Xiaomi expects next level growth to come from the offline medium, that too from the rural areas. The company has opened 500 retail points – MI stores in a single day on October 29 in rural areas which will cover areas as far as More, 650 km from Guwahati located at India-Burma border and just 100 meters away from Burma and in Aalo (Along) in Arunachal Pradesh, the last town of India bordering China.
The new MI stores will serve as Xiaomi’s prime retail stores situated in several towns ranging from Tier 3, 4, 5 and below. These stores will sell all products from Xiaomi stable, be it smartphones, TVs and other consumer products, the company said. In line with its expansion plans, Xiaomi India plans to open 5000+ MI Stores all over India by the end of 2019.
“Over the last few quarters, offline segment has been a great success story for us, with our offline market share growing about 40 times in one year. While our MI Home and MI Preferred Partner stores have performed exceptionally well in metro and large cities, our presence in smaller towns and villages was still negligible till now. Offline retail is still a huge segment with nearly 40 percent of the offline market focused in rural regions, “Manu Jain, vice-president, Xiaomi Global and managing director, Xiaomi India said.
Faisal Kawoosa, founder of TechArc, a research firm said, “A market is the sum total of opportunities and hence demands presence accordingly. Xiaomi being a growth brand has accordingly been making itself available for each opportunity segment, including rural. This goes beyond smartphones. We are all aware that rural markets have been underserved by consumer electronics brands and Xiaomi is trying to fill in the gap. ”
Roughly, 40 percent of mobiles feature phones and smartphones will continue to be sold online while the rest will be through offline medium. “There is no choice for a brand to decide whether be online or offline. They have to be omnipresent, especially for smartphones,” Kawoosa said.
As part of Xiaomi’s extensive efforts to boost entrepreneurship in the rural sector, the company is also encouraging MI fans from small towns and villages, and other local individuals to run and operate these stores. Interested people can apply for a MI Store via a simple online form and this project is expected to generate massive employment opportunities with over 15,000 jobs, Jain said.
“This new business will forever change rural retail in India,” he said.
Spanning across an average size of 300 sq. ft., MI Stores reflect the signature design of Xiaomi’s Mi Home stores. MI Stores display futuristic interiors with minimalism concept, offering customers the valuable opportunity to experience and purchase all Xiaomi products of India under one roof.
Riding on robust sales in India and Europe, Xiaomi reported a 49.1 percent increase in revenue for its third quarter of 2018 as net profit reached USD 357.23 million. — DNA India