Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi has announced its first manufacturing unit in India in Sri City, Andhra Pradesh. The company also launched its first ‘Made in India”smartphone called Redmi 2 Prime at a price of Rs 6,999. Xiaomi has exclusively partnered with Foxconn for this facility and going forward it aims to manufacture all of its smartphones to cater to the demand in the country.
“Redmi 2 Prime is the first smartphone from Xiaomi to be assembled in our facility in Sri City. We would like to thank Andhra Pradesh government for helping us to start local manufacturing within just six months. Initial talks started in February and today we have already started to sell the Redmi 2 Prime,” said Xiaomi Global VP Hugo Barra.
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“We have great faith in young leaders and young companies like Xiaomi. These new generation companies and entrepreneurs will be key to the success of Andhra Pradesh and India,” said Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu. “We are happy to partner with Xiaomi as they set up their first manufacturing unit in India, as part of the Make in India program. We believe this partnership will provide new opportunities to youth of the state and develop an electronics manufacturing ecosystem of global standards in Andhra Pradesh. We welcome Xiaomi to Sunrise Andhra Pradesh and India.”
Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP), said India has a huge amount of young energy right now and in many ways Mi represents the vibrancy, dynamism and innovation for present day India. “Future of Xiaomi is not in China. It is in India. The kind of growth opportunity this country will give going forward cannot be matched by any other at this point of time. India has been the back office of the world and China has been the factory of the world. But this is radically changing given the IT skillset present here,” he said.
“The combination of a young company like Xiaomi, Foxconn, Sri City along with a dynamic Andhra Chief Minister will enable Hugo Barra’s team to capture the Indian market and take head on with the likes of Apple and Samsung.”
Xiaomi has a similar facility, in partnership with Foxconn in Brazil apart from China. “The unit in Brazil and the one here are exactly the same. It took us about three times more the time to start manufacturing in Brazil than in India,”said Barra.
In the true Make in India sense, the company admitted that they are currently importing every component from China and is assembling at its Sri City plant. However, the company aims to procure locally. “This is like the typical chicken and egg story. Unless there is any smartphone manufacturing happening in the country, you cannot expect to get components locally,”added Barra.
“While we will continue to import components from China for some time, we will soon look at getting the packaging of our smartphones done locally. This might be followed by getting chargers and batteries for Mi smartphones from local vendors,” said Manu Jain, Xiaomi India head.
Commenting about the capacity of the Sri City facility, Barra said, “This is just the start and we are adding manpower and our related resources every day. It is too early to comment on the capacity, however, the facility is highly scalable.”
The facility will focus only on manufacturing smartphones. “We would make smartphones to cater to the local demand and we are not looking at exporting smartphones now,” said Jain.
Given that Xiaomi smartphones are competitively priced, it is unlikely that Mi smartphones would get cheaper with local manufacturing. The company states that making in India provides tax benefits, helps save in operation costs, provides better inventory management and speeds up time to market.
Xiaomi has also partnered with Redington to sell smartphones in retail stores. The company is now focusing on offline sales after expanding its online reach from just Flipkart. While the new Redmi 2 Prime will be initially available online, the device would be soon made available in retails stores as well.
“Redmi 2 is the most popular smartphone in terms of sales after the Redmi 1S. With this we are looking to reach more customers,”said Barra.
The Redmi 2 Prime is exactly same when compared to the Redmi 2 only for double the RAM and ROM. The Prime version comes with 16GB eMMC ROM (expandable up to 32GB) and 2GB LPDDR 3 RAM.
Others specs are 4.7-inch 720p HD IPS fully laminated display, 64-bit 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU, Android 4.4.4 KitKat with MIUI 6, 8MP BSI f/2.2 rear camera, 2MP BSI front camera, 2,200 mAh battery with Quick Charge technology and Dual 4G SIM card slots
The Redmi 2 Prime will available from today on Flipkart without any flash sale.