as well. Back in 2017, OPPO was the first brand to come up with 5X optical zoom technology for smartphones and did the demo at MWV 2017 as well. But you never implemented this technology in your phones. So what about this time? Are you going to use 10X optical zoom in your upcoming smartphones this year?

Andy Shi : I'm not in a position to announce a new phone right now but I think it's going to be positive.

Shaan Haider : That's nice. We will be looking forward to it. Thank you so much for your time and good luck.

Andy Shi, Richard Sun and Sa’ed Nufal : Thank you so much.