It was three years ago that China-based Xiaomi entered the Indian smartphone market, and took it by storm with its affordable products. The company recently bagged the top smartphone maker position (along with Samsung) in the country, and attributes a significant chunk of its success to not only balancing features and price right, but also to its commitment to the Make in India initiative by the government. Also Read - Best wearable gift ideas under Rs 5,000 for Father's Day 2021
In continuation of the initiative, Xiaomi today announced its third manufacturing plant in India. The plant is also the company’s first non-smartphone unit, and currently assembles powerbanks. “The most searched brand for power banks is Xiaomi,” claims Manu Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi and Managing Director, Xiaomi India, who addressed the media during an industrial tour of the new manufacturing unit in Noida, Uttar Pradesh. Also Read - Another Xiaomi folding phone set to launch after October with Mi MIX Fold specs
New ‘Make in India’ Powerbank series
“Xiaomi India has seen exponential growth in India and today it enjoys market leadership in the smartphone segment. I believe a key reason for our success in the smartphone segment has been our commitment to India,” Jain said. Currently, 95 percent of Xiaomi’s smartphones sold in India are assembled locally. Also Read - Best smartphones for photography under Rs 20,000 to gift for Father's Day
Jain further added, “We spoke to the team at Hipad Technology a year back, and encouraged them to look at the Indian market to set up a Power Bank facility. Hipad is our partner in China for power banks and their constant support has helped Xiaomi become the most popular power bank brand in the world. We thought with the growing market size of power banks in India, it is important that we bring our manufacturing partners to India to provide Mi Fans a truly localized product and extend our commitment to Make in India.”
The company recently teased a new product through social media, and today it took the wraps off a new line of Xiaomi powerbanks. It introduced the Xiaomi Mi Powerbank 2i (‘i’ referring to designed and made in India). The powerbank is available in two capacities – 10,000mAh priced at Rs 799, and 20,000mAh priced at Rs 1,499. As Jain says, these have been designed, and priced based on the feedback of Mi fans community.
Both models support dual-USB output, and feature aluminum metal casing with a double anodized surface. Unlike regular powerbanks that feature a couple of A4 size batteries, the Mi Powerbank 2i comes with lithium polymer batteries, encased in a 14.2mm slim form factor.
First non-smartphone manufacturing plant
Talking about the new manufacturing unit, Jain said that the facility is spread over 2.3 lakh square feet with a starting production capacity of seven powerbanks per minute. This facility is in addition to two smartphone manufacturing units in Andhra Pradesh. BGR India visited the facility on Xiaomi’s invitation, and observed how the company puts something like a powerbank undergo nine levels of product testing, and three layers of process inspection at each stage.
At the raw material/ component stage, the company does random sampling, and tests them for quality. If there are discrepancies, the entire batch is rejected. Even before the final product is packaged, sampling is done to ensure there are no quality issues.
Spotting counterfeit Xiaomi Powerbank
Interestingly, when Jain talked about Xiaomi being the top-most brand which people search for online when it comes to powerbanks, he also revealed that the second-most popular brand is possibly ‘Fake Xiaomi’. Given the visible similarities between the genuine and knockoff powerbanks, people are often duped into paying for the counterfeit models.
However, Jain described an easy way to distinguish between a genuine and counterfeit Xiaomi powerbank. All that you need to do is look for the special Xiaomi hologram on the outer packaging. Upon scratching the hologram, you can see a code which can be cross-checked for authenticity at Xiaomi’s website. If you do end up purchasing a fake Xiaomi powerbank, you could immediately bring it to the company’s notice. While this is a very small feature, having a similar checkpoint for other products in the Xiaomi portfolio might help curb counterfeiting menace in the industry. Without confirming if such holograms will also extend to other products, Jain did say that while there is no plan right now, the company may look at incorporating the basic yet useful feature like hologram to identify genuine Xiaomi products.