“mi fans are the core of our mar­Ket­ing pri­mar­ily driven by so­cial me­dia”

Manu Jain, VP, Xiaomi and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Xiaomi In­dia in an ex­clu­sive talks with PC Quest shares in­sights about Xiaomi’s op­er­a­tions, fo­cus ar­eas and plans in In­dia

PCQuest - - MOBILE NEWS - – Anushruti Singh anushrutis@cy­ber­me­dia.co.in

What are some of the key fo­cus ar­eas for Xiaomi in In­dia? What will be your mar­ket share cur­rently in In­dia?

In­dia is the world’s sec­ond-largest smart­phone mar­ket by users and is pro­jected to gen­er­ate a bil­lion smart­phone sales in the next five years. It is cur­rently a 300 mil­lion user base smart­phone mar­ket. Our com­pany’s vi­sion is “In­no­va­tion for ev­ery­one” and our CEO Lei Jun be­lieves high end tech­nol­ogy should not cost a for­tune. We will con­tinue to launch high qual­ity de­vices, in ad­di­tion to ex­pand­ing our ecosys­tem cat­e­gory. One of the most im­por­tant cri­te­ria for any smart­phone we launch is that each ex­ec­u­tive in the com­pany should be able to use it as their pri­mary de­vice. Our long term goals are not lim­ited to prod­uct. Ear­lier this year, our CEO Lei Jun came down to In­dia and af­ter spend­ing a week in In­dia - we mu­tu­ally short­listed three fo­cus ar­eas which are of core im­por­tance to us. Dou­bling our In­dia ef­forts <man­u­fac­tur­ing, ser­vice cen­ters, team size etc • In­creased fo­cus on qual­ity • In­creased avail­abil­ity of our prod­ucts Fur­ther, we are al­ways seek­ing ways to im­prove our af­ter-sales and cus­tomer care ex­pe­ri­ence. Cur­rently, we have 500+ au­tho­rized ser­vice cen­ters across 350+ cities, 2 mother ware­houses and 26 sis­ter ware­houses, 3 re­pair fac­to­ries and 2 call cen­ters. Xiaomi is In­dia’s #1 on­line smart­phone brand with more 17.2 % mar­ket share and #2 over­all smart­phone brand with 46.7% mar­ket share as per IDC, Q2 2017.

What are the dif­fer­ent mod­els you have in the three cat­e­gories—bud­get, mid-range and high-end?

Xiaomi has two fam­i­lies of phone, namely the Redmi se­ries and the Mi se­ries. The Redmi se­ries con­sist of bud­get range phones, whereas the Mi fam­ily con­sist of both mid range as well as the high end phones. Our fo­cus is ba­si­cally to pro­vide con­sumers with best in class tech­nol­ogy at af­ford­able prices, there­fore we have phones start­ing from Rs. 5,999 to Rs. 16,999. Redmi se­ries at present com­prises of phones start­ing from the range of Rs, 5,999 (Redmi 4A). The cat­e­gory also has some of the most pop­u­lar Xiaomi smart­phones such as Redmi Note 4, Redmi 4. Redmi Note 4 af­ter ship­ping 5+ mil­lion smart­phones in 6 months is high­est shipped smart­phone in a quar­ter in the his­tory of smart­phone mar­ket in In­dia (IDC Q2 2017). The Mi Fam­ily of phones con­sist of the Mi Max 2 cur­rently, which is priced at INR 16,999.

Tech­nol­ogy wise, what will be the USPs of Xiaomi phones over your com­peti­tors?

