Xiaomi India’s Managing Director Manu Kumar Jain is handing over the management of the offline expansion business to COO Muralikrishnan B while he himself takes on a key role in deciding the Chinese electronics company’s entry into newer global markets and product categories.
Up till now, the brand’s entry into brick and mortar stores was led by Jain. As per three senior industry executives, while Jain will continue in his existing role of India MD, he will allocate disproportionate time to anchor these strategic initiatives and mentor new projects, both for India and global operations. The shift in Jain’s role which was announced internally last week is effective this month.
Jain’s role shift comes as Xiaomi wants to enter new markets and categories banking on its success in India where it ran past deep-pocketed players like Samsung more than two years ago to become the largest smartphone maker. He also handles Xiaomi’s operations of Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka from India, which is the SAARC base for the company.
In this new role, Jain will head the expansion of newer categories, such as smart televisions, and expand presence in internet-connected devices and home appliances in India. Meanwhile, Xiaomi has also decided to expand the width of its presence in the offline market in India and is seeking to double offline sales this year to strengthen and widen the lead over its competitors. It will be interesting to see how the Chinese electronics company is able to leverage Jain’s expertise, who is considered the poster boy of the smartphone industry in the country, to push global expansion.