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[Xiaomi] Lei Jun: Xiaomi to become a Global 500 enterprise in the next 2 years

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01:02, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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Lei Jun - My vision for the next 20 years

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3 years, 6 handsets, 3rd in global mobile sales

About 3 years ago, Mi 1 was launched, followed by Mi 2, 2 years ago, Mi 3 last year, Redmi and Redmi Note and the recent launch of Mi 4. Other than Apple, all the major hand set manufacturers pushout 50-100 models a year. This is the hand set tsunami mentality. There is definitely one that suits you.  

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When we started making hand sets, I asked myself. Is it possible to make only a couple of models, focusing on perfomance and marketed to 20-30 years old tech geeks. By the time Mi 4 was launched, the previous models were all sell outs. This goes to show, when you do less, you can focus on making it better.

I have all our phone models in my bag. Everyday, I'll take them out to use. The Redmi is 1.5 years old and it is still very usable. If you make 50-100 models a year, are you able to seriously use your own product? How are you going to know what your customer wants if you don't?


Xiaomi will become a top 500 enterprise in 2016

Launching in 2011, we hit 550 million yuan in  two months. In 2012, we achieved a near-perfect growth curve. 2012 annual turnover was 12.6 billion yuan. By 2013, we had reached 33 billion yuan. Xiaomi became the world's fastest start-up company to hit one billion USD and the fastest sales to 10 billion USD.

IDC has just released figures showing that Xiaomi has overtaken Samsung in China, shipping more phones than the mobile giant in the 3rd quarter. Sales is expected to reach 75 to 80 billion and in the next 2 years, Xiaomi should become a top 500 company. If that happens, we will become the fastest company to arrive at the top 500 club.

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Xiaomi's innovation - We build our hand sets with our users

As of 1 July 2014, MIUI's user base is 70 million. This is our greatest strength. The idea is very simple. When I was with Kingsoft, I had the opportunity to work with Nokia and Motorola, 2 mobile phone giants of their time. One day, I pointed out to their R&D boss, some inadequacies. After that, they merely acknowledged my input, but never acted upon what I had said. So I thought to myself, if I make a phone, you can tell me anything you wish for it or what's wrong. If it is justifiable, we will work on it immediately. I'll give you an update every week and you may even see your wishes come true within a week.

Working on a weekly timeline is very difficult. If there's something worng and you have no time to react, millions of users could be affected. That's why most systems have a long cycle, so that things can be tested again and again to ensure that there are no bugs. Xiaomi has done it. 4 years and 200 updates later, we are still sticking to the weekly release, rain or shine.
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Today's smartphone is a high-performance computer, it has powerful processing capabilities. So, what is MIUI's design philosophy? Approachable, easy to use, looks nice, easy to master, which has a variety of very extensive features for the customer. Most of all, the user must have fun.

Take for example, the Redmi Note. Many people buy it for their parents. Parents need soemthing simple and clear. Sometimes, seemingly simple functions may be very complicated to them. So, we have developed a minimalist mode that's very simple. This time our parents will feel that it's easy and simple to use.


Mass appeal and the sense of involvement

MIUI comes in multiple languages and at least 180 ported ROMS. All these aided by the Mi fan. This is not our effort alone. Mi fans play a big part. This is what we call the "sense of involvement". having this sense of involvement, the Mi fan recommend it to his friends, family and colleagues. Indirectly, he has become a family member of Xiaomi.

Mi Bunny and User.jpg


My dreams - It all started when I was 18

The dream of a person is very important. Because of dreams, we are able to persist for years, unwavering. Back in 1987, when I was a freshman, I read a book called "Valley of Fire". I was excited. I set myself many goals and through Kingsoft, I did many things. In 2007, I basically retired after Kingsoft went public. The journey was tough and full of hardships. i took a break and that lasted a few years.

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One day, when I turned 40, I asked myself, "Do I have the courage to pursue the dream again?" 90% of startups fail. I would not be exempted and it would be highly embarassing. So I had an idea. A small start up, keep it a secret and if it fails, nobody would know. Xiaomi was born and in the first 1.5 years, nobody knew what or who we were. We were very low profile and only depended on word of mouth. The first MIUI version was launched and only attracted 100 downloads. Many recognise us as a phone company. But 1.5 years before that, only 100 people knew who we were. But by the time Mi 1 was launched, we already had 50 million MIUI users.


