First of all, congratulations on your new assignment. Can you talk a little bit about what you would do in this position? What will you be responsible for, what strategy will you follow? What are your goals?
After working in the mobile sector for more than 15 years, mainly in Hungary, Poland and Spain, I took charge as the CEO of OPPO Germany, a top position that I have undertaken with great pleasure. Looking at my previous experience, I would like to say that I am very excited to lead OPPO’s expansion in Central and Eastern Europe.
As the regional president, my aim is to continue OPPO innovations to provide users with the highest level of experience… Next, we want to offer users different alternatives in the category of smartphones or smart products, enabling them to stay connected with what they love and lead a more fulfilling life through all of our products.
As one of the top five smartphone brands, our goal is to strengthen our position both in Turkey and the wider region and to be among the top three smartphone brands in the world by 2024. We are aware of the need to respect the culture of the region in order to realize our goal, therefore we are making significant investments in the region.
What is OPPO’s vision in the Central and Eastern Europe region?
When OPPO started its operations in 2004, it aimed to become a global brand. Today, OPPO has become a world-leading manufacturer of smart products, renowned for its design and innovation. OPPO was the number one smartphone brand in China earlier this year. In Europe, we became one of the top four brands with an annual growth rate of up to 180%. In 2019, we launched operations in 11 countries in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region, including Poland, Romania, Turkey, Russia and many other key European markets.
Today, a new era begins for OPPO in Central and Eastern Europe. Our goal for the next five years is to grow further and become one of the top three smartphone brands in the region by providing the best consumer experience with powerful hardware, intuitive software, stunning design, security and durability. We want to benefit people’s lives with our innovations, enabling them to express their creativity and connect with those they care about most. By doing this, we can deliver on our promise of ‘Technology for Humanity, Good for the Earth’.
How important is Turkey in the European market for your brand? How do you evaluate the market here, what are your observations?
We believe in keeping our businesses long-term and developing them sustainably. In this context, we started our first production operation in Europe this year in Turkey. This facility is not just assembly. We are really producing. We employed more than 800 workforce in Turkey. We have enhanced OPPO’s supply chain capabilities while supporting the local economy. This investment is an indication of how important the Turkish market is to us. Smartphone usage in Turkey is very high and this is expected to grow in the future. As it is known, 5G has not been fully deployed in Turkey yet, but OPPO product portfolio is ready to offer the fully developed 5G experience to users in Turkey.
What is OPPO’s numerical data in Turkey? Market share, smartphone sales, investment plans, etc.?
According to Canalys, we are one of the top four brands with the highest growth rate in the Turkish market, and as I mentioned before, our goal is to be among the top three global smart device brands in the region and in the world. In addition, OPPO’s 86% brand awareness in Turkey, according to third-party research, is another achievement that shows that Turkish customers easily recognize and accept our brand. We can say that this acceptance directly affects the market share result. In Turkey, we focus more on being a ‘lovemark’ beyond market figures.
2021 was spent partly in the shadow of the pandemic. How do you evaluate this year as OPPO?
Despite the challenging environment caused by COVID-19, we had a successful year. We introduced the Reno3 Series to consumers in May. In June, we went beyond the smartphone category for the first time and launched our OPPO Enco W31 headset in Turkey. After introducing the new models of the A Series to consumers in August, we launched our new headphone model, OPPO Enco W51 and OPPO Watch, in September. After the last quarter, we continued with the new Reno4 Series.
We continued to grow our business in 2021 as well. In 2020, even during the pandemic period, we started to work with government institutions to invest more in Turkey in the middle of the year. We made our factory investment in Turkey in March. Now, in the last quarter of 2021, we continue to bring our products to market, including the Reno6 Series.
In the global epidemic, some parts of the world experienced a noticeable shutdown at different times. Therefore, the impact of the epidemic spread to more than a single moment. There have been supply chain issues with some components. However, I can easily say that OPPO, which made a careful, long-term and fast action plan at the beginning of the epidemic, was not affected by these.
OPPO did not offer the Find Series in Turkey this year. What is the reason of this? How do you evaluate the Turkish market in terms of product sales and target audience criteria?
When deciding on the products we offer for sale in a country, we consider various criteria such as the needs of the local market and the maturity of our brand in that region or country. We aim to offer a wide range of products that appeal to consumers in all markets globally, supported by local marketing activities and brand ambassadors. We will continue to take this assessment into account and develop it while we are present in a region with our brand.
Which products will you introduce to the market in the coming period? Which products will we see in the Turkish market?
Always in pursuit of the better and innovations, OPPO continues its activities as a young and dynamic brand. In the coming period, we plan to introduce new models in the smart phone and smart product category to the market in Turkey and a wider region.
What is OPPO’s role in 5G technologies?
The mobile industry has continued to evolve and we are now entering the 5G era. 5G is important not only because it will support millions of devices at super fast speeds, but also because it can positively change people’s lives. This includes improving the health, sustainability, accessibility and connectivity of all of us. There will be an estimated 19 million 5G mobile subscriptions in Central and Eastern Europe by the end of 2022. By 2026, this figure is expected to rise to 196 million. From the formulation of 5G standards to the launch of the first 5G smartphone, OPPO has contributed greatly to the development of 5G in Central and Eastern Europe. We work with our partner operators to share our innovations and patents to help make 5G networks accessible to everyone. As OPPO, we currently have strategic partnerships with more than 80 of the world’s largest network operators.
In the future, we will use 6G, artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies more effectively. Can you tell us about your work in this field as OPPO?
OPPO currently has 6 research institutes, 5 R&D centers and 10,000 staff working in research and development worldwide. This figure constitutes 25 percent of all our employees. It would be fair to say that innovation is at the center of our DNA. We aim to make people-centred innovations based on real needs such as keeping in touch with friends and family, following their hobbies, being creative and looking after their own well-being. From super-fast charging to new and breakthrough imaging capabilities and powerful 5G connectivity, we aim to continue to make a difference for smartphone users with our innovations. In addition to 5G, 6G, artificial intelligence and augmented reality technologies, we invest in developing new core technologies in hardware, software and design. These investments stem entirely from our desire to create a more efficient interface between users and technology.
What roadmap did you set for the future, what are your plans?
We want to continue sustainable growth by developing new and long-term partnerships with our local operators, distributors, retailers and users. Globally, our goal is to be among the top three smartphone brands in the next five years and to expand our global success across the region. More importantly, we aim to provide immersive and engaging experiences to those who use our products in local markets.