Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi seems to have found the secret to succeed in India

Founded only in 2010, Chinese smartphonemaker Xiaomi is already a big name in the smartphone sector and the company seems to have gotten its hands on the magic potion to succeed in India. Xiaomi forayed into the India market in 2014 , at a time when Indian consumers were almost desperately looking for an affordable yet reliable smartphone, it took the Indian consumer much longer to learn how to pronounce the company’s name than grab a Mi phone online. At the time when Xiaomi entered India over 50% of the phones in the market were under Rs. 6000 budget phones, Xiaomi decided to come with mid range phones and it almost instantaneously became the perfect device to upgrade for all the low-end phone users. Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India said, “Xiaomi India has seen exponential growth in India and today it enjoys market leadership in the smartphone segment. I believe a key reason for our success in the smartphone segment has been our commitment to India.” For Xiaomi, It was all about the pricing and timing happened to be perfect.

Right from a massive start to now, Xiaomi has had a smooth ride in India . Xiaomi is now the second largest smartphone vendor in India and IDC has ranked Xiaomi India as number one smartphone brand in India in Q3 2017.

Xiaomi has now announced its third manufacturing plant in India and the first facility only for power banks. This manufacturing plant is in partnership with Hipad Technology spread across 2.3 lakh square feet. With the timing of this announcement Xiaomi is also playing a bigger part for one of the most important initiatives of the government - ‘Make in India’.

This year has been extremely important for Xiaomi in India as it also opened exclusive Xiaomi stores called Mi Homes in the country. In China, the stores are usually experiential whereas in India Xiaomi has gone for mostly smaller stores with products limited mainly to phones and phone accessories. However the company has announced setting up of 100 Mi homes across India within two years. A move that’s sure to benefit the company in terms of reaching out to the smaller regions in the country where e-commerce is almost non-existent. With broadband connectivity across India improving, it is going to be very important for smartphone makers to tap the new smartphone users in the tier two and tier three cities. The online market for smartphones have reached a saturation point therefore it has become critical for smartphone brands such as Xiaomi to up their Offline presence. This has also helped the company provide dedicated space for experiencing the Mi products that were earlier more known to the online consumers mainly.

Xiaomi internationally invests in many small companies and work with them to build a range of products for Mi Ecosystem. Mi Ecosystem includes a variety of smart products for the home like air purifier, water purifier, rice cooker etc. Of all the Mi Ecosystem products, Xiaomi has so far only launched the Mi air Purifier in India and the timing again was perfect as it was clear that quality of air in Delhi was deteriorating. The pricing of the air purifier again is highly competitive as it is priced below Rs. 10,000. This pricing in some ways has also raised awareness about the product category as air purifiers were not really considered a necessary home appliance in Indian homes. But Xiaomi still hasn’t bought half of the product range it has in China to India; some of their more popular products in China like Mi TV and Mi Ninebot have still not made it to India market.

And Xiaomi is only getting started in India, the company is planning to bring almost all products to India eventually. the consumers or the “Mi fans” as they are called have been eagerly waiting for bigger launches like Mi Tv and Mi Ninebot, while Ninebot could be a challenge given the condition of the roads here in India but Xiaomi is working on putting together perfect content to go with their TVs as of course product, pricing and timing should all align for Xiaomi to take the next big step.

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