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Xiaomi India: Our offline business has already doubled versus pre-Diwali period: Manu Jain, MD at Xiaomi India

Xiaomi India will be “disappointed” but “not lose sleep” if it ends the October-December quarter as the country’s number two smartphone maker by volume, said its managing director Manu Jain. In an interview to ET, Jain said the Chinese brand saw a 15-20% year-on-year growth in Diwali sales, driven mainly by the online channel, and that offline sales are picking up as well. Edited excerpts:

Q1. Xiaomi sold more than five million devices in just a few days. What are your expectations for the entire quarter?

Last year was the best year for us. And this year, we have seen 15-20% growth over last year during Diwali sales. There was a huge surge in online sales across platforms. Slowly and gradually offline is also picking up. Our offline business has already doubled versus pre-Diwali period, backed by schemes and discounts. We are expecting even higher growth now.

In Q4, hopefully, we should be somewhere in the 25-26% to 30-32% range. Even if we are number two, yes, we will be disappointed but we will not lose sleep.

Q2. Did you see any change in consumer behaviour?

The ASP (average selling price) for both us and industry is around Rs 10,000-12,000 and Rs 8,000-Rs 14,000 was the majority of the demand that we saw.

We used to run no-cost EMI and instalment plans only for high-end phones above Rs 20,000. This year, we saw a much higher demand for even a mid-series phone in the Rs 14,000-15,000 range.

This is a little bit tricky because on one hand, a lot more consumers want to use EMI as an option for buying. On the other hand, a lot of the lending companies are apprehensive of lending because their point of view is that we do not know what will happen to the economy and whether people will continue to have jobs or not. So, they were a little bit more stringent.

Q3. What is the current status of your manufacturing in India?

We are still ramping it up and that’s why for Diwali we had to import some small quantities. We are hoping to meet all demand locally during the November-December period. But till date we are still importing small quantities.

Q4. Is your component manufacturing plan on track?

We are fully committed to bringing the entire partner ecosystem. This year, we couldn’t do anything significant given the circumstances and travel restrictions. We are really hoping that next year, we should be able to pick it up, and again expand a lot more.

Q5. How did your ecosystem and lifestyle business perform in the last quarter?

We saw a stronger demand coming in during this Diwali than we had expected. Laptop as a category is off to a great start and doing very well. There was a huge demand for many other smart devices like smart TVs, speakers and smartwatches. However, demand for shoes and power banks was slightly lower than expected. In the last few weeks, there has been high demand for air purifiers.

One of the products which got postponed was our robot vacuum cleaner because of the entire global supply chain disruption.

Q6. Is there a timeline for your consumer durable foray?

I don’t have a firm timeline. The next four biggest categories for us are laptop, washing machine, fridge and AC. We will definitely be keen to explore launching at least one of them in 2020. And then, eventually, we should be able to launch many of them in the coming years.



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