May 2020 — Six months ago the vision for vivo in South Africa was just beginning to roll out. Launched in December 2019, the innovative mobile technology brand entered the market with two easy to handle, high spec, well-priced phones, the Y11 and Y91C.
The decision to enter, however, has been a long time coming. It made sense for vivo, the world’s fourth largest cell phone brand with over 300million users globally, to enter the local market, where currently it’s already estimated half the population use smartphones.
Entering the South African Market
“vivo plans to provide South African consumers with a user experience beyond expectations through technology and innovative, trendsetting products,” says Jeff Cao, vivo SA CEO. “Within three years, the company plans to sit in the top tier segment of cell phone brands in SA.”
Cao, a young, dynamic businessman is deeply invested in the vivo brand, having joined the company as an intern when it launched in 2011.
“My career started with vivo,” he says. “I witnessed the changes in the industry and the growth of vivo as a brand.”
Launching in South Africa brings a whole new set of challenges and Cao is motivated by this, saying: “The biggest challenge for me is to learn the culture and the consumer demand of the South African market from scratch. I believe that as long as we adhere to the concept of “More Local and More Global”, all challenges are only a matter of time.
“I believe in changing what is changeable, accepting what is mutable, and using wisdom to tell the difference”.
“I believe in changing what is changeable, accepting what is mutable, and using wisdom to tell the difference”Jeff Cao, vivo SA CEO
In his time at vivo Cao managed the Thailand launch and ran that office for more than five years, ensuring he has an innate knowledge to ensure the vivo brand becomes more localized and in line with the prefereces of the South African consumer, while maintaining the core values of technology and innovation.
Globally vivo has nine R&D centers around the world, five production bases and a total 80% of staff engaged in R&D work. “This level of commitment to innovation ensures the vivo experience keeps evolving,” explains Cao.
Cao believes in immersing the brand into South African society by fulfilling corporate social responsibilities through the #VIVOCARES initiative, proving that vivo is not just a smartphone brand but also a brand that invests in its community: “vivo came with the dream of building an international first-class brand for South Africans- and we will pursue that dream.
An insatiable demand for 5G on a global scale has seen vivo emerge as the leader in this area, being one of the only companies with a mid-range 5G smartphone on offer. This product is set to launch in South Africa in the second half of 2020.
“We envisage that by 2023 when young people in South Africa think of mobile phones they think of vivo.”
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