Bkav, the Vietnamese handset maker, will launch its new Bphone3, which is one of the most technologically advanced smartphones in the market, in Myanmar next week.
The company will partner with Vietnamese telecommunications operator Mytel, to bring the Bphone to Myanmar. The Bphone 3 will be available for purchase in nearly 100 Mytel stores nationwide starting from the first week of July.
Ahead of the official launch, the Myanmar Times spoke with Bkav on Bphone’s competitive edge and the growth potential of Myanmar. Here is an excerpt of our interview:
Why have you decided to launch Bphone in Myanmar?
Before bringing Bphone to Myanmar, we spent about six months studying the market. We are impressed with the developments in the Myanmar mobile market. Within just a few years, Myanmar has been able to adopt smartphones very rapidly. We believe Myanmar people tend to favour products from Vietnam. Our two countries are quite close to each other and both have similar cultures. Whilst the market is expanding for Myanmar, we understand that it is important for the people to be able to choose more powerful smartphones at a good price. That is why Bkav is establishing its smartphone footprint in Myanmar to contribute to its smartphone market development. We are going to bring in the best products and services from Vietnam to Myanmar.
Could you share why local people should use your smartphone? Will it be accessible for everyone from the low to high class?
We are here in Myanmar because we would like to provide one of the best premium phones with features that can live up to our competitor’s flagship products, but at very good prices. Our smartphone will have best customer services and one of the most attractive bundle packages in the market thanks to the cooperation between Bkav and Mytel, the mobile network operator. That is why Bphone will match well with different customer needs and preferences in Myanmar. Specific details will be announced in the first week of July.
Mr. Le Quang Hiep, General Director of Bkav Myanmar. Photo - Supplied
There are already many smartphone brands in the local market. Which one will be your closest competitor?
Bkav, the parent company of Bphone, is one of the leading Vietnamese corporations with business units in network security, software, smartphones, and smart homes. We have integrated all of our expertise and innovations in all these fields in developing Bphone.
By purchasing Bphone, customers will enjoy the most advanced functionalities including super-qualitative AI Camera, IP68 waterproof, advanced security and anti-theft protection, and top-notch bottomless design; together with the best customer services. Also, we provide full protection from spam messages, spam calls, personal data and even theft with our latest security technology. In Myanmar, Bphone is ready to provide one of the best premium phones with features that can live up to a competitor’s flagship products, but at reasonable prices.
With our product’s high quality, good prices and attractive bundle packages, we expect to gain good market share and become one of the most reputable brand names in Myanmar.
What is demand like for the Bphone in Vietnam?
Bphone is a well-known high-end smartphone in Vietnam. The launch events of Bphone 1 (2015) and Bphone 2 (2017) were both voted as outstanding technology events of the year. In December 2018, Bphone 3 was voted as the most favoured smartphone by prestigious technology review channels. At the same time, Bphone won the “Best Vietnamese Phone” award in Tech Awards 2018 organised by VnExpress – the most read Vietnamese newspaper and “Design of the year” by two other news sites. Many users have also have given positive feedback when using this latest smartphone of Bkav.
Do you plan to distribute directly or via authorize?
Bkav is partnering with Mytel to bring Bphone to Myanmar, Bphone will be available for purchase in nearly 100 Mytel stores nationwide starting from the first week of July. We will continue to expand our distribution channels in the future.
How many local employees will you be hiring?
Currently, nearly half of the personnel of our soon-to-be-officially-opened branch are Myanmar people. Bkav is also working with a local partner who is knowledgeable about the local market for our campaign. We are confident that the number of Myanmar people in our company will grow as we expand. Besides, as an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), we will bring our technology and expertise to the country, while contributing to Myanmar’s human resource development as we train our employees with international standards and procedures.
If Bkav becomes one of the manufacturers in Myanmar with a significant market share, we will build factories in the country to optimise the product’s price. Being an OEM, we can easily realise such plans.
Do you have a plan to launch other products beside smart phones in Myanmar?
Bkav operates across four business units: cyber security, software, smartphone and smart home. Right now, we are bringing our best phone called Bphone 3 to Myanmar. Bphone 3 is the latest technologically advanced mobile phone from Vietnam with features that can match the best phones out there. We will continue to seek opportunities to invest in Myanmar and export products that are developed from our top-notch expertise like cyber security solutions and services, antivirus software, e-Gov product suite and our Smart Home system.
Will there be a service center for local users?
In Vietnam, Bkav is well-known for quality of service in all areas we operate in, and we are going to bring such services to Myanmar. Specifically, in the past six months, we have been collaborating with local staffs and partners to localise our products, including adding the Myanmar language to our software’s language settings.
We are also working with Mytel to build up a set of procedures so that we can best support Bphone users in Myanmar. Official warranty centers and points for receiving warranty claims are being established in Yangon, Mandalay, Southern Shan State and in other locations across the country.
To add to these, a Facebook Fanpage and Group for users in Myanmar have been created and will be run by local staffs. These are the mediums on which we plan to listen to all of our customers’ feedback, so that we can further improve our products and services to best suit Myanmar users, as well as where Bphone users in the two countries, Myanmar and Vietnam, can connect.