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
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.