Manu Kumar Jain has been at the helm of meteoric rise of Xiaomi. The Chinese smartphone maker entered India in July 2014, and in a short time, became the number one smartphone vendor in the country (as per the IDC data by the end of 2017).
“One year after entering India, in mid-2015, we were discussing is we can become number one here. We thought it would take us three to three-and-a-half years. We were hoping we could become number one by 2018. But last year was phenomenal for us. We became the number one smartphone brand in Q3 and Q4,”says 37-year-old Jain, Vice-President Xiaomi and Managing Director of Xiaomi India, who is based in Bengaluru.
Last year, the company set up their exclusive offline retail stores called ‘Mi Homes’ to tap the offline market.
But for the IIT and IIM graduate, the “journey has just started” and he has even bigger plans for India. “Xiaomi is much more than a smartphone brand. We are an internet company,” explains Jain, because Xiaomi has its own operating system, its own e-commerce platform and a huge range of internet-enabled devices—from smart TVs to smart scooters, smart water purifiers, smart shoes and many more.
In February this year, the company entered the smart TV segment.
Seeking to expand beyond smartphones in India, the company launched its first flagship experience store in Chennai, which displays all Mi offerings that were launched in China .
“Showcasing these products is to get feedback from customers and the customisation they want before launching some of them in India,” says Jain.
Riding high on the success and the impetus from ‘make in India’, the Chinese technology firm is setting up of three more smartphone plants in India. It also announced setting up of its first surface mount technology plant for local manufacturing of printed circuit board assembly units in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu, in partnership with Foxconn. The company wants its global smartphone component makers to set up base in India, in what is likely to bring as much as $2.5 billion of investment while creating 50,000 jobs.
Find the 40 under 40, 2018 list here
The annual Fortune India 40 under 40 event takes place in Bengaluru on April 29.