Nearly 10,000 Xiaomi users showed their solidarity by adding #MiFan to their Twitter handles recently. It was a good illustration of the reach the Chinese smartphone maker has established in the country. Xiami corners more than a quarter of the Indian smartphone market, according to a media report in February this year.
Manu Jain, global vice-president at Xiaomi and managing director at Xiaomi India said, “We have these people who are young, passionate, and they are typically considered as tech geeks or people who know about technology. If somebody wants to buy a phone, there would be one person in the group who will always give advice on which is the best phone to buy and why, and these are the people who are Mi fans.”
Speaking about the role of MiFans in the Xiaomi story, Anuj Sharma, the chief marketing officer at Xiaomi India said: “There was a Mi fan group which was started in 2012 and the reason we started is we had hit this critical mass or so we thought of 10,000 fans. We just got 10,000 phones — we said we have got 10,000 hardcore fans who really love what Xiaomi was doing, and those 10,000 phones were not only sold out in probably like couple of seconds, it brought down Flipkart website for the very first time in their history.”
Speaking about the Xiaomi journey, Jain said: “Five years ago, the entire online market was just about 6 percent and everybody said you are making a big mistake by focusing on online which is such a small market.
"However, that is something that worked really well for us. We focused on online, we grew that market from 6 percent to 35 percent and within that 35 percent, we now have 50 percent share.”