At Xiaomi, we be­lieve in mak­ing in­no­va­tion avail­able to ev­ery­one with prod­ucts that fea­ture cut­tingedge tech­nolo­gies. This is sup­ported by a unique busi­ness model that al­lows us to be one of the fastest grow­ing con­sumer tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies. We cre­ate high qual­ity in­no­va­tive prod­ucts that make the ben­e­fits of tech­nol­ogy and ubiq­ui­tous con­nec­tiv­ity ac­ces­si­ble to ev­ery­one. We hold our­selves to very high stan­dards, no mat­ter whether it’s in prod­uct qual­ity, user ex­pe­ri­ence or af­ter-sales ser­vice. How­ever, one el­e­ment which strings it all to­gether are our Mi Fans. Mi Fans are the core of our mar­ket­ing ap­proach which is driven pri­mar­ily via so­cial net­works and com­mu­ni­ties. At Xiaomi, we talk

to our fans like friends and fam­ily by in­volv­ing them in the prod­uct dis­course.We talk to them like friends and fam­ily via so­cial chan­nels, Mi Com­mu­nity, so­cial chan­nels and this helps us in spread­ing our story via word of mouth. We also re­quest our fans to pro­vide feed­back to us di­rectly and try and in­cor­po­rate the feed­back to el­e­vate our con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence. All these things have helped us strike a chord with In­dian con­sumers who are look­ing for in­no­va­tive, value for money prod­ucts.

What are Xiaomi’s mar­ket­ing plans in terms of TV com­mer­cials and print/dig­i­tal ad­ver­tise­ments?

We cul­ture.are a From very day dif­fer­en­tone, Xiaomi com­pany has in adopt­edterms of a mar­ket­ingvery unique mar­ket­ing strat­egy that is dif­fer­ent from other tech com­pa­nies. We have fo­cused on cul­ti­vat­ing loyal fans who then help to pro­mote Xiaomi to their friends, fam­ily, class­mates, col­leagues, and fel­low ne­ti­zens. And we are con­stantly work­ing to keep those peo­ple en­gaged in con­ver­sa­tions that help us hone our prod­ucts and to cre­ate new ones. We have de­vel­oped MIUI fo­rums, com­mu­nity fo­rums, fan clubs and a strong so­cial me­dia fol­low­ing. We have an ac­tive Mi Com­mu­nity with more than 1+ mil­lion daily ac­tive users who in­ter­act with us on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. We have 19 chap­ters of Mi Fan Clubs across In­dia. We have taken small steps into tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing with few out­door hoard­ings and dig­i­tal ad­ver­tis­ing but the main fo­cus is still or­ganic wordof-mouth mar­ket­ing via our strong Mi Com­mu­nity. Mi Com­mu­nity is now our home for Mi fans, where we bring to­gether Mi fans and Xiaomi em­ploy­ees in a multi-chan­nel en­vi­ron­ment, both on­line and off­line, to en­cour­age open feed­back and par­tic­i­pa­tion across all com­mu­ni­ties. We in­vest heav­ily in com­mu­ni­cat­ing with our fans and giv­ing back to our com­mu­nity; It is es­sen­tially the se­cret sauce for our mar­ket­ing.

Please up­date on your R&D base in In­dia and what is happening here?

In­dia is the most im­por­tant and largest mar­ket for Xiaomi out­side China and it will con­tinue to be a pri­or­ity mar­ket for Xiaomi. Cur­rently, our R&D cen­ter is based in our HQ in Ben­galuru which drives in­cre­men­tal soft­ware cus­tomiza­tions for our In­dian au­di­ences.

How much does Xiaomi plan to in­vest in brand de­vel­op­ment in In­dia?

We spent our first two years build­ing a strong foun­da­tion and re­ceived a lot of love from our Mi Fans in In­dia. This year will be all about dou­bling our ef­forts in In­dia, right from ware­houses, em­ploy­ees, ser­vice cen­tres, call cen­ters, fac­tory and pro­duc­tion. To­day, we are the dom­i­nant player in the on­line seg­ment with more than 50 per­cent mar­ket share (as per IDC). Re­cently, we launched our fourth Mi Home store in In­dia and we plan to set-up 100 more Mi Home store in the next 2 years.

Xiaomi has been on­line fo­cused pri­mar­ily till date. How are you look­ing to repli­cate the ef­fi­cien­cies of your on­line busi­ness to off­line sales through the launch of phys­i­cal stores, the Mi homes?

