Mobile phones imports have grown at an unprecedented rate over the last years, mostly after the COVID-19 lockdown. As Nepal approaches the country’s biggest festivals, it also translates into the year’s largest marketing upheaval. To meet the likely increased demands, mobile traders have imported phones worth 4 Arab, 82 crores, 67 lakhs, and 83 thousand.
In the meantime, 6 lakhs, 67 thousand, and 518 units of mobile phones have entered Nepal within that cost. This also helped the government collect over 76 crores in revenues at the customs.
Comparing the figures to the previous month, Ashadh, the numbers bafflingly pale. In Ashadh, Nepali traders imported 4 lakhs, 76 thousand, and 43 units of mobile phones. The total sum for those phones was above Rs.2 Arab, 75 crores.
Markets reach their peak in festive times around Dashain and Tihar in Nepal. Consumers splash their saved assets on goods and services at these times which makes an overkill during these times and mobile phones are no exception. This is why the traders have already prepared for the upcoming seasons to mitigate for demands surge. It is also noteworthy that the current import record eclipses that volume from the previous month by double indicating mobile phones’ pervasiveness in the Nepali market.
Besides, traders are also not taking any risk from COVID-19’s possible third wave which would affect the market. Having a huge unit of mobile phones in surplus will help them meet the demands.
Mobile Phone Importers Association and IMS Group Chairman said global chip shortage has caused hindrance in phone imports. The recent high and the low number of unit shipments is also due to the chip shortage which has hurt mobile phone manufacturing for months.
Renewed Concerns Over Grey Markets
Mobile traders have expressed their concerns about grey markets sprung back again. They also lamented the delayed implementation of the MDMS. Malhotra even blamed NTA for their slow execution of the security software which has allowed grey markets to surge again. Note that the grey market was almost nonexistent during lockdown just a few months back. Thi had benefitted both the mobile traders and the government in their respective objectives.
He added that following the lockdown since Chaitra 2076, the market has struggled to meet the demands of mid-range phones. In terms of cost, smartphones under Rs.20,000 have remained in high demand and still, the market has no maintained the balance between demand and supply in this range.
Mobile phones have become the most in-demand commodity in Nepal. Online classes, business meetings, seminars, training, have all shifted towards virtual mediums which has driven the sales of smartphones since the COVID-19 lockdowns. With internet and mobile data prices coming down, and features-packed smartphones is coming at affordable prices, the mobile market will continue to rise in Nepal in the coming months.
Are you also planning on buying a new phone this festive season? Will be a mid-range or a flagship one? You can share with us below in the comments.