Xiaomi has made a four-pronged push for its India focus, and that includes ramping up the Make in India initiatives as well as enhancing the local manufacturing facilities and expanding the workforce in the country. This comes on the back of very strong sales for Xiaomi smartphones as well as the ecosystem products including the Mi TVs, Mi Notebook laptop series, wearables and accessories. Xiaomi has announced the addition two new manufacturing factories for Mi and Redmi smartphones in India, an additional production facility for Mi TVs and enhanced local manufacturing or sourcing of components for smartphones. Xiaomi also confirmed that the company and their partners continued hiring through last year, in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic induced slowdown.
In a big Make in India push, Xiaomi now has two new smartphone manufacturing partners in India. BYD’s factory in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu and the DBG factory in Haryana now very much part of the Xiaomi smartphone manufacturing in India. Xiaomi says that the new DBG plant will increase the overall manufacturing capacity by around 20% from the current numbers while the BYD facility will further increase numbers by the end of the first half of 2021. These two manufacturing facilities join the Foxconn manufacturing facilities in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh and the Flex facility in Tamil Nadu. Xiaomi says that 99% of the phones that they sell in India are Made in India. The remaining 1% makes up for those phones which are imported for when the phones go Live for the first sale, but the company expects the expansion of local manufacturing facilities will soon negate the need for that.
Xiaomi also praised the Government of India’s PLI scheme, which was introduced last year, to push for local manufacturing for smartphones and electronics products in India with the aim to make India an export hub as well. However, Xiaomi confirms that it is their partners who had to apply for the PLI scheme since they do the manufacturing for smartphones as well as other Xiaomi devices in India. “Being committed to India’s growth, Mi India was one of the first adopters of the Honourable Prime Minister’s Make-in-India initiative, back in 2015. Today we are renewing our commitment by adding new manufacturing partners such as DBG and BYD for smartphones and Radiant technology for smart TVs. Now 99% of our smartphones and 100% of our smart TVs are manufactured in India and the majority of the components for smartphones will be locally manufactured or sourced from India,” says Manu Kumar Jain, MD, Mi India.
Xiaomi says that the majority components are locally manufactured or sourced. These include a variety of components that go into a phone, including the motherboard (PCBA), the sub board, the camera module, the back panel as well as the battery packs inside phones and the charges as well as charging cables that come bundled with the phones. The local manufacturing of battery packs also means that Mi Power Bank variants are also Made in India. The company estimates that the locally manufactured PCBA itself is about 50% of the value of the phone, while the other locally manufactured components and accessories totals up to around 75% of the value of a phone that you buy.
The Xiaomi Mi TV line-up has seen a very positive response, since the Mi TVs were launched in India two years ago. The company says that more than 3 million Made in India Mi TVs have been sold in the country. To meet the increasing local demand for Mi TVs, Xiaomi has added a new manufacturing partner. The Radiant facility is now manufacturing smart TVs in India, in Telangana. This joins the Dixon manufacturing unit in Tirupati, to help meet the demand for Mi TVs in India. The company also confirms that as of January this year, 100% of Mi TVs sold in India are Made in India.
Last year, in the midst of the economic and financial uncertainty around the world due to the COVID pandemic, Xiaomi says that the hiring continued. This includes new hiring on Xiaomi’s payroll as well as by their partners for manufacturing facilities and customer care services. The company says that they have been able to generate employment for 60,000 Indians, up from 50,000 at the beginning of last year. At this time, the smartphone manufacturing facilities provide employment to as many as 30,000 people, while the TV manufacturing units help with 1,000 jobs.
Xiaomi has completed 6 years in India. According to the numbers by research firm IDC, Xiaomi remained the top smartphone brand in India for 14 consecutive quarters, from Q3 2017 to Q4 2020. Xiaomi has a 27% market share in India, as of February 2021, making it the most selling phone brand in the country. Xiaomi’s Mi.com ecommerce platform is now the third largest in India, according to numbers by research firm Counterpoint—it has clocked a 10% share, behind Amazon (47%) and Flipkart (42%).