Up Close and Personal with HTC Philippines' New Country Manager
Coast to Coast
We recently posted on the appointment of Richard Javier as the new Country Manager for HTC Philippines. His successful background in the industry makes him a worthy choice for the prestigious position. We were fortunate enough to have an exclusive interview with him where we asked him about his new role, his impressions of the local market, and what we can expect from them in the future. Here's how the interview went:
Please tell us about your background and how it helps you with your new role in HTC Philippines.
In my previous roles in various local and multinational companies, I have been tasked to improve the organizational structure and processes in order for the companies to gain a stronger presence in the Philippine market. Prior to HTC, I was a Country Manager for Consumer and Small-Medium Business Division at Lenovo Philippines, where I headed the team responsible for business strategy and revenue achievement. And I also headed the Mobile Division of LG Electronics, managed retail and the distribution of Nokia’s products, and was a former Key Account Manager position for the San Miguel Brewing Group. Being a salesman at heart, I believe selling our brand and products to our partners and consumers will be definitely achievable.
What changes, if any, should we as end users expect under your leadership?
HTC Philippines will continue to strengthen the company’s brand value and create competitive advantage through innovation. We will enhance the efficiency of our marketing campaigns across the country. We will aggressively attack the market as we optimize the company’s Go To Market strategy with operators, retail distributors, and end users. HTC brand and team will be more visible nationwide.
What are your impressions of the Filipino mobile consumer market?
More and more Filipinos will be buying smartphones for the foreseeable future. In fact, the Philippines was noted as the fastest-growing smartphone market in Southeast Asia. According to GfK data, the volume of smartphones sold in the country grew by 402 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011. The enthusiasm has something to do with our love for social networking sites, whether its Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest. You see a lot of people updating their status messages even while on the go. A lot of users want to take photos then share it as soon as possible. A smartphone can do all these things. With the availability of affordable smartphones like HTC Desire C, you will see more middle class Filipinos using smartphones to go online.
How do you intend to approach or tap into it?
The Philippines is one of the key markets for HTC. We are so excited for the future of the mobile industry. There is tremendous room for growth as more people discover the magic of smartphones. We will continue to bring innovative and exciting smartphones to the Filipino consumers. We are committed to driving the most compelling smartphone experiences to our customers while maintaining the premium feel and quality that HTC is known for. We are focused on growing our brand awareness and preference in the Philippines. We will continue to expand our retail presence and distribution channels particularly in key cities like Cebu and Davao. We will continue to work closely with our trusted partners and mobile operator alliances in order to deliver the best possible customer service and experience.
Tell us more about HTC's 2012 product portfolio (i.e. One, Desire, et al.)? What is the strategy behind these product lines?
The launch of HTC One series and HTC Desire series is part of our streamlined product strategy. The HTC One series features an amazing camera and authentic sound experience. HTC One rivals traditional digital cameras with improvements to every part of the camera, including the lens, the software, an integrated custom HTC ImageChip that delivers the fastest image capture, improved image quality under adverse conditions, and the easiest interface with quick access to capture every moment. HTC One also delivers an authentic sound experience that integrates Beats by Dre with the new HTC Hub music application. The HTC Desire family offers sleek design, fast connectivity, and rich studio-quality sound experience on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and HTC Sense 4.0, at an affordable package.
We're seeing a lot of new Android smartphones coming from the HTC gates. Does the company have any plans to release devices based on other platforms, such as Windows Phone 7/Windows 8? How about feature phones?
Unfortunately, I cannot talk about the company’s future plans. I will share any developments on this in due time. What I can share for now is that HTC, by listening and observing carefully, will continue to make its smartphones fit ever more closely into the way people work, live, and play.
Will we be seeing HTC tablets again soon?
We can’t comment on our future product strategy or roadmap, but we obviously think the tablet market is very interesting and we continue to explore various business models and strategies in this space, but I don’t have anything new to announce yet.
Are there any ongoing or upcoming campaigns or programs from HTC that you would like our readers to keep an eye on?
We just released the HTC One S, along with a line of affordable smartphones, the HTC Desire C and Desire V. We just wrapped up a marketing event at the SM City North Edsa, and we are planning to stage a similar road show in Cebu and Davao. We will launch some campaigns soon. I advise HTC fans to keep themselves updated by following us on our Facebook fan page: www.facebook.com/HTCthePhilippines.