Arif Shafique, the former country head of Nokia, has finally surprised his friends after he joined one of the renowned global brands of Chinese Lenovo as a country head for Pakistan’s market.
Delighted on the occasion of launching ceremony recently in Karachi, he was very excited and little nervous to represent a new company while receiving congratulations from different journalists having old association.Arif Lenovo
Shafique is an old name in the Pakistan’s market due to his previous rich background in Nokia which provided him a platform to prove his skills in expanding business of the Nokia handsets in Pakistan. His career in Nokia spanned more than six years and he was promoted to General Manager from the position of head of sales and distribution network.
He is well-known name in the distribution network, imports side and regulatory bodies. Not to mention that he knows the business strategy at local level, issues with importers and dealers and ideas to promote the brand throughout the country.
His addition to the US company will definitely good for Lenovo but it is in fact a terrible news for Nokia despite it has been established in the Pakistan’s market for past many years, however it is still struggling in the smartphone market when it comes to competition with Qmobile and Samsung. Besides, brands like Huawei, HTC and Sony have established their business in Pakistan quite successfully.
Now, it is challenging task for Shafique not only to establish a brand with his team in Pakistan but to enter into a highly competitive market in which many leading handsets brands have already been penetrating with their products in the local markets.
The competition is immense among the handsets brands in Pakistan because of various factors of the local markets mainly purchasing power of the customers and influx of Chinese and reconditioned mobile phone handsets in the local market.
Lenovo has edge of its technology and style over different brands that will be cashed in on by Shafique as long as he will be on the driving seat of the company.
Collaboration with mobile phone companies mutual offers, and with banks for different installment packages are now in fashion, but it is expected that Lenovo will come up with different sales strategy to tap new voluminous market of Pakistan.
Though Lenovo is not a new name for those having knowledge and user experience of high-tech devices because its products like PC, Laptop and Tablets have already been introduced in Pakistan. On the other hand, the commencement of smartphone business was observed at times when 3G has been launched in big cities and 4G is being to launch by different operators in selected areas. This show the focus of the smartphone brand is people with high-income and it is likely that most of its distribution outlets will be seen in the posh localities and big shopping centers and mobile markets.
It will be interesting to see in the near future that how Lenovo presents itself in local markets through branding and marketing activities. Will it hire highly-paid Bollywood stars, Pakistan’s showbiz celebrities or cricketers? Will it opts its focus on emerging marketing trend of billboards and digital marketing?