What do consumers in Europe really think about Eco Ratings?
17 June 2022
In the first of a series of Canalys Mobility Channel Talks, we interviewed one of the leading voices in the LATAM channel, Claudia Rodríguez, Co-founder and COO of Tekmovil.
In the first of a series of Canalys Mobility Channel Talks, we interviewed one of the leading voices in the LATAM channel, Claudia Rodríguez, Co-founder and COO of Tekmovil, who previously held the roles of CVP and CPO at Motorola and Motorola Solutions. Here we share some lessons learned, reflections and quotes from the full interview, which is available now for Canalys clients.
First, for those who don’t know Tekmovil, its success in Latin America started with its first partnership in the region with Xiaomi to distribute its smartphones. Thanks to Tekmovil’s expertise, relationships and knowledge of the region, and Xiaomi’s market fit, Xiaomi grew to become the third largest smartphone vendor in the region.
Claudia Rodríguez said, “A substantial number of end customers in LATAM are willing to give new brands a chance if product features are competitive for the price”, which reminded me of the famous quote from Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Indeed, Latin culture is typically receptive to new brands, as it is more flexible to change, though it doesn’t mean all markets in Latin America are the same, as Claudia herself agrees: “LATAM can be difficult for suppliers that do not know the market. It is a very diverse market with regional and local peculiarities in which a single ‘recipe’ is not always the best option… Tekmovil understands the idiosyncrasies of each market.” In fact, this is one of the main reasons why most smartphone vendors fail when jumping into LATAM markets. In Claudia Rodriguez’s words, “Simply putting products in the operators’ and retailers’ warehouses and hoping that they take responsibility for distributing, promoting and selling is not a recommended approach and has very little chance of success… That is why having the right business partner makes all the difference.”
To succeed in LATAM markets, it is vital to find local partners that can work side by side with vendors, as an extension of their teams, to help them translate their business models and strategies into the different LATAM markets, going beyond fulfilment services. As Claudia Rodríguez said, “When entering the market and gaining share, it is vital to fully understand consumer behaviors, the sell-out dynamics, and the mobile operator/channel processes and requirements. Therefore the knowledge and experience of a good partner can help immensely. A good partner should help define the market penetration strategy and facilitate the day-to-day activities to distribute products while negotiating with the carriers and other channels. This partner must also understand the right actions and processes to have the proper sell-out/sell-through in the selected channels. The sell-in is a consequence of high-quality execution at the point of sale.”
“Mobile operators and retailers have learned that a successful sell-out process needs to be supported by a marketing strategy to develop the potential for new and existing products. Therefore, a proper go-to-market strategy can help brands to determine the most effective distribution channels and drive positive business impact. Having a local partner that knows the territory, has relationships with the right channels and understands customer behavior can make all the difference when developing and executing a go-to-market strategy.”
Canalys estimates that more than 129 million smartphones were shipped in Latin America in 2021, and shipments are forecast to continue growing to 158 million units in 2026. The region offers a great opportunity, and many smartphone vendors will be competing to expand their channel reach, build brand awareness and capture market share in the coming years. A trusted partner can help them do this.