Chinese smartphone brand Xiaomi leads the Indian market thanks to successful localization efforts and a unique go-to-market strategy. Xiaomi Inc. is an electronics and software company headquartered in Beijing. The company designs, develops and sells smartphones, mobile apps, laptops and other consumer electronics.
An article in Quartz India states that Xiaomi’s success has been rapid, with their market share growing from 6% to 27% in a little over a year’s time. Xiaomi first entered the Indian market in 2014 and had a rocky start until 2016, but now three of the top five smartphones in India belong to Xiaomi. According to Canalys, Xiaomi shipped close to 8.2 million units in Q4 2017, compared to Samsung’s shipments of 7.3 million units. Samsung has operated in India since 1995.
Xiaomi and Samsung control more than half of the smartphone market in India. Xiaomi leads with a 27% market share and Samsung comes in second place with a 25% market share. Vivo, Oppo and Lenovo are the other companies in the top five.
A Bloomberg article said that Xiaomi has invested approximately $500 million in India in the last few years and intends to invest a similar amount in the next three to five years.
Ishan Dutt, Canalys research analyst, credits Xiaomi’s rapid success to effectively localizing their channel strategy, marketing collateral and products.
Other reasons for their success include initially selling only through ecommerce channels and an exclusive partnership with Flipkart to run flash sales for new model launches. Their ecommerce-only model allowed Xiaomi to focus their strategy on building capabilities around online retail, which accounts for around 30% of India’s total smartphone sales.
They recently began making moves to push sales through traditional brick-and-mortar stores to increase offline sales.
To read more, please see: Chinese brands dominate India’s smartphone market.