Xiaomi India Chief Business Officer Raghu Reddy said the company is serious about the ‘Make in India’ initiative and that it has been the company’s continuous focus area.
Xiaomi, which celebrated its 10th anniversary since the launch of its first smartphone in India, recently achieved another milestone - the title of number one smartphone brand in the world for June 2021. This was the first time the company surpassed its rivals, according to Counterpoint Research.
The smartphone maker has become a household brand in India, with one out of four phones sold in the country being either a Mi or Redmi device. But, Xiaomi has not stopped here. The company has slowly expanded its portfolio over the years and launched multiple products across different categories. Its diverse portfolio ranges from smart TVs, laptops, smart speakers, air purifiers and some more Internet of Things (IoT) products.
At its upcoming Smart Living 2022 annual event on August 26, the company will be further expanding its offering for the Indian market. Xiaomi has started teasing the expected products, which include the likes of Mi Band 6.
In an exclusive interaction with Moneycontrol, Xiaomi India’s Chief Business Officer Raghu Reddy said the company will launch new IoT products in India.
One of the two IoT products confirmed by Reddy for launch at the Smarter Living 2022 event is a Wi-Fi Router. When asked about the specifics, he said we will have to "wait for the launch event", but did state that the product will be priced higher than their entry-level router launched in 2017.
“We'll have to wait until the launch to know more but definitely, not an entry-level. It will definitely be on the higher end. But I won't be able to probably you know call it off so clear, you know this is gonna be a way up there, or is it just going to be somewhere just a little up there,” Reddy said.
Xiaomi currently offers the Mi Router 4C in India, which is listed on the company’s website for Rs 999. The budget router comes with four omni-directional antennas and supports speeds up to 300 Mbps. It is capable of connecting up to 64 devices, which the company claims is eight times more than typical routers.
As confirmed by Reddy, the upcoming Mi router will be priced higher than the entry-level router available in India. The company offers multiple premium options like the Mi Router Ax9000 and the Mi AIoT Router AX3600. There is also a Mi Router 4A Gigabit Edition that is available in select global markets.
Alongside the router, Xiaomi will also launch a new security camera in India.
The company already offers two security cameras in India and Reddy said the company's products in the space have been the number one security camera since Q4 2018, with a market share upwards of 40 percent.
“We thought it will be required in homes for people to keep a track of their kids or you know some elderly people at home or their pets, etc. But when we actually look around, we see what all it's been used for and it amazes us," Reddy shared.
He added, "We've seen people use it for their shops which I think is easier to understand but what was really amazing was we actually saw people using it in their farms to actually track stuff. People used their internet dongle for a WiFi connection there and set up a security camera and get the feed in their home far away from their farms overall. So, we realised that you know some of these products have actually helped improve the life of a lot of people."
Regarding the pricing, Reddy said that Xiaomi will stick to its philosophy of "honest pricing". “I think there are a few things that each and every company stands for and like Xiaomi's always been about innovation for everyone and offering the highest quality, most innovative products at the honest pricing possible. So that doesn't change," he stated.
Reddy also said that Xiaomi is serious about the ‘Make in India’ initiative and that it has been the company’s continuous focus area. He said that 100 percent of Xiaomi’s smart TVs are currently made in India, while 99 percent of Xiaomi and Redmi phones are manufactured here, and 95-98 percent of their power banks are manufactured locally in India.
"And across multiple other categories that we are present in at any given point in time, there is always work going in terms of how do you localise all of those products, but we won't be able to share exact details until it's actually done because you know some of these tend to have you know lead times of a few quarters or a few months and you will have to wait until we finish that entire thing before we are able to actually talk about that,” Reddy added.
We also asked Reddy if Xiaomi plans to develop IoT products with the local partners specifically for the Indian market, to which he responded: “there is work happening on that front as well”, adding that Xiaomi makes changes to an existing product if required before bringing it to India.
Reddy explained this by sharing the example of the company’s water purifier, where the India model features a tank, unlike the Chinese or European model.
“That change had to be done because there are sometimes water constraints or electricity constraints which means that you cannot be assuming that they are available all the time and you will be able to run the device all the time. So, it was a product that was actually got created specifically for India," he added.
Lastly, Reddy said that a lot of new products are coming for Indian consumers as the company gears up for the festive season. The company has already started teasing its new Mi laptop that will feature a backlit keyboard and also an in-built webcam. That and more new products will be announced at the Smarter Living 2022 event on August 26.