New Delhi: Realme on Tuesday said it has sought approval from the Uttar Pradesh government to re-open limited production lines at its Greater Noida plant as it resumes sales of smartphones and accessories in the orange and green zones in the country.
The government has extended the lockdown, imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19 infection, till May 17 with some relaxations for locations in orange and green zones.
Under the new guidelines, shops in urban areas, for non-essential goods, are not allowed in malls, markets, and market complexes. However, all standalone shops, neighbourhood shops, and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open in urban areas, without any distinction of essential and non-essentials.
The company's plant falls in the red zone. As per the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines, the manufacturing of IT hardware is allowed in such zones.
"The brand has approached the state government to get necessary approvals for reopening limited production lines with measures to ensure the safety of employees,? Realme said in a statement.
If the company receives the approval, the factory's primary task will be on producing the new Narzo series and the popular existing models including the Realme 6 series, it said.
Talking to PTI, Realme Vice President and India CEO Madhav Sheth said the company has stocks to sustain the business for a few weeks until the factory reopens. "Our stocks are already in our own warehouse and with partners. We have submitted our request to the state government and we expect we will be able to resume our factory lines soon to a limited level," he added.
He said the company has started sales of its smartphones and accessory products through online channels including realme.Com, Flipkart, and Amazon. Also, the offline channels in green and orange zones have resumed operations in compliance with government directives.
"We have been receiving a massive amount of orders online since Sunday midnight and will be able to meet the current demand through our inventory stocks till factory reopens. We are working with distribution partners across India to fill the stocks at retail points.
"During lockdown period we have strengthened our micro distribution model and are very confident of ensuring supply to the retailers in the fast possible time," Sheth said.
The company noted that Realme, along with its partners, will ensure strict social distancing precautions while operating and making sure that the orders are delivered safely to customers. "Realme has also procured necessary permissions for the vehicles to pick up goods, and steps are taken to ensure proper supply to the customers," it said.
Besides, the company's service centres in green zones and orange zones are gradually starting operations in accordance with the respective state government advisory and guidelines.
Smartphone shipment in the country is expected to decline by 10 per cent in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, even though the January-March quarter saw smartphone shipment growing at modest 4 per cent with over 31 million units, according to Counterpoint Research.
Xiaomi led the market with 30 per cent share of the smartphone shipment, followed by Vivo (17 per cent), Samsung (16 per cent), Realme (14 per cent) and Oppo (12 per cent) in the first quarter. The research firm had said any signs of recovery are likely to start from the third quarter onwards.