Chinese phone maker Xiaomi Corp, which recently topped the mobile phone sales in India along with South Korea’s Samsung, has now set its sights on Indian start-up ecosystem.
Xiaomi Chief Executive Lei Jun has said that his company will invest as much as US$ 1 billion in 100 startups in India over the next five years to create an ecosystem of apps around its smartphone brand, reports Mint.
Xiaomi and its sister company Shunwei Capital, which have purchased stakes in six Indian internet companies, will invest in businesses such as content, financial technology, hyperlocal services, including mobile phone repairs, and manufacturing in order to increase the adoption of mobile internet in the country, the daily added.
Xiaomi is a prominent Chinese investor in India after the two internet giants, Alibaba Group Holding Ltd and Tencent Holdings Ltd. However, unlike the other two, Xiaomi is only looking for investments that will expand mobile internet usage and hook customers to its phones in a smartphone market that is defined by fickleness among shoppers in constant lookout for the next new thing.
By providing entertainment content and other services, Xiaomi is hoping to make its value-for-money phones more lucrative to customers and differentiate its offering from rivals such as Samsung, Vivo, Oppo and others.
As for the success of Xiomi phones in India, Lei attributed it to three elements — high-quality products, honest and affordable pricing and a strong local team.
Xiaomi had begun selling mobile phones in India only from 2015 April and after two years and one quarter, it has cornered a market share of 23.5% and shares top slot with Samsung.
Initially, it sold phones through e-commerce, but later it became available in stores and recently it opened an exclusive store Mi Home in Bangalore. By 2019, it plans to open as many as 100 Mi Homes in the country.