At BGR India‘s Dream 500 Million event in New Delhi, Xiaomi’s VP Hugo Barra touched upon various points on the company’s future plans in India. He revealed Xiaomi’s plans to open an Research and Development Centre in India, to innovate mobile Internet services for local and the global audience.
Barra highlighted two major reasons why Xiaomi wants to branch out its research activities out of China. He said that the audience in India is very similar to the global audience, as compared to the Chinese audience which is very different. The R&D efforts in India will help in building products that could gather worldwide reach. He also lauded the pool of expertise available in the country that is capable of inventing modern solutions.
“The R&D Centre in India will have two primary roles. The first and most important role is to build mobile Internet services that are made for India, which will include some developments of our own, and a lot of co-development with local players that are building relevant services that will uplift Xiaomi’s operating system,” he said. With Xiaomi handset user base on a continual high rise in India, this could mean a lot of additional business for local Internet startups in this space. Barra had also hinted earlier on investing in Indian startups.
Barra did not provide any timeline for setting up this R&D facility, but confirmed that the company had big expectations from it. “We also want the R&D centre in India to become a global development centre eventually. We believe that given the proper expertise we can recruit here in India, we could be in a position to build services for the rest of the world,” he said hinting on more employment opportunities in the near future.
Apart from an R&D centre, Xiaomi is reportedly teaming up with Inventec – a major manufacturer of Xiaomi’s products – to set up a manufacturing plant in Chennai by the second or third quarter this year. The company also plans on launching Mi.com in India, where it will sell its smartphones alongside Flipkart. All of this infrastructure expansion, will not only help in meeting demands for its smartphones, but also price them even more aggressively. Xiaomi has already said that it considers India as its biggest market outside China, and in less than a year since its debut, the company has sold more than a million smartphones.
Watch Hugo Barra talk about the company’s plans to setting up its R&D centre in India: