Three months ahead of the self-imposed October deadline, Xiaomi India has sold 100 million smartphones in India.
The Chinese tech giant has become one of the first brands to achieve the feat in five years of operation in India. The company spent zero dollars on advertisements in its first three years, and instead relied on innovative use of social media, the Mi Community and various Mi Fan Forums.
Speaking at an advertising forum recently, Manu Jain, Managing Director, Xiaomi India, and Vice President, Xiaomi Global, said “The first three years from launch — 2014 to 2017 — we spent close to zero marketing dollars. After we became no. 1three years later, we started spending a lot more on advertising” said Jain. The company decided to foster a community of ardent fans in India, who would give feedback, spread the word and be loyal to the brand.
The Chinese stalwart was amongst the first to embrace the benefits of having fervent followers.
Jain said, “Every time we go to a new city, we make it a point to meet new fans.” “At the Mi Community, we have 50 million people coming to the app every single month. These are the very people who help spread the word,” he added. The company prides itself on constant innovation and infusing vibrancy and energy in the market.
Speaking about the firm’s innovative launch for its initial smartphone Mi3 in India, he said, “The first business plan we wrote was very simple. The aim was to sell 10,000 phones. The only ad campaign we used was our Facebook page,” he said.
The first sale was on July 22, 2014, on partner platform Flipkart led to the retail website crashing, with about half a million people turning up to buy the 10,000 phones. In August 2015, Xiaomi joined the Make in India initiative. Currently, Xiaomi has seven smartphone manufacturing plants.
Calling the 10-year-old firm a young start-up, Jain said: “We wanted to launch innovative parts, high-quality parts and wanted to make them accessible. Though we are a smartphone company, our business model is a lot more involved,” he said.
Jain said that every time a hardware device is launched by the company, there are three basic principles followed. “Each of these devices has to be great at specs, quality and have honest pricing, which doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be at the lowest possible price,” said Jain. Xiaomi India’s milestone of shipping 100 million smartphones in India was achieved between Q3 2014 to July 2019 as per IDC 2019. A brand film to celebrate the occasion was unveiled, featuring several Xiaomi employees including Jain.