Xiaomi India defers export plans due to boom in domestic demand
From：Taipei World Trade Center Liaison Office In Kolkata
Smart devices maker Xiaomi India on Monday said it has deferred plans to export from the country due to a massive spurt in domestic demand post the COVID-19 lockdown.
The company has also announced half-a-month's salary to all its employees as a hardship bonus.
Xiaomi India Managing Director Manu Jain told PTI the company is expanding production capacity in the country to cater to the growing demand and it will engage with partners to be part of the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme of the government.
"There were plans by this year, by 2021, to start exporting to many other countries but reality is that we are unable to fulfil even domestic demand. Top priority is to meet local demand and of course then we will be happy to export," Jain said.
According to CMR India, Xiaomi led the smartphone market with 27 per cent market share in the last quarter of 2020.
Currently, apart from smartphones, Xiaomi sells products like air purifiers, fitness bands, VR headsets and power banks in India.
The company has invested in over 50 companies that design and manufacture products beyond its three core product categories -- smartphones, smart TVs and smart routers -- that form the 'Mi Ecosystem'.
"We want to first ensure that we meet local demand. It will be a little foolish on our part as a business leader... to basically export when I can't even fulfil the domestic demand.
"Our partners are the ones who have applied and have been approved for PLI. We will of course engage with them to see what we can do for PLI," Jain said.
Xiaomi partners Dixon and Foxconn have been approved for the PLI scheme by the government.
Currently, Xiaomi has five facilities in India, where its partners Foxconn and Flex assemble phones in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
It has also tied up with BYD and DBG for smartphones, while Radiant will help augment the company's capacity of smart TVs in India.
"DBG has already gone live at a plant in Haryana near Manesar. With DBG plant going live, already our capacity has increased by 20 per cent. BYD (facility) is supposed to go live by May-June period. All our phones and TVs that we sell in India are locally manufactured," Jain said.
He said the company now has over 60,000 direct and indirect employees and will make an effort that all its staffers and also their family members get vaccinated against COVID-19 as per their eligibility.
The company started operations with a six-seater office in July 2014.
Jain said most of the segment leaders at the company are less than 30 years of age and come with zero relevant background, which has helped Xiaomi perform in an innovative way that helped it grow rapidly.
He also said the company did not deduct salaries of employees during the pandemic and will cover the cost of vaccination for all of them.