After ending Korean reign

After ending Korean reign, China’s Xiaomi has big plans for India

Over 3 lakh mi phones were sold out in 3 minutes in its February flash sale this year!

 

It was literally a coup of sorts!

Just a few years after its entry, Xiaomi beat Samsung to become India’s top-selling smartphone company, two times in a row.

This is no mean feat for a company which came into existence only six years ago. On the other hand, it’s adversary – a household name in the country since 1995- had been the undisputed market leader for several years.

Xiaomi’s growth in India has been rather quick. From a mere 3% market share in 2015, it is now the fastest growing smartphone brand in the country. Currently, Xiaomi accounts for 31% of the market share.

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Giant strides for 2018

The Chinese firm plans to launch at least six new smartphone models in the country in addition to expanding its non-smartphone portfolio. The mi smart TV range is already selling like hot cakes.

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It has also envisaged 100 new mi home stores by the end of the year to boost its offline presence.

With the addition of three more manufacturing units this year, Xiaomi wants to scale up its manufacturing capacity to two phones per second. Already over 95% of its handsets are manufactured locally. It is also aiming at 100% local production of circuit boards by Q3 to be more cost-effective.

Huge investments are also in the pipeline to consolidate its position. Starting this year, the company plans to invest $1 billion in 100 Indian software and internet startups to create an ecosystem of apps around its smartphone brand.

Behind Xiaomi’s success story

It all began in 2014, as a race between two unequals.

For starters, Xiaomi’s entry was well timed. Buoyed by growing internet connectivity and affordable data charges, the country was staring at a smartphone revolution. The only thing missing was a mobile range that was easy on the pocket.

The Chinese company filled this gap perfectly, which Samsung couldn’t – dishing out attractively priced smartphones with great specs. No surprise then that Xiaomi’s success has entirely come from its mid-price smartphone segment, which is also the fastest growing

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Secondly, its unique and bold experiment of selling only via e-commerce paid off handsomely. Such was the anticipation around its flash sales that most them ended within seconds of opening. After creating buzz online including on its own e-commerce site mi.com, the company turned its attention to offline strategies to expand its reach.

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Though all this, Xiaomi was also manufacturing most of its handsets locally. This perfect alignment with the government’s ‘Make in India’ campaign helped the company avoid import tariffs, that restricted most of its global rivals. Money apart, the local production also helped it cater to the growing demand seamlessly.

The second half of 2017 was the turning point for the company. The third quarter saw its sales grow by leaps and bounds, bringing its market share almost at par with Samsung.

Since then, it has been a dream run for the company.

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The great Indian smartphone battle

The biggest challenge for Xiaomi now is to hold on to its newfound crown. It is not going to be an easy one, especially with the dethroned Samsung likely to come out all guns blazing.

Xiaomi has two battles to fight at once; counter the onslaught from other Chinese competitors like Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo for the low and mid-segment range & gain ground with iPhone, Samsung and Oneplus on the high-end range

The Indian market is now the biggest battleground for smartphone companies after China. With smartphone sales expected to double in the next few years, the competition is only going to get fiercer.

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As for the top two, their fight has only just begun

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