This Chinese smartphone maker has different game plan for India

Tez

Xiaomi, a leader in the handset space in India, wants to play an altogether different game in the country. The Chinese smartphone maker company aims to emerge as an internet company by monetising services such as finance and entertainment. The company is planning to replicate its China model in India.

“We’re much more than a smartphone brand. Our hardware business is important, as it helps us acquire a large number of internet users for our internet platforms like MIUI, Mi finance, Mi entertainment,” said Manu Jain, managing director of Xiaomi’s India operations, talking to Economic Times.

He explained that the company has a concrete plan to launch these services in India. “Our ultimate objective is to build our internet business and monetise our internet layer so we can make money from a long term perspective, from our operating system MIUI,” he said.

He, however, added that the internet-company model will take some years to fructify in India – where the smartphone maker is just three years old. The company took seven years to establish its position in the internet space in China.

The company says that it will consider three key factors such as market maturity, life cycle of the company in a region and its team capability, before bringing any of its internet services to India.

Xiaomi is bullish on the Indian internet market where it has emerged as the frontrunner in the smartphone space. Besides, it plans to redefine the Indian market with a steep revenue of $2 billion it plans to generate this year, twice the amount from 2016.

The growth is a result of rise in smartphone sales and brand expansion in the country, according to Manu Jain, Xiaomi India Head.

It has witnessed 328 percent growth in first half of 2017 compared to same period last year. This was driven by strong sales of devices like Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4A and Redmi 4. The company believes that 2X growth over last year is definitely achievable in 2017.

Last year, Xiaomi had registered a total revenue of $1 billion. Besides, during first quarter of this year, the company had a market share of 14.2 percent in India.

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