Xiaomi's India Strategy Is "For The Masses," VP Says

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Xiaomi's strategy in India is constantly evolving but the company is still striving to deliver products "for the masses," according to Kumar Jain, Vice President of the Beijing, China-based consumer electronics manufacturer who also leads the firm's India operations. In a Friday interview with Gadgets 360, Jain reflected on the recent launch of the company's first brick-and-mortar store — the Mi Home — in the South Asian country, adding how the tech giant is only at the beginning of its first offline push in India. Just like the Mi Home stores that have been opening across China in the last 12 months, the new facility in Bengaluru, Karnataka was designed as a place where people can simply "hang out for six hours or however long," Jain said, adding that all of the company's products on display in its first Mi Home store are available for customers to try out and experiment with at their own pace, similar to many Apple stores around the world.

Xiaomi's first physical store in India will officially open to the public on May 20, though the shop won't sell many of the firm's offerings that are available in its home country. Despite the fact that the Beijing-based tech giant is currently the second largest phone vendor in India, the majority of its other products like Wi-Fi routers, robot vacuum cleaners, and Internet-enabled lighting solutions are still not available in the South Asian country due to high import costs, Jain stated, adding that the firm will still import more of its offerings in the future after it localizes their design in an effort to make them more attractive for the Indian market.

For the time being, Xiaomi's product strategy in India is still largely focused on online sales until the Chinese electronics maker obtains a license to run its retail stores directly. While being "company-operated," Xiaomi's Bengaluru-based Mi Home store is presently being run as a franchise, and though the firm has already applied for a retail business license, it's currently unclear how long will its application take to be processed by the government. An update on Xiaomi's operations in India will likely follow later this year.

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