Chinese startup Xiaomi has big plans for the strategic Indian market in 2015, including bringing in more value-for-money products, boosting after-sales service and investing in local startups.
Despite setbacks like the recent IAF privacy scare and Ericsson lawsuit, Xiaomi is betting big on India. “The Ericsson lawsuit did not have much impact on our India business. Business is as usual for us and I would like to thank all Mi fans in India. As far as the privacy scare is concerned, I would like to say that Xiaomi is a very transparent company and we are taking all necessary steps to protect the trust of our customers,” said Manu Jain, India head, Xiaomi.
Xiaomi is looking forward to expand its product portfolio. “Not just smartphones, we will launch products in almost all segments at a competitive prices. We are also looking at launching products in India first,” added Jain.
The company is not restricting itself to just smartphone only next year. The Chinese brand will venture into wearables, smart TVs, smart home solutions and more. The confirmed product launches for 2015 are:
Mi 4 smartphone: The Mi 4 will come very soon in India and is speculated to be launched in January. Jain hinted that the price would be around Rs 20,000. Given the fact that Xiaomi likes to surprise its fans, we can expect the price to be less than that.
Mi band: Xiaomi is ready to launch its fitness band called Mi Band by March 2015. The Mi band is priced at around US $15. “The price in India will be similar too,” said Jain.
Mi TV 2: Xiaomi will launch its first smart TV in India, Mi TV 2, in second half of 2015 at a price of around Rs 40,000. “The smart TV will take some time as we are partnering with content providers and service centres in India. The content will not come from our end. The price will include the 8-speaker soundbar too,” said Jain.
Mi TV 2 features a 49-inch 4K FUll HD display and runs on a MStar quad-core 1.45GHz CPU with 2GB DDR3 RAM and 8GB flash memory and supports up to 64GB external storage. The TV runs on MIUI TV Android-based OS and offers dedicated 11-key remote and gesture remote app.
Xiaomi will look at selling its products through its own e-commerce website in 2015. “While we will be continuing our partnership with Flipkart, we would set up our own e-commerce office in India and will sell Mi products as well,” said Jain. The e-commerce website will only sell Xiaomi products and services.
Also, Xiaomi has already hired two employees for its R&D facility in Bengaluru. This facility will focus on developing India-specific mobiles services. “We are looking at expanding our R&D facility in the coming months,” said Jain.
“We are aiming to launch at least 100 exclusive Mi service centres across India for only Xiaomi products. These Mi stores might also have an experience zone,” said Jain. Currently, Xiaomi has partnered with other multi-branded service stores to provide after sales support to customers in India.
The company’s growth plan also includes investing in Indian startups working on mobile services. “We might acquire several local startups or will look at incubating them,” added Jain.