• 09 Jul 2024 06:15 PM
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Xiaomi aims to double shipments of devices in India by 2034

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The company aims for 55% localization of smartphone parts in India, over the next two years.

Bengaluru: Xiaomi plans to double its shipments of devices in India by the next decade, said its India unit president Muralikrishnan B. at a media roundtable held to mark the Chinese smartphone maker completing a decade in the country.

"Xiaomi India hopes to ship an incremental 700 million devices in India over the next decade," said Muralikrishnan B., president, Xiaomi India. It had shipped 350 million devices since its India entry in 2014 of which 250 million were smartphones, he added.

The company is in the process of increasing smartphone production and assembly in India. In the next two years, it aims to source 55% of the non-semiconductor parts of a smartphone locally in India, said Muralikrishnan.

Xiaomi ended 2023 as the fourth top-selling brand in the India smartphone rankings, according to market researcher IDC India. The smartphone maker's shipments were down 29% last year. Xiaomi has had a significant presence in India since its entry in 2014 with its affordable smartphone offerings and penetration in rural areas.

Also read | Xiaomi India eyes increased localization, Apple-like ecosystem

The smartphone maker's India head said the company is also looking at focusing on the 10,000 to 15,000 price band moving up from the sub- 10,000 band.

"Inflation and component price increases have bumped up smartphone prices," said Xiaomi India's top boss. "The entry-level smartphone segment user is also not willing to compromise," added Muralikrishnan, citing the needs of entry segment smartphone users for advanced features at affordable prices.

On the question of smartphone customers getting to pay for a smartphone in tranches over 36 months and unsecured consumer financing for smartphone buyers, Murali highlighted that the central bank had a grim view on such financing.

"The Reserve Bank of India is also taking a grim view of the growth of such unsecured consumer financing and only fairly so," said Muralikrishnan

Focus on AI

The company's India head said the focus must be on artificial intelligence (AI) and how it can enable a smartphone to become more useful to customers.

Citing an example of an AI use case, Murali said the smartphones could charge based on an individual's sleeping time so that battery is saved. He added that AI could enable the ability of cell phones to decide and latch on to cell phone towers during driving in order to optimise battery.

Murali said the company had to match the aspirations of users wanting premium features in smartphones and that was one of the focus areas for the rest of the year while stressing on the localisation of its smartphone supply chain. He said there was no plan at the moment to list the smartphone unit's India business.

Also read | Xiaomi launches Xiaomi 14 series, watch and tablet for global markets

Xiaomi has been looking to increase the share of its supply chain from India and even the manufacturing of smartphones after the Union government's push in that direction.

India Expansion Strategy 

Rajeev Chandrasekhar, former Union minister of state (MoS) for electronics and IT, said in May 2023 that the Chinese smartphone-maker had partnered with Noida-based contract manufacturing firm, Dixon Technologies, for the latter to assemble and export smartphones.

According to a Mint report, Dixon is in the process of setting up a 1 million square-foot assembly facility for Xiaomi in Noida which will produce up to a million smartphones per month.

The company's sales dipped after leading the market for five straight quarters until the end of 2022. Now, the company has introduced a three-year plan to revive its market share in various product categories.

Also read | Xiaomi evaluating local production of its tablets

The company's three-year strategy for India includes focusing on online and offline sales, creating a complete device ecosystem and making itself lucrative in the premium categories.

Xiaomi completes a decade in India even as Chinese companies operating in the country have been under the radar of Indian enforcement agencies due to concerns surrounding tax evasion and money laundering.

The Enforcement Directorate is investigating Vivo for suspected money laundering and claims that Vivo, Oppo and Xiaomi have evaded taxes including customs and GST payments totalling 9,000 crore between FY19 and FY23.