China’s Xiaomi plans on expanding its Indian store network as it attempts to rule the roost in a smartphone market. Korea’s Samsung has reigned for more than five years in the market.
Xiaomi came with the cheap, high-spec handsets that boosted the start-up now valued at just about $100 billion. It is planning to pull a nip and tuck affair with the leading Samsung phones.
“If you look at 2017 and 2018 combined, the biggest change in our strategy is our focus on offline,” Manu Kumar Jain, Managing Director of Xiaomi India, told Reuters in an interview.
The first Mi Home, an Apple store-style sales and experience centre was opened by Xiaomi. It currently operated 17 such outlets in India.
Xiaomi is looking to beef up its network beyond online, which accounts for some 70 percent of local revenue in order to broaden its user base in India.
Its strategy in India has so far rested on flash sales on leading homegrown e-commerce player Flipkart and U.S. tech giant Amazon.com’s Indian sites, an approach that helped Xiaomi save on expensive marketing spends and grab market share.
Jain declined to provide financial metrics, and said Xiaomi will launch six to eight new smartphones across key price ranges in 2018.
“We want to improve on whatever we launched in 2017 and also launch and plug whatever we think are the big use cases where we are not present,” he said
In addition to selling air purifiers and fitness bands in India, it plans to reveal at least one or two new smart products in 2018. Xiaomi will likely venture into TVs, water purifiers, scooters and rice cookers in the future, Jain said.