Mi Home is a place for Mi Fans to hang out, in­ter­act with each other and ex­pe­ri­ence the lat­est Xiaomi prod­ucts. In ad­di­tion to this, it will also give Mi Fans an op­por­tu­nity to buy all their fa­vorite Mi prod­ucts un­der one roof. Through this launch, we are us­ing the lessons learnt from op­er­at­ing a very suc­cess­ful and lean on­line chan­nel to off­line re­tail via our Mi Home stores. Mi Home stores are built on our In­ter­net+ new re­tail con­cept, and will have ef­fi­cien­cies sim­i­lar to the on­line chan­nel. We will pro­vide a phe­nom­e­nal user ex­pe­ri­ence, where Mi Fans will be able to browse and ex­pe­ri­ence our prod­ucts first-hand at their leisure, be­fore mak­ing a pur­chase.

What are your plans on en­hanc­ing your chan­nels and dis­tri­bu­tion in In­dia.

Xiaomi is an in­ter­net com­pany and we started off as an on­line player. We be­lieve in an in­ter­net way of work­ing even for our off­line dis­tri­bu­tion model in In­dia. We are now ex­pand­ing into the off­line re­tail space with our New Re­tail model. While we en­joy a mar­ket share of nearly 50% in the on­line smart­phone mar­ket, the over­all on­line mar­ket space con­sti­tutes of only one-third of the over­all mar­ket in In­dia. We started build­ing our off­line busi­ness ag­gres­sively from Q1 2017. We have a three pronged strat­egy for

“We have 500+ au­tho­rized ser­vice cen­ters across 350+ cities, 2 mother ware­houses and 26 sis­ter ware­houses, 3 re­pair fac­to­ries and 2 call cen­ters. Xiaomi is In­dia’s #1 on­line smart­phone brand with more 17.2 % mar­ket share and #2 over­all smart­phone brand with 46.7% mar­ket share as per IDC, Q2 2017.”

the same which in­volves our Large For­mat Re­tailer part­ners, Mi Pre­ferred Part­ner stores and our own Mi Home stores. Cur­rently, we have 12 LFR part­ners across 12 states: Sangeetha, Poorvika, BigC, Lot, Vi­jay Sales, Univer­cell, Fone 4, MyG/3G, Croma, Hotspot, Ezone and Pai. Each of these part­ners have Mi Zones which is a small area ded­i­cated for Xiaomi smart­phones where peo­ple can ex­pe­ri­ence our prod­ucts. In 8 of these stores, we are al­ready no 1 in terms of vol­ume share. These stores are Sangeetha, Poorvika, BigC, Lot, Vi­jay Sales, Univer­cell, Hotspot (Delhi) and Ezone (Kolkata).

Our most in­no­va­tive out­reach is via our Mi Pre­ferred Part­ner Stores. These are multi-brand re­tail stores which have Xiaomi dif­fer­en­ti­ated brand­ing and get Xiaomi stocks on pri­or­ity. Cur­rently, we have 600+ Mi Pp Stores in over 11 cities such as Delhi, Jaipur, Ben­galuru, Chandi­garh, Hy­der­abad etc. By year end, we aim to have 1500+ Mi PP stores across 30+ cities. Mi Home store also plays an ex­tremely im­por­tant for off­line sales as it’s our flag­ship store. We cur­rently have 3 Mi Home stores in Phoenix Mall, Orion Mall and 1 MG Lido Mall in Ben­galuru. Delhi NCR’s first Mi home store opened on 19th Au­gust at Sec­ond Level, Am­bi­ence Mall, Gu­ru­gram from 10 AM. Pre-book­ings have started for Mi Home on mi.com from 16 Au­gust started tak­ing pre-book­ings on Mi.Com.

The ideas is to cut out mul­ti­ple lay­ers of mid­dle­men and al­low Xiaomi to ex­pand our off­line pres­ence, keep costs un­der con­trol so that we can of­fer our cus­tomers high qual­ity de­vices at a very af­ford­able price. Via our three pronged strat­egy, we be­lieve we are a truly in­te­grated com­pany when it comes to im­ple­ment­ing our O2O strat­egy (On­line to Off­line and vice versa). We help di­rect traf­fic from our on­line chan­nels such as mi.com to our off­line chan­nels and di­rect the traf­fic back to mi.com from our off­line stores.

