Xiaomi established its first Mi Home Experience Store in India, the Chinese tech giant said Wednesday, adding that the brick-and-mortar location has now opened its doors to the public in Phoenix Market City, a shopping mall in Chennai. While the Beijing-based original equipment manufacturer already operates two dozen storefronts in the South Asian country, the newly established shop is the first of its in India. The Mi Home Experience program is aimed at opening Apple Store-like locations where consumers are encouraged to linger and casually hang out while simultaneously having the option of trying out Xiaomi's products without feeling pressured to buy them.
Having entered India just over three years ago, Xiaomi is presently the fastest-growing smartphone brand in the country and has already managed to surpass market leader Samsung in terms of quarterly shipments as of the final three months of 2017, according to some industry trackers. While the company's local success is largely attributed to its online-focused retail strategy, Xiaomi has also been committing significant resources to growing its offline presence in India in recent times, striving to make its products as ubiquitous as possible. The firm presently operates around 25 storefronts in the country but is also aggressively pushing its consumer electronics through independent retailers as part of its preferred partner program that allows resellers to prominently feature Xiaomi-made devices in exchange for subsidies and other benefits. Competitively priced Android mid-rangers such as the Redmi Note series have been some of the best-selling smartphones in India over the last several years.
Xiaomi repeatedly touted India as its most important foreign market and one that enabled it to bounce back from the stagnation experienced throughout 2016. By strengthening its presence in the country and committing to other foreign markets, the company is hoping to prepare itself for an initial public offering later this year, according to previous reports. Xiaomi is said to be targeting a $100 billion valuation and is also planning a comeback in its home country where it's presently the fourth largest phone vendor behind Huawei, OPPO, and Vivo. Its latest offering was launched in India last month in the form of the Redmi Note 5.