3 model companies: 同仁堂、海底捞 and Costco

Very few companies can reach 100 years old. But I discovered that 同仁堂 is 340 years old! How did it survive so many years and even through wars? I was very curious. They live by their motto "修合无人见,存心有天知。" Which roughly translates to, What you do nobody knows, but heaven knows. So, we must never cut corners and never be lazy. Our phones are always made with the best materials available. We use the best manufacturers. Yet, we sell our phones at the lowest possible price. Many people say, we spend so much making our phones, but it's still inferior to Apple's phone. That may be true 3 years ago. But, Mi 4 has arrived and I think it is of international standard. I'll tell you very confidently, the next generation of Xiaomi phones will take an even bigger step forward.

I once bought a book "海底捞你学不会" (You can't learn sea fishing). Well, I believe I have learnt it. To verify, I went to the restaurant a few times to eat. Now 海底捞 was a very normal shop. The decoration was normal. So was the location. One thing I felt different was the staff. One day, I discovered why, after a conversation with a waiter. The lesson I learnt that day. You must have happy staff. If they are happy, they make your customers happy. The whole restaurant will have a happy feel. There was a rumour about 海底捞. One day a person went there for a meal. After dinner, he received a fruit plate. However, he did not finish the plate of fruits and wanted to take it with him. The staff told him, "No, you can't. The cut fruit is unhygienic to take away. I'll give you a new fruit." This person got something beyond his expectations. He will definitely tell someone. The power of the word of mouth.

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Most retail stores earn a margin of 30%. But at Costco, the margin is a maximum of 14%. They specialise in selling high quality goods at low price. They are able to do so because they are efficient. How can we be efficient? Take a look at a typical phone store. You walk in, there are 8-9 sales staff. The rental, the furnishing, etc. When you buy a phone, at least $100 go to maintaining the staff and rent. At Xiaomi, we sell through mi.com. We sell you a phone at 50-60% less than others. I succeed in selling by volume. My next step is to go international. If I succeed, I would have realised my dream.


International strategy - Encircling the cities

After our success at home, we decided to focus on India. But it would be an uphill task as most Indians have never heard of Xiaomi and do not necessary think very highly of Chinese enterprises. I told Lin Bin and Hugo. To win, we must take root in India. The next day, Hugo packed his bags and headed off to India. I told him, use the same way we started 3 years ago. We start building from scratch and sell high quiality products cheap and make use of the word of mouth.

mi.com-banner-v2-FB_short2.png


100 Xiaomi in the next 3-5 years

Our future goal is to drive 100 such companies and go global. I hope is to lead Chinese companies in becoming the #1 company in the world.


The most important concept - Making world class quality products

Xiaomi's model is based upon 同仁堂's value, 海底捞's word of mouth and Costco's efficiency. This pattern helps traditional industries upgrade themselves. The Chinese market have no lack of products, but lacks cheap and high quality products. The Mi Band is one such product. International brands sell for 1400-1700 yuan. The Mi Band is cheap. It records your sleep and exercise. You can wear it for 50-60 days per charge and swim and bathe with it. It is even your ID and can unlocks your phone, makes payment and smarthome environment. Only if you focus and do your best can you become the best. Korea has Samsung. Japan has Sony. I hope Xiaomi becomes China's national brand!

Source: iResearch.cn  



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10:11, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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Thanks for the great efforts in translating this, Allakazoo.

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10:29, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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Sounds promising for Xiaomi.

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10:37, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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So Happy To hear this

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10:53, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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Great .... thanks for sharing
Love MiUi

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10:55, Nov-06-2014 | Via mobile
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really not bad for Xiaomi, bring mi-band to india

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10:56, Nov-06-2014 | Via mobile
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No doubt..  Thanks for sharing

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10:57, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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Great, my best wishes!!
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10:57, Nov-06-2014 | From PC
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Keep up the simplicity and value for money

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10:59, Nov-06-2014 | Via mobile
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Nice article, glad to hear news from our founder

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