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Exclusive: Xiaomi hires Jabong co-founder Manu Jain for its India operations

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Chinese smartphone vendor Xiaomi has started hiring in India to launch its brand in the country later this year. Multiple sources have confirmed to BGR India that Xiaomi has hired Manu Kumar Jain to kickstart its operations in the country. Jain, who was the co-founder of online retailer Jabong, had quit the company earlier this year to start his own venture.

BGR India could not reach Jain despite repeated attempts. Jain had parted ways with Jabong to launch his new venture Gynjer, where he was planning to launch smartphones, tablets and wearables. He was looking at launching high quality smart devices manufactured by third-party ODMs in Taiwan and China at aggressive price points in India. Xiaomi has a similar model where it sells premium quality smartphones with top-of-the-line hardware components at a fraction of the price of tier one brands.

Sources close to the development have hinted that the current plan is to launch the first devices in the September-October timeframe, just around Diwali. However, the plans might change depending on Xiaomi’s ability to manufacture enough devices. The company is struggling to quench demand in China, another source indicated.

Xiaomi’s Hugo Barra had announced earlier this year that it would launch in 10 countries in 2014 including India. Earlier Barra had said Xiaomi would set up its local office in India and would also retail smartphones through its own online store. However, sources say that Xiaomi is now also considering looking at Flipkart and a few other ecommerce stores as a retail partner. The success of Motorola in India piggybacking on Flipkart is said to have been the reason for Xiaomi’s consideration.

Sources tell BGR India that Jain is currently putting together a launch team. A quick glance at his Twitter profile indicates he had traveled to China recently and of late his tweets have been mostly about Xiaomi.