LEADING THE WAY

Turkey 2016 | TELECOMS & IT | INTERVIEW

TBY talks to Zhao Gang, General Manager of Huawei Turkey, on the importance of the Turkish market, the enterprise business, and the variations in customer segmentation.

Zhao Gang
BIOGRAPHY
Prior to being appointed General Manager of Huawei Turkey in August 2014, Zhao Gang was Vice President of Huawei Central Asia and Caucasia region, as well as Director of Huawei do Brazil. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University.

Huawei deploys services and products in 140 different countries around the world. How important is the Turkish market?

Turkey is among the top 15 markets in the world for Huawei. Turkey also has an advantage with its large and young population, with an average age of 30 for a population of almost 80 million. In 2013, we started to expand operating Huawei consumer business, and today Turkey is one of the top 10 most important countries in this segment.

Can you tell us more about the enterprise business?

Since 2010, we have been cooperating with banks and with universities in Turkey, setting up high-performance computing centers for universities that use it mainly for research. Meanwhile, institutions can rent their capability to other companies or units that want to make use of that capacity. Because technology is linked, we also have all the capability and infrastructure that allows us to work in the railway business, including projects like the high-speed rail in Turkey. The government is building more lines for the high-speed rail network in Turkey and we provide the IT solutions for this, including the railway signaling GSMR systems. There are only three or four companies in the world that can provide this technology.

How significant is the consumer segment within that broad range of solutions and technologies you offer?

The consumer segment is interesting for us in terms of the variety of solutions we can offer. Now, everyone uses smartphones. Huawei has a complete working system that can cover many platforms on a smartphone, so all the applications you need are there. There are all sorts of services to be offered there to meet all sorts of solutions and make all the right connections. In Turkey, the consumer market is huge, with about 10 million smartphone sales a year. What Turkey can invest in is software and applications. In terms of network, Turkey has 3G, but further new technology is needed. The new advanced technology will offer the advantage of things happening in almost real time. That means there will be more opportunities in broadcasting, because you can receive a video as quickly as someone receives an SMS now. Huawei designs its own chipsets through its sub-company HiSilicon. Every year we invest 10% of our revenue in R&D, which gives us a lot of advantage in terms of the technology we can develop and provide.

How would you assess market awareness and market demand for Huawei devices here in Turkey?

In Turkey, our P6, P7, G7 and Mate7 models were well received. Prior to this device, we did B2B business; now, we're expanding to B2C. We have started to learn from our own users and from competitors to know how best to promote our brand in Turkey. We hired market experts just for this, i.e. people who have rich experience in the industry. In consumer parts, we now have a very clear strategy, because have two brands; Huawei and Honor. Huawei is positioned for the middle and upper layers, while Honor is for middle and lower layers, especially for young people. With these two brands, we'll continue investing in brand awareness—that's the first step.

What is your outlook for Huawei in Turkey in 2015?

Our aim is to be an ICT leader in Turkey, covering everything from business and enterprise to consumer business, etc. We applaud the 3G licensing law which has effectively supported Huawei's continuous investments in R&D and subsequent technological advancements across this country. We're going to continue to build on this and create business innovation here.