Sunny Sen 04. December 2019 13:01:55 IST
For Manu Jain, Global Vice President and Managing Director of India, it is not enough to be the country's best-selling smartphone maker. The 38-year-old wants to be a part of everything that is technical by creating an ecosystem of products and devices around the phone.
"We want to be the coolest technology company," said Jain, who likes most executives of technology companies. He wore jeans and a white T-shirt, along with a trendy blue jacket and sneakers that rounded off the casual look.
But when it comes to the plans of Xiaomi India is fine, there is nothing accidental about that.
"Everything you want to do in your life, every product you want, whether it's a physical product or a digital product, we'd like to have some of it at some point. Jain tells tech2 .
And everything here means just about everything – a telephone, a TV, a chair, a door, an air conditioner or even a simple ceiling fan.
The fight for an "intelligent" home is fierce. Headquartered in Beijing, the company is poised to engage with Google and Amazon, the big boys in the home automation industry.
Google has Google Home and Amazon has built home automation around the artificially smart Alexa.
For Jain, Xiaomi is much more than a smartphone maker. It is an e-commerce company, an Internet of Things (IoT) company, an Internet services company and also a financial services company.
There is more. "Every associated internet service. Maybe an app to control all the lights – it could be our lights or third-party lights, an app that can automate your entire home. If you need money, we should be able to provide you with money. Everything that you want to do in your life, we would like to provide a technical solution. "
True to his word, on December 3, Xiaomi officially launched Mi Credit in India a loan service for individuals. The service allows smartphone users fast loans of up to Rs 1 lakh.
India is crucial for Xiaomi's plans, as the country's largest market outside the country is China.
According to market research firm IDC, Xiaomi was India's best-selling smartphone in the third quarter of 2019, with a market share of 27.1 percent. Samsung ranked second with 18.9 percent, followed by Vivo, Realme and Oppo.
Founded 10 years ago in China, Xiaomi is often referred to as the "Apple of China." Over the years, Xiaomi has taken its own path, which is very different from Apple's and includes a variety of consumer and home appliances, electric scooters, electronic accessories and Internet services.
For Jain, the launch of Mi Credit was the first "third evolutionary phase" for Xiaomi in India. "Phase I was all about building and understanding. That's because I'm not from a smartphone industry, "said Jain, who co-founded Jabong, the online fashion e-tailer acquired by Flipkart in 2012.
The second phase was from 2016 to 2018, when the company focused on the smartphone business and consolidated its position 1.
Only in the past one and a half years has the company expanded into other areas. Smart TVs, smart air and water purifiers, and a variety of Internet services have been introduced, including Mi Music, Mi Video, Mi Pay, and Mi Credit.
The non-smartphone business for Xiaomi, however, is small in India. Jain will not share that number.
Globally, smartphones contributed 60.1 percent to the company's revenue in the past quarter, up from 68.8 percent in the year-ago period.
In China, the share of smartphones and non-smartphones The smartphone revenues are almost the same.
"There are many more ecosystem products in China," said Jain. "In China, we're launching a new category or device every four days. In India, we start a non-phone promotion every two months. "
India, however, has its advantages. The smartphone business in China is stagnating, but it continues to grow in India.
But there are problems too. Not everything that works in China works here. "We had to redesign the entire water treatment plant for India. Intelligent scooters do not work well in India under the road conditions in India, "said Jain.
However, this has not stopped the company from launching a range of products without a phone. Larger devices are a focal point.
"We do not know which comes first, whether the washing machine or the refrigerator or the air conditioner or the laptop or something else, but these are definitely things we evaluate. Maybe you'll see some of them in the next year or two, "Jain said.
Xiaomi also relies on financial services and it seems to work. In a pilot project, Xiaomi lends over 1,500 PIN codes a daily Rs 1 crore.
But Jain is in no hurry. "Our approach to life is to walk step by step, to slow down, to do less things, to do them right … We do not have to try to do zero all day."
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