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LeEco stores in two months, targets 500 stores over one year

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BENGALURU: Chinese technology player LeEco which has had a number of launches of  smartphones since it ventured into India in late January this year plans to have about 500 brick and mortar stores in India once it receives FIPB (Foreign Investment  Promotion Board). Excerpts of a two minute interaction with LeEco COO of Smart Electronics –India Atul Jain on the side lines of a press conference for the launch of LeEco’s Le 2, Le Max2 smartphones and Le Mall in New Delhi yesterday:

When is LeEco likely to launch brick and mortar stores?

We are looking at FIPB approvals to come. As soon as we get the approvals from the government, we’ll start. It’s been two months since we have applied, normally the approval process takes around 3 to 4 months, so in a month or two we should get the approvals after which we’ll need some setup time.

How many stores are you looking at in the first phase?

We are looking at about 500 stores including franchise stores over the next one year from the date of our first store. Just to give you an update, we have started our brick and mortar distribution which is selling through brick and mortar stores yesterday. So now our Le 1s is available in brick and mortar, mom and pops stores, independent stores, multi-brand stores, besides online.

Do you have the supply chain to these outlets in place?

Yes, we have our supply chain in place for that.

What about your OTT platform? How long do you plan to continue giving it along with the cost of a phone, given that most cell phones now have a usage life of a year or less? Are you going to continue offering the Rs 4,999 Supertainment package included in the cost of the phone?

As of now, that’s what we are announcing. Even for the two new phones that we have launched today – Le 2 and Le Max2, the Supertainment package for a year is included in the cost of the phone. Eventually in the long term, there will be a payment mechanism. It will be on a monthly basis

What about LeEco’s own production facilities in India?

That’s also coming up. It’s difficult to say exactly when. It’s likely to happen in the next six months or so.

Do you plan to bring the four brands on your OTT platform under a single brand? Do you plan to offer these options separately?

We might. As of now we will offer the subscribers everything. Maybe eventually we will offer subscribers’ a choice. As of now we are just trying to get our content to move.

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