Cherry Mobile CEO Maynard Ngu continues to create possibilities
MANILA, Philippines – At 37 years old, Maynard Ngu, the young CEO and visionary of Cherry Mobile has proven to many that a proudly local mobile brand can compete even against international tech titans. Through premium and affordable smartphones and devices that promise a seamless mobile experience, Cherry Mobile aims to hold onto its position as the leading local mobile phone brand in the country.
In 2009, seven years ago, entrepreneur Maynard Ngu had first considered breaking into the mobile phone scene by launching his own brand – Cherry Mobile, his brainchild. During that time, it seemed like an impossible feat as the market then was dominated by international tech giants such as Nokia and Blackberry.
Even with the surging “Proudly Pinoy” sentiments that urged consumers to support local brands, it posed a definite challenge.
But there was a great opportunity for business, and, more importantly, an even greater demand for affordable phones, which Maynard knew he could fill with Cherry Mobile. Starting with four models, Maynard launched Cherry Mobile to be in the competition.
“At that time, handsets were so expensive – ranging around P25,000, so we offered a quality product that appealed greatly to consumers who were looking for a more affordable device,” explains Maynard.
Maynard was undoubtedly impressed, but not content. He had bigger visions for the brand. Cherry Mobile was not here simply to provide mobile phones that the market wanted, but offer products that would elevate the mobile experience, as well as complement each individual’s lifestyle. He envisioned Cherry Mobile to be a brand that has “Everything for everyone.”
Journey to success
Thanks to the impressive reception of the first four models, Cherry Mobile rose to prominence with astonishing speed and secured its position as one of the rising stars in the local mobile phone market.
In 2010, a mere year after it was founded, Cherry Mobile was recognized as the “IT Company of the Year” by the Cyber press Awards. It would snag another prestigious award, this time from Yugatech, as the “Top Selling Mobile Phone Brand” in 2013, beating industry heavyweights.
The impressive reception of Cherry Mobile pushed as well exponential growth within the company. Maynard’s once small operation, consisting of a lean team of 50, has grown to include around 750 employees.
“I am very lucky to have teams who have brilliant minds. We all work together, it’s a collective effort which is very important when you want to grow your business.” Maynard shares.
Cherry Mobile has continued to take a lead in the race by developing more innovative devices, improving image and quality of all products, and at the same time, making their phones more accessible through competitive pricing.
Cherry Mobile released products and rolled them out to the market quickly, ensuring that it was always the first. Thanks to Maynard’s keen business acumen, he steered Cherry Mobile to swiftly overtake its rivals.
“I am thankful that we have developed a very strong relationship with our dealers who gave their full support since we launched Cherry Mobile” Maynard added.
In 2012, Cherry Mobile Flare was successfully launched. This model has become the best-selling smartphone in the market then. It has the right features, right price point and targeted the right market who wants to aspire on having an affordable smartphone that was feature-packed. In this success, Cherry Mobile has launched several Flare Series which became game-changers in the smartphone segment.
Last year, Maynard ventured into the telecom business, by launching Cherry Prepaid SIM. This was in partnership with Globe Telecoms through MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator).
“Cherry Prepaid SIM is powered by Globe. Our prepaid sim is data-centric. Aside from the call and text features, consumers get to enjoy a longer internet surfing and longer SIM validity. Right now, with the new CMSURF20, consumers can surf the internet up to 200MB valid for seven (7) days.” Maynard says.
Maynard assured quality in Cherry Mobile products, despite the continuous release of new phones, and it has proved credibility by partnering up with respected manufacturers and tech industry leaders such as Intel, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Qualcomm, and MediaTek, among others in the development of its new phones.
Cherry Mobile recently launched Cherry Mobile M1, a product of such partnerships and the epitome of integrated tech design. Cherry Mobile partnered with Mediatek, one of the largest chip-design and system-on-chip solution for wireless communications companies in the world, to create the first local smartphone which utilizes a Deca-core processor. In addition to Mediatek’s Helio X20 deca-core processor, Cherry Mobile M1 boasts a Sony IMX230 Exmor RS smartphone camera sensor, which allows high speed image capturing and uncompromised photo quality.
“I think for any local brand, we should always aim to take the lead in pushing innovation.”
Not simply limiting Cherry Mobile’s influence in the mobile phone market, Maynard also diversified his business portfolio to include lifestyle devices such as the recent Cherry Mobile Explorer 2, the first ever Android-powered action camera. “Cherry Mobile is now exploring in developing our own apps as well as IoTs (or Internet of Things),” he reveals.
Giving back to the community
In gratitude of the massive growth of Cherry Mobile, Maynard is giving back his success through Cherry Mobile’s CSR programs and initiatives guided by the principles Cherry Cares (Customer, Natural Resources, Employees and Society. From providing school kits to building classrooms to underprivileged community through CherrySkwela, to planting seedlings for sustainable livelihood and many other acts of stewardship, Cherry Mobile aims to uplift the lives of the Filipinos and build a progressive and better place they deserve.
“This is our contribution to nation-building,” explains Maynard.
Breaking new ground
With Cherry Mobile’s strong presence in the local industry, Maynard has gained the confidence to seek newer, bigger horizons – success on a global scale.
“To date, Cherry Mobile is also present in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and other Southeast Asian countries. We distribute in Papua New Guinea, Tunisia, and Africa. We have also started recently in South America.
“Last February, Cherry Mobile participated in CeBIT 2016 held in Hannover, Germany, a signal to explore the possibility of doing business in EU. We are still quite small, but we’re slowlybuilding towards becoming a global brand and we want to have presence in areas where we are needed,” shares Maynard.
“At the end of the day, my vision is that everybody will have a Cherry Mobile in their hands. We want to bring the Cherry Mobile experience to everybody, because Cherry Mobile is and will always be “everybody’s everyday device,” adds Maynard.
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