After Xiaomi’s mammoth success in India, Vice-President Hugo Barra further reveals the road ahead for the company in the country. Apart from more device launches, Barra says that the company is also looking into investing in Indian startups in the future.
Speaking to Reuters, Barra did not mention any timeline or details of what kind of startups they would be looking at. “One area that we are also looking to make some investments in is start-ups in India. India is already the largest market for us outside of mainland China,” he said not going into specifics.
Just four years since it began operations, Xiaomi has achieved huge milestones. It was just three years ago that they launched their first smartphone, and just six months since Xiaomi entered the Indian market. Creating ripples, India is now the company’s biggest market after China, and even though they face legal issues in the country after Ericsson slapped infringement charges, the Indian business of the Chinese vendor is booming.
In December last year, the Chinese smartphone maker has raised $1.1 billion at a valuation of a whopping $45 billion. This is a huge jump considering the company was valued at only $10 billion last year in August. Lin describes this jump in valuation as an “affirmation of Xiaomi’s stellar results in four years, and heralds a new phase for the company.”
Speaking on the legal battle, Barra dismisses concerns of IP violation and says, “We have licensed a lot of intellectual property already. It doesn’t have anything to do with intellectual property. It has to do with the fact that we have much more significant opportunities in developing markets, where our model of selling very high specification devices at really aggressive prices is much more powerful.”
Xiaomi’s flash sale model is a huge hit among the Indians, with devices being lapped up in seconds. Xiaomi’s online-only model enables them to sell their products at a very cheap price, as expense on logistics is reduced greatly.
Predictably, in a vibrant market like India, competition easily cropped up with Micromax-backed Yu launching Yureka to give the current Xiaomi offering, Redmi Note 4G some stiff competition. Even Lenovo joined the bandwagon, and launched the A6000 today with a much cheaper price tag.
Just yesterday, Xiaomi announced two new smartphones in Beijing – the Mi Note and Mi Note Pro. The Indian pricing and availability have not been revealed. However, Barra has let the cat out of the bag and said that the company’s older smartphone Mi 4 is hitting Indian shelves on January 28.