Xiaomi dials rural India with Mi Stores
Chinese handset maker Xiaomi, which started its offline journey a year ago, is all geared up for a bigger offline push by opening 5,000 'Mi Stores' by 2019 across tier IV cities to rural areas. The company has already launched 500 'Mi Stores' in rural India. This is the first time any brand has set up exclusive stores in rural India at such a scale.
Manu Jain, Vice President of Xiaomi and Managing Director of Xiaomi India, said, "We ran a pilot in Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu and perfected the business model in these states before decided to expand big."
"The leanest possible distribution, all exclusive stores and Mi experience are the three principles of Mi Stores," Jain added.
The company is opening the franchisee-owned stores in taluka-level. The average size of Mi Stores is 300 sq ft. The cost would be borne by both franchisor and franchisees. For instance, the branding cost would be incurred by the company and anything related to the physical store like interiors etc would be taken care of by the franchise partner, he mentioned.
The company's offline ambitions, in fact, go far beyond mobile phones. "Smartphone is what we are famous for, but we have a much bigger pool of products ranging from scooters and shoes to security cameras and laptops," Jain stated.