Xiaomi entered the Indian smartphone market nearly 7 years ago. Today, it is the undisputed leader in the industry. Here is its success story. It is indeed surprising to know that Xiaomi, which hit the 10 crore smartphone shipment mark in the country back in 2019, entered the Indian smartphone market just 7-8 years ago. It hasn’t been a decade yet; however, the brand managed to usurp Samsung to become the most popular smartphone brand in the country.
For instance, during the fourth quarter of 2020, Xiaomi beat Samsung to the punch, capturing a market share of 27 percent, and shipped 12 million units during that time. Furthermore, in 2020 alone, the Chinese behemoth shipped a staggering 41 million smartphone units in the country, firmly establishing its position as the number one smartphone brand in India.
So how did the Chinese OEM manage to get to the top of the smartphone world? After all, Xiaomi entered the Indian market at a time when Chinese phones were seen as cheap knock-offs. At that time in India, one could buy Chinese phones for around Rs. 2,000 – Rs. 3,000, as they resembled Nokia and Samsung handsets, but were on the lower end of the price scale. Xiaomi’s journey in the country is nothing short of fascinating and makes for an excellent case study for future smartphone brands that plan to enter a new market.
Let us take out our magnifying glass, and trace Xiaomi’s moves, which inevitably led to its success.
Xiaomi offers feature-rich devices, something that consumers could only experience with premium models a few years ago. The Chinese electronics giant understood the consumer appetite for better smartphone models, but at lower price points. Given the fact that India has a burgeoning middle class, and is a melting pot of people from various classes and statuses, there was a dire need for affordable smartphones.
7-8 years ago, smartphone users could only rely on brands like Karbonn, Micromax, and Intex if they wanted to purchase decent smartphone models for around Rs. 10,000 – Rs. 12,000. However, these models weren’t even close to the phones offered by international brands in terms of quality and features, and Xiaomi filled this gaping void. Today, Xiaomi offers a 6GB RAM mobile.
Online-only sales model
Xiaomi thought outside the box when it entered the Indian smartphone market, and began its journey as an “online only” brand. This helped the company keep the costs low, as it didn’t have to pay offline retail stores for selling its models. This also resulted in Xiaomi competing with Samsung on an almost-equal footing by 2017, and within the next year, Xiaomi enjoyed a massive 52 percent market share of all the mobile units sold online.
Making the most of flash sales
Over the years, Xiaomi has also banked on the consumer-interest to sell its smartphone models. One way the brand has positioned its phone models as the go-to devices is through flash sales on e-commerce platforms. By offering a limited number of smartphone models, Xiaomi has played on the consumer’s psyche, and their desire to own the best-in-class smartphones.
This has also resulted in Redmi smartphones selling out like hotcakes, with the brand’s devices flying off the proverbial shelves in less than 2 minutes! Consumers knew that in order to get their hands on the latest Redmi smartphone, they had to be prepared to compete with thousands of other users, and purchase Redmi phones as and when they went live.
Coming to the biggest selling point of Redmi phones; Xiaomi relied on the competitive pricing strategy to stay ahead of the competition. You can purchase excellent Redmi smartphones for less than Rs. 10,000, something that was unheard of before the brand entered the Indian market. Xiaomi’s success story in India led to other brands like Realme, Vivo, and Oppo making similar moves, and today, four out of the top five smartphone brands in the country are Chinese players. such as Redmi 9 Pro Max for less than Rs. 15,000!
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