Almost all the Xiaomi phones sold in India are made in the country, according to the top company executive. “About 99 percent of the phones sold in India are made in the country. We make three phones per second,” said Muralikrishnan B, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Xiaomi India. Xiaomi smartphones were being exported to other countries too, though, at a small scale, he added. Xiaomi phones in India are manufactured mainly by Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn at two facilities. The first one is at the Sri City special economic zone (SEZ) and the other at Sriperumbudur.
Xiaomi India manufacturing and export
Xiaomi also exports its made-in-India phones to Bangladesh and Nepal. “We have started exporting to these two countries, but on a small scale. With more government incentives, we plan to scale up exports,” Muralikrishnan said. “We will have to see if we can manage the entire logistics. Ultimately, we will have to realize that cost efficiency also matters,” he remarked. The COO of India’s biggest smartphone seller also said, there were issues hindering the export of its ‘Make in India‘ products. These issues include certification and low duty drawbacks rates.
“The BIS certification is not accepted in many parts of the world. If the government can make the BIS certification acceptable in neighboring countries, it would help us scale up,” he said. India had a lot to learn from Vietnam in terms of incentivizing domestic manufacturing, he added. Better clarity on working of the proposed new scheme for reimbursing input duties and taxes would help, Muralikrishnan said. The government had announced the ‘remission of duties or taxes on export products (RoDTEP)’ would replace the existing Merchandise Exports from India Schemes (MEIS), which is not compliant with world trade rules. “The fog (around RoDTEP) needs to clear,” Muralikrishnan remarked.
Local sourcing and designing for India
Xiaomi sources about 65 percent of components for Xiaomi phones from within the country. “In terms of manufacturing, the progress that India has made in the past five years is phenomenal,” said Foxconn India Country Manager Josh Foulger. Besides initiatives under ‘Make in India‘, corporate tax relief and improvement in ease of doing business had helped a lot. Significantly, all the operators at Foxconn’s Sri City facility for Xiaomi are women. The facility employs over 15,000 people.
Muralikrishnan reaffirmed Xiaomis’ commitment to design products for Indian consumers. For example, it introduced water-repellent coating (P2i) to prevent damage due to high humidity in certain parts of the country. “We observed that most complaints were coming during monsoon and were diagnosed with liquid damage. Thus, we introduced P2i,” he said. All Xiaomi phones in India now also come with this coating. “P2i doesn’t make the phone waterproof, but splash resistant,” he said.
The customer satisfaction increased significantly after the phones started featuring P2i coating, Muralikrishnan said. Similarly, the Redmi Note 8 introduced an auto-clean feature to clean the dust from the speaker with the help of sound waves. “We believe in doing innovation for everyone. In addition of these statements, the company also showcased the assembly line of the Redmi Note 8 Pro. As part of the showcase, the company outlined all its efforts at focusing on quality.―BGR