New Delhi: Handset maker Xiaomi will set up a research and development unit in Bengaluru, its first such facