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Forget the West, Let's Sell to India

A Chinese Mobile giant is beginning sales on the subcontinent

Michael Cruickshank
Forget the West, Let's Sell to India© 2018 Xiaomi

Chinese Mobile manufacturer Xiaomi (pronounced ‘shao-mee’) has risen from nowhere in the past few years to produce high quality mobiles phones with top of the line specs, at a price point lower than competitors. This strategy has enabled the company to claim a large share of the Chinese smartphone market, in an environment where they faced extremely heavy competition from Apple, Samsung, and other local manufacturers.

Despite their success, their products are currently only sold in select East Asian markets. This however, is all set to change, but just not as we expect.

New players are choosing to enter emerging markets rather than fight it out in the West

While in the past Asian manufacturers were keen to enter the ‘prestige’ markets of the US and Europe, now, given the competition and strong established brand loyalties, they are instead choosing to enter new emerging markets. Within this dynamic the country which more and more companies are choosing to establish a new presence in is India. With an emerging urban middle class, and huge population, the Indian subcontinent is an ideal location to launch mobile products.

Xiaomi, nonetheless, is planning a rather cautious and measured entry into one of its first non-Chinese-speaking markets. Instead of setting up retail stores and complicated sales arrangements, the company is instead choosing to sell their smartphones on Indian e-commerce giant ‘Flipkart’.

The move into mirrors similar ones by other tech manufacturers keen to make their presence felt at this early state. Previously we have reported on Motorola’s efforts to woo this market with the low cost Moto E, launched not in London, but in India, as well as the ultra-budget $25 FirefoxOS smartphones being made by Mozilla.


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