Xiaomi India head Manu Jain has Barra boots to fill as global VP

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Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi

Manu Kumar Jain, Vice President, Xiaomi

Xiaomi Inc. has elevated India head Manu Kumar Jain as global vice president at a time when the Chinese handset maker is in the middle of a purple patch in the country, emerging as the second-largest smartphone seller.

“Manu, congratulations from the entire Xiaomi family on your promotion to vice president of Xiaomi!” the company said in a Facebook post.

“Under Manu’s leadership, our operations in India expanded from just a small team into India’s second-largest smartphone vendor with 10.7% market share…as per IDC,” the post added.

Jain will continue to oversee the company’s India operations as managing director.

Jain has helmed Xiaomi’s India operations ever since the company set foot in the country in 2014. Prior to this, he had co-founded popular fashion e-commerce site Jabong.com.

Jain’s elevation comes on the heels of Xiaomi global VP Hugo Barra leaving the company to join Facebook to lead its virtual reality efforts.

During his three-and-a-half-year tenure, Barra spearheaded Xiaomi’s global expansion plans, including in emerging markets like India. “We turned India from a dream into Xiaomi’s largest international market with $1 billion in annual revenues, faster than any company in India’s history,” Barra had said in a Facebook post announcing his exit.

Xiaomi, whose mobile phones have been a massive hit in India over the last couple of years, started its India journey with the model Mi3 two years ago, through an exclusive partnership with Flipkart. The company has also partnered with distributors such as Redington, Innocomm, StoreKing and Just By Live to reach more than 8,500 retail stores across the country.

According to the company, till September 2016, it has managed to sell over 2.3 million units of the Redmi Note 3 and over a million units of the newly launched Redmi 3S and Redmi 3s Prime smartphones.