What will be the ra­tio be­tween your off­line and on­line sales cur­rently?

From Jan­uary 2017 – July 2017, our off­line sales have grown by 10X and to­day more than 20 per­cent of our sales come from off­line.

Do you have any Make In In­dia plans go­ing on?

We started man­u­fac­tur­ing in In­dia in the year 2015. We were the first smart­phone brand to an­nounce our man­u­fac­tur­ing plant un­der Honor­able Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi’s ‘Make in In­dia’ ini­tia­tive. We part­nered with Fox­conn for this ini­tia­tive. Our first ‘Made in In­dia’ smart­phone was the Redmi 2 Prime, fol­lowed by the Redmi Note Prime, and to­day

all In­dian mod­els are made in In­dia ex­cept Mi 5. The sec­ond man­u­fac­tur­ing unit was an­nounced in 2017 March. The fa­cil­ity which is now op­er­a­tional is lo­cated in Andhra Pradesh. The com­bined ca­pac­ity across both the plants is 1 phone / sec­ond when they are op­er­a­tional, not in­clud­ing shift changes, breaks, and hol­i­days etc.

It em­ploys 7500 peo­ple from hun­dreds of vil­lages. 90% of em­ploy­ees are women. More than 95% of Xiaomi’s smart­phones sold in In­dia are now man­u­fac­tured lo­cally.

What is Xiaomi’s up­date on ‘Af­ter Sales Ser­vice’ pol­icy, ser­vice war­ranty and ‘Dead Af­ter Pur­chase’ strat­egy?

In or­der to pro­vide a great ex­pe­ri­ence, we work on two things: (1) launch phe­nom­e­nal prod­ucts, and (2) pro­vide great post sale sup­port. Af­ter Sales is as cru­cial as sales for us and we be­lieve in pro­vid­ing the best in class post sales ser­vice to our con­sumers. For the same we and our part­ners have in­vested nearly 100 crores for af­ter sales ser­vice and a hur­dle free af­ter sales ex­pe­ri­ence. To­day we have 500+ ser­vice cen­ters in In­dia across more than 350 cities in In­dia, in­clud­ing tier 3 / tier 4 cities such as Churu, Mirza­pur, Asan­sol, and many oth­ers. We have 2 call cen­tres and 3 re­pair fac­to­ries and Mi Fans can get in touch with us via mul­ti­ple plat­forms to share their feed­back or com­plaints: Call Cen­ters, Live Chat, Email, walk into a Ser­vice Cen­ter, re­quest for a pick up & drop - Pick Mi, ping us on So­cial Me­dia, Mi Com­mu­nity or if you see any of us any­where - just walk upto us in per­son, and we will help you. We also have a Pick Mi ser­vice where you can call and ar­range for a pickup and drop of your de­vice across 8000 pin codes. Across our ser­vice cen­ters, we have an av­er­age rate of 95%, of re­pair­ing the de­vice in one day and a rate of 86% to re­pair it within 4 hours. On an av­er­age, our call cen­ter em­ploy­ees are flu­ent in 2 no. of lan­guages such as Hindi, English but in fu­ture we will sup­port re­gional lan­guages. We take al­most 16,000 no. of calls each day which goes upto 20,000 (high­est num­ber - Last Di­wali) on some days, 1500 emails per day, 1000 chats and 200 so­cial me­dia UI. Ad­di­tion­ally we also con­duct soft skills train­ing, tech­ni­cal, ed­u­ca­tion, re­ward and recog­ni­tion for ser­vice en­gi­neers. To­day, we have a score of 75% CSAT and as per IMRB, more than 90% Xiaomi cus­tomers are happy with their ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence. We want to be known as a bench­mark in this space for cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence and we will do what­ever it takes to reach there.

Manu Jain VP, Xiaomi and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Xiaomi In­dia

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