The co-founder and CEO of Chinese technology giant Xiaomi, Mr. Lei Jun, met Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi yesterday, and said that his company was committed to creating over 20,000 jobs in the country by the year 2020. Xiaomi claims to have already created around 7,500 jobs in India since entering the country in 2014. According to a press release from the company, Mr. Lei also discussed with the Prime Minister how smartphones are changing the face of Indian society. As part of his latest trip to the country, the Xiaomi CEO also met Union Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley and Information Technology Minister Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad. Mr. Lei was in India to attend the third edition of the annual ‘The Economic Times Global Business Summit 2017’, which kicked off in New Delhi on Monday.
Speaking at the event earlier in the week, Mr. Lei, who was named as one of the ‘The 100 Most Influential People’ by Time magazine in 2015, drew a parallel between Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative which aims to bring more manufacturing jobs to the country, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s ‘Internet+’ action plan that aims to integrate Internet with traditional industries in order to fuel economic growth in the People’s Republic. Talking about the company he helped found seven years ago, the Xiaomi CEO expressed great pride at what the company has been able to achieve within such a short span of time. He also reminded the audience that back in 2014, the company became the largest smartphone vendor in China, and was valued at a whopping $45 billion, making it the most valuable tech startup in the world.
While those heady days are now unfortunately behind Xiaomi, the company continues to gain market share in India. As of Q4 2016, the company is the largest online smartphone vendor in the country, and the second-largest overall after Samsung. Xiaomi’s India operations reportedly earned revenues in excess of $1 billion last year, thanks largely to the incredible popularity of the Redmi Note 3. While that particular model has now been discontinued, its recently-released successor, the Redmi Note 4, has also reportedly become the undisputed segment leader immediately upon release. Xiaomi claims to locally manufacture about 95% of its smartphones sold in India and plans to eventually replace the South Korean electronics giant as the leading smartphone vendor in the country.