“Two roads diverged into the woods and I took the less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”
These words by the Robert Frost describe the success story of what is being called China’s Apple- Xiaomi. Xiaomi entered India in July 2014 with Mi 3 and in three years shared the throne with Samsung by capturing 23.5 percent of India’s smartphone market in third quarter of 2017. India is growing market for smartphones with the demand expected to double by 2020. Over the past few years it has seen many new smartphones brands entering the market- Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi to count a few. While the former indulged in building mortar and brick stores to capture the market, Xiaomi took a different path and followed what is called as hunger marketing tactics.
Xiaomi partnered with Flipkart, India’s leading online retailer and had a humble beginning with just 3 percent share in the smartphone market in 2015. But in the next two years, it climbed the ladder to reach the top by using the concept of flash sale, where only a limited stock of phones was made available that sold out in few seconds. The interested customers had to register online with the Mi website or Flipkart to make the purchase. By shunning the mortar and brick presence and dominating online channels for sale, it not only cut costs but also built a dedicated customer base with its value for money devices.
What became the biggest sell-out for Xiaomi was its lower priced phones with high-end features. Take, for example, Xiaomi’s best selling smartphone Redmi Note 4 that achieved the hallmark of being the device to sell one million units in India. It comes with 4 GB RAM, 64 GB internal storage powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 with two days of battery at Rs 13,000. Any other smartphone that comes close to match its features costs between Rs 18,000 and Rs 25,000. “It just blew up the market”, remarks Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi India’s head.
Having faced the irrational disdain for “Made in China” products, Xiaomi has come a long way. With its second factory coming into operation last year, Xiaomi now manufactures 95 percent of its products sold in India. It has also built its physical presence with Mi Preferred Partner Stores where the company picks up a multi-brand retail store in market clusters to build offline retail without going the traditional way. Dedicated to be a benchmark for service, the company has opened 500+ service centres to become “best in class” service delivery.
|Source: Financial Times|
With a little leap of faith in the flash sale system, Xiaomi did what no other player, Indian or foreign could do i.e. to replace Samsung at the top. Xiaomi is giving the Koreans a run for their money who are now planning to launch new products to match the Mi craze in India.
India is now the biggest market for Xiaomi and with each quarter reports coming in it is achieving new landmarks. “Do fewer things, but try to do them right,” is Xiaomi’s heads motto and for the time being its been paying off quite well….