When Even a Bil­lion’s Not Enough

Xiaomi tar­gets sales of 7 m units of Redmi Note 4 this year and plans to triple pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity

The Economic Times - - Brands: Creating Desire - CR.Suku­mar@ times­group.com

Hy­der­abad: Chi­nese smart­phone maker Xiaomi, which dou­bled its smart­phone sales in In­dia last year to sur­pass $1 bil­lion, or about ₹ 6,700 crore, in rev­enues, tar­gets to be­come the coun­try’s largest smart­phone firm within five years and, ac­cord­ingly, plans to ramp up its man­u­fac­tur­ing ca­pac­i­ties. “I would want Xiaomi to be­come num­ber one in over­all smart­phone sales vol­ume per­spec­tive in In­dia in 3-5 years,” Xiaomi In­dia head Manu Jain told ET. Xiaomi cur­rently has a man­u­fac­tur­ing plant along with Fox­conn at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. “We are look­ing to open one or two new fac­to­ries with sim­i­lar ca­pac­i­ties to dou­ble or triple our ca­pac­i­ties either at Sri City it­self or elsewhere in the coun­try with Fox­conn,” Jain said.

Its Redmi Note 3 has be­come the best-sell­ing phone on­line in the coun­try with 3.6 mil­lion units sold in just 10 months. In all, Xiaomi launched four phones in Mi and Redmi se­ries in the coun­try last year.

Jain said the firm hopes that sales vol­ume of Redmi Note 4 this year will be dou­ble that of Redmi Note 3 last year, which would mean sales of at least 7 mil­lion units.

He said more than three-fourths of the phones Xiaomi sold here last year were made in In­dia.

Smart­phone sales in the coun­try have tripled in last three years to120 mil­lion last year, out of to­tal mo­bile phone sales of 270 mil­lion, Jain said. It is ex­pected to dou­ble to over 240 mil­lion by 2020.

Jain did not share de­tails of investment plans in the coun­try. “We have al­ready in­vested hun­dreds of mil­lions dol­lars in In­dia over last few years and In­dia will re­main our first pri­or­ity out­side Main­land China. We will con­tinue to in­vest hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars on man­u­fac­tur­ing, ware­houses, lo­gis­tics, call cen­tres and ser­vice cen­tres in In­dia,” he said.

Within two and a half years of its In­dia foray, Xiaomi has be­come the leader in the on­line smart­phone mar­ket in the coun­try with 30% mar­ket share in the quar­ter ended De­cem­ber, Jain said.

Even while con­tin­u­ing its fo­cus on on­line first sales strat­egy, the Chi­nese firm will nearly triple its off­line sales this year to around 30% from some 10% now. The com­pany’s ap­pli­ca­tion for sin­gle brand re­tail li­cence was ap­proved by the DIPP and the com­pany is cur­rently wait­ing for clear­ances from few oth­ers in­clud­ing the fi­nance min­istry, and is hop­ing to get its li­cense some­time this year.

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