Manu Kumar Jain believed his team could shake things up for the industry.
Xiaomi India has revealed ambitious plans to grow the company into a “multi-billion dollar” branch of the Chinese smartphone company.
Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi’s India head, believed his 35-strong team could shake things up for the local smartphone industry.
He explained Xiaomi India would continue to offer good products at reasonable prices, in stark contrast to Apple’s strategy in India.
Another part of the company’s growth plan was to bring Xiaomi TV to tech-savvy consumers in India.
Hugo Barra, Xiaomi International’s vice president, said they had been working on a range of content, such as games, films and TV shows. He hoped to launch Xiaomi TV in India as early as the second half of 2015.
The ambitions do not stop there. Jain has confirmed the company’s plans to move its manufacturing and research and development facility to India.
Jain said: “We are seriously considering manufacturing in India, but it also depends upon the ecosystem which is still at a very nascent stage here.”
By relocating these units to India, the company could improve its response to customers’ changing needs and create smartphones tailored for Indian users.
Jain continued: “Our R&D lab, which we just set up, will be testing our products in Indian conditions, including on the different bandwidths.
“The next stage for the lab is to customise parts of our products for the Indian customer, like facial recognition and build India specific features like languages, and content like movies and cricket.”
Jain stressed another key to success was how Xiaomi India valued customers’ experiences and suggestions.
First initiated by Xiaomi India, bloggers meet-ups have become a regular event. Some of them have been self-initiated by bloggers and fans, where new ideas would be formed and proposed to the company.
Jain said: “Social media presence and regular interaction with Mi fans and bloggers have also helped the brand gain traction.
“Some of the offers the company has made so far were based on consumer feedback.”
Negative feedback was equally important to them, as Jain pointed out: “If the complaints are genuine and lot of consumers are giving us the same feedback, we need to solve the problem as soon as possible.”
Xiaomi has been growing at an exponential rate globally and is not showing any signs of stopping.
Founded in 2010, Xiaomi has swiftly caught up with Apple and Samsung to become the third biggest smartphone company in the world.
The Chinese company started selling its Android devices in India in July 2014. By November 2014, Xiaomi has already grabbed a 1.5 per cent share of the local market.
As it stands, Samsung is still the big boss in the Indian smartphone market, with a 25 per cent share recorded in November 2014.
However, Xiaomi’s CEO, Lei Jun, was optimistic at the World Internet Conference that Xiaomi would take over the top spot in the next two years.
So far, all signs point to its imminent success. Xiaomi’s latest flash sales on Flipkart saw 50,000 units of Redmi Note sold in six seconds, and a further 75,000 units gone in eight seconds.
A Counterpoint research also recently forecasted Xiaomi will ship 1 million units in India in the coming fiscal quarters.
Part of this is driven by the rising purchasing power of the middle class and growing number of smartphone users in India.
A Canalys research revealed total smartphone sales are expected to double from last year’s 25 million, recording 47 million units in the first three quarters of 2014.
The availability of high quality devices with affordable price tags, such as Xiaomi, also encourages more people to own a smartphone.
The Redmi Note 4G, expected to launch in December 2014, only costs a smashing 9,999 Rupees (£100) – almost a third of a Samsung Galaxy S4.
Expect more online frenzy as Xiaomi schedules the next flash sale for 16 December, 2014.