Reliance Jio, the disruptive telecom service provider, is reportedly in talks with Xiaomi for a long-term partnership. The Mukesh Ambani-led company is said to be exploring a retail partnership similar to one it has with Apple.
According to ET, the company plans to sell the Chinese company’s televisions and smartphones exclusively through the Jio retail network and its chain of Reliance Digital stores. Under the partnership, the company is also exploring options to sell Xiaomi’s B2B products like smart point-of-sales devices to Jio retailers in order to digitize the supply chain. The deal will help Xiaomi bring more of its products to the Indian market, where it has become the new leader in smartphone segment.
The details regarding Jio’s interest in partnering the Chinese company come on the heels of Xiaomi India’s regulatory filing expressing interest to enter segment beyond smartphones. It also has plans to enter the B2B segment and both the companies are said to be exploring option to sell exclusive smartphones through the partnership.
“Senior executives at Xiaomi India and Reliance Jio have met several times in the last few weeks,” one of the executives told ET. The executive adds that the partnership will start with smart B2B point-of-sales devices where Reliance Jio will place an order for around 1 million units. Both the companies will then expand the partnership to include consumer devices like televisions and smartphones.
Manu Kumar Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India has already indicated that the company plans to launch its range of TVs in the country soon. With Jio planning to roll out home broadband services, it is considering Xiaomi for exclusive launch of its smart television with bundled services at disruptive price.
Reliance Jio reported its first quarterly profit last week and has been growing at a steady pace with nearly 160 million subscribers since its launch in September last year. Xiaomi, on the other hand, had a roller coaster ride last year with record smartphone shipments and has managed to dethrone Samsung as leader in the recent quarter. Together both the companies can disrupt the industry further with an unique business model and wide range of product offering.