In a recent interview with the Indian media, Xiaomi's country head, Mr. Manu Jain, said that the Chinese tech company wants to be the leading smartphone vendor in the country replacing South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics. Spurred on by blockbuster sales of devices like the Redmi Note 3, Xiaomi ended last year as the second-largest smartphone vendor in India, just a couple of years after entering the market with a number of attractively-priced devices that offered Indian consumers high-performance hardware at pocket-friendly prices. According to Mr. Jain, the tech giant plans to claim the top spot in India within the next three to five years, which is indeed an ambitious plan for a company that is facing a steep challenge at home from newer and more agile rivals such as OPPO on the one hand and established companies like Huawei on the other.
The China-based smartphone-maker has not been having a very good time in its homeland over the past few quarters, having been leapfrogged by a number of brands in terms of both revenues and market share. However, even as Xiaomi's growth has plateaued in China, its fortunes have been on the rise in India, which is currently the third-largest smartphone market in the world after China and the U.S. The company recently announced that it had earned revenues in excess of $1 billion in India during 2016, with the Redmi Note 3 alone selling over 3.6 million units in the country, making it the most-shipped online-exclusive smartphone in the country's history. It will be interesting to see if the company will be able to maintain its momentum with the recently-launched Redmi Note 4, but early indications are definitely heartening for the company. 120 million smartphones were sold in the country last year, and that figure is expected to double by 2020.
According to Mr. Jain, Xiaomi is looking to double its Redmi Note 3 sales with its successor this year. Whether that happens or not remains to be seen, but smartphone sales in India has been on an upward swing for years now, even though the demonetization drive last November managed to put a slight dent in the country's economy during Q4 2016. While the effects of that controversial policy is expected to be felt by the consumer electronics sector over the next few months, economists and market analysts seem to be of the opinion that things will get back to normal by the end of this year, which is definitely welcome news for companies like Xiaomi going forward.