During the launch of Cherry Mobile’s latest phone offering – M1, while most are busy checking the new device – I was busy talking to the man behind the company and the phone – Maynard Ngu.
Not that I’m not interested to know more about the M1 but it’s a rare opportunity that I get to talk to Maynard – squeeze more knowledge out of his mind and learn from him. How he was able to turn Cherry Mobile from a startup brand to a premium brand and now a mainstream brand.
After we exchanged our pleasantries, I started asking my questions: –
Question: “Sir Maynard, after all these years, who do you now consider your closest competitor / rival in the mobile phone market?”
Maynard: “Tapos na ang labanan sa mobile phone (When it comes to the device, there is no competition to talk about anymore). “What branded phones can offer, we can now offer as well”
According to Maynard, the one thing that separates locally branded phones from multi-national branded phones is that they are much bigger, meaning they have more resources.
Maynard: “We get most of our parts from the same manufacturers, but since they are bigger and more popular worldwide, they can price their products higher unlike in our case we are expected to price our products lower. Also they can easily absorb any price adjustments if any.”
Question “So if there is no competition on the device (handset) anymore, where is that next challenge? Where do you go from here? Why would people choose Cherry Mobile over other brands?”
Maynard: “A good mobile experience. Give your customers the reason why they need to use or buy your phone in the most economical way.”
Question: “When you say economical, the most economical way is to give your services at a very low price or even for FREE.”
Maynard: “Then we will give it for FREE.”
Question: “So what will happen to your business? Where will you get your revenue?”
Maynard: “That is our secret. We can give it for free and still earn.”
I am sure you are as confused as I am. How can a company earn by giving their services for free? After much prodding, Maynard told me their strategy under one condition – the information he shared with me will just be for my own consumption. And I am bound by that agreement.
But let me give you an idea – if the service is free, more people will avail and use it. And because a lot of people are using it, revenue will come in. Do you follow?
Anyway, Maynard also said one of their first offering will be launched July. Actually he also gave me the opportunity to be one of the first, if not the first to try out the service. We are just fixing our schedules. Let me just say that this is something that people should really look forward to.
Maynard then shared with me more of his plans – the things that they are doing now and the things that they will be doing in the near future. Projects that don’t get published in papers or online. And from what I gathered, I can confidently say that Cherry Mobile is not just your ordinary mobile phone company anymore.
Before I let go of Maynard, I managed to ask one more question: “What is the secret of your success Sir?”
“It’s all about sticking to your commitment. Give the Filipino people the best device their money can buy and give them the best quality service they deserved. Our success is not about having higher revenue but rather having more satisfied and happy customers. If our customers are happy, then our company will definitely be happy.”
Very well said Sir Maynard. Looking forward to our next conversation.