• 18:25 Feb 26, 2020

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How has Xiaomi become the largest smartphone brand alongside Samsung?

By: Nirupam Manik, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi Last updated : November 15, 2017 11:29 am

Being one of the biggest players in the budget segment, Xiaomi has always had its tactics on point and there are a bunch of reasons that make the Chinese giant different from other players
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The latest International Data Corporation (IDC) report suggests that Xiaomi now has the largest smartphone market share in India alongside Samsung at 23.5 percent. A company which debuted in India merely 3 years ago now stands beside one of the biggest smartphone manufacturers in the world. India is a pretty dense market when it comes to smartphones and winning hearts in the budget segment is even more difficult. Being one of the biggest players in the budget segment, Xiaomi has always had its tactics on point and there are a bunch of reasons that make the Chinese giant different from other players in this segment.

 

1. Right Smartphones at Right Time

Although Xiaomi has been criticised for not launching its premium smartphones at the right time in India, the company hasn’t followed the same pattern for the budget smartphone category. The Redmi Note 3 absolutely disrupted the budget segment and Xiaomi realized that launching the right smartphone at the right time is crucial for success in India. Learning from it, the company released the Redmi Note 4 in January 2017 followed by a plethora of smartphones in the sub 15K category including the Redmi 4, Redmi 4A, Redmi Y1 and Mi A1. In most of the cases, Xiaomi has been a leader rather than a follower which makes it an undisputed king in the budget smartphone category today.

 

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2. Pricing Strategy

If you sell it for less in India, it sells. Xiaomi knew that India is a highly price sensitive market and the only way to capture a decent percentage of user base is launching smartphones at an affordable price. In fact, affordable pricing has been one of the company’s primary business motive. However, what makes Xiaomi different is the quality. Affordability along with no compromise on quality has been one of the main reasons why Xiaomi has managed to grab the most smartphone market share in India. Indian consumers are rational, so just launching a device at a lower price would never do any good and Xiaomi knew this.

 

3. Unique Advertising Strategy

There is a reason why Xiaomi is able to price its smartphones aggressively and that is because they don’t spend heaps of money on marketing and advertising. Instead, they rely more on word of mouth advertising model. Xiaomi knows, if they bring a really good product in the market at an extremely attractive price, people will talk about it and that's exactly where most of the sales come from. People refer their friends and family to a Xiaomi product and the chain continuous. In a recent interview, Manu Jain, company’s India Head said that Xiaomi thinks of its users as brand ambassadors as it is they who actually market the product. The model has worked wonders for the company and with almost zero marketing cost, the company is still achieving pretty amazing sale volumes. As of August 2017, Xiaomi sold about 5 million Redmi Note 4 in India.

 

4. Strong Community

Every major smartphone player in India has its share of loyal user base built over the years. Xiaomi did this with its Software which is also its biggest source of revenue. MIUI had its own flavour of Android and luckily for Xiaomi, people in India welcomed it with open arms. The company managed to bring a strong community of MIUI users and in the process gained a major chunk of loyal users. Unlike most of the other smartphone manufacturers, Xiaomi deals in software as well. In fact, the company started to manufacture smartphones with a primary objective of bringing the MIUI experience to more and more people.

 

5. Being the master of one and not jack of all trades

Xiaomi always had their eyes on the budget segment so it kind of avoided diving in the premium segment pool even though we saw a bunch of flagships in the name of Mi 6, Mi Mix 2 etc. In India, the company played in a sweet spot of 5K to 15K which was highly choked with monotonous products. In other words, Xiaomi brought a breath of fresh air in the budget segment and that is something which has always been appreciated in the smartphone industry. Products like the Redmi Note 3 and the recent partnership Google for Mi A1 shows that Xiaomi is keen to explore new possibilities even in the budget segment.

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