Xiaomi’s India launch could take a while

xiaomi-hugo-barra

Xiaomi’s plans to launch in India could take a while to materialize as the Chinese smartphone sensation looks at other South East Asian markets ahead of its India launch. Xiaomi’s vice president for international markets, Hugo Barra, laid out a tentative chronological list of countries where Xiaomi will launch its operations. Barra says he wants to pull in a significant part of South East Asian countries before launching in India, TechInAsia reports.

According to the report, Xiaomi will next launch in Malaysia, followed by Indonesia and the Phillipines, Thailand and then India. After launching India operations, the company would look at Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American countries. Earlier Barra had revealed Xiaomi would set up its local offices in India and would retail phones via its own online retail platform.

Xiaomi sold 18.7 million smartphones in 2013 and aims to sell over 40 million smartphones this year. The company targets to achieve 100 million smartphone sales in 2015. It launched its operations in Singapore earlier this year, expanding the company’s presence from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Xiaomi is increasingly looking at foreign markets to achieve its next wave of growth.

Xiaomi sells smartphones almost at cost and makes revenues by selling additional services. Like most other smartphone vendors, it doesn’t manufacture its own smartphones and outsources it to contract manufacturers like Foxconn. It has an online only retail model and makes the phones available in batches of 100,000 units (or lesser, depending on the market), which get sold out within minutes.

Xiaomi provides the same hardware specifications and features as tier one brands but is able to sell them at half their price by having a lean structure and by cutting out middlemen like distribution channel and dealers. Last week, in a flash sale, Xiaomi sold goods worth Rs 970 crore (1 billion Chinese Yuan) in less than 12 hours.

The Chinese smartphone vendor last year managed to poach Google’s face of Android, Hugo Barra, to look after the company’s international expansion plans. Xiaomi was then valued at $10 billion or twice of BlackBerry’s current valuation.