Xiaomi Corp., the largest smartphone seller in India, is trying to transform itself into the country’s “coolest tech brand” and eventually becoming a household name across technology segments. “I really hope we morph into something bigger than a smartphone company,” Manu Jain, vice-president at Xiaomi Corp. and managing director of Xiaomi India, said in an interview.
“We don’t want to be a smartphone brand or a consumer durable brand. We want to be the coolest technology brand in India…it could be in any space. We want to build a brand that becomes a household name whenever you think of technology. It’s not an easy journey. And it will not happen in the next two years. It will probably take five years, 10 years for us to achieve that. And we are here for the next 100 years,” he said.
The Chinese electronics and software company entered the Indian market in July 2014 to sell smartphones. Today, it is the largest smartphone brand in the country and has sold the highest number of smartphones in the past six quarters.
In early 2018, it launched smart TVs and is the biggest smart TV brand in India as well.
Apart from smart TVs and smartphones, Xiaomi sells luggage bags, security cameras, shoes, soundbars, power banks and fitness bands as well. It is also planning to bring other categories to India such as washing machines, air-conditioners, refrigerators, laptops and water purifiers.
“We are one of the five brands which will change the face of technology. If you look at every generation, they will be a few companies which will change the way consumers behave. In this millennial generation, we would be among the top five brands which will disrupt the market and change the consumer habits,” Jain said.
Apart from the smartphone category where Xiaomi is most popular, its growth is also increasingly coming from three other segments—internet business where it has Mi Video and Mi Music; retail business where it sells through offline stores as well as e-commerce platform Mi.com; and Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as fitness bands, Mi TVs and air purifiers.
The company is building businesses across other categories as well. On Tuesday, it launched another offering from its internet business stable—a UPI-based payment solution app called Mi-Pay which is integrated within Xiaomi’s interface across SMS, contacts, scanner, etc.
With this, Mi-Pay enters a crowded payment app market where offerings such as Google Pay, BHIM and Paytm are popular.
“It is a crowded market. Which is why we didn’t go with another plain vanilla payment solution that’s available…the way we are thinking is payment is a core functionality within our operating system. It can’t be treated as an independent experience outside the core operating system. We aim to hit 100% of all Xiaomi users in the next couple of weeks,” said Xiaomi India’s chief operating officer Muralikrishnan B.
Meanwhile, the company has already announced plans to increase offline sales channels and introduce a new line of franchised outlets called Mi Stores in tier-III and tier-IV cities as part of its plan to get almost half of its revenue from offline sales.
Keeping this in mind, the company on Tuesday also launched Redmi Go for ₹4,499 for the price-sensitive consumer.
The 4G VoLTE phone boasts dual SIM support, dedicated microSD card that can work with up to 128GB cards and a 3000mAh battery.