After recently announcing experience centres across India Xiaomi has now partnered with StoreKing in order to ramp up their offline presence in India’s rural areas. StoreKing Founder and CEO Sridhar Gundaiah was quoted as follows, “With Mi India on-board, we aim to serve rural consumers better regardless of their location and give them access to the best of products.”
StoreKing Partners with offline retailers and helps brands get access to the remote rural areas whilst helping rural folks with the last mile logistics. It currently targets Rural India devoid of 3G/4G and has consumers with poor awareness. The targeted market is also said to be price sensitive and cash payment centric. It has also tied up with Lenovo and other big brands spread across several sectors including content delivery and mobile wallets.
Manufacturers including Vivo, Lenovo, Oppo and even to some extent Gionee has been successful in creating a sizeable offline market, something companies like Xiaomi and OnePlus don’t have access to. It is quite likely that the Online market has reached a saturation point and the next set of customers are the buyers who prefer brick and mortar stores. It is for this very reason that OnePlus has started experience stores in India and also comes up with pop up stores with every flagship release. Honor as a brand was an online exclusive until recently when Huawei decided to sell the recently launched Honor 8 and the Holly 3 offline as well.
The partnership with StoreKing will help Xiaomi leverage its brand image and sell devices in the rural areas. I also positively hope that the company ramps up service centres across India in order to serve the customers in a much better way. That said India is still registering a commendable 23-percent YoY growth and all the OEM’s need to do is balance out their retail channels and ensure maximum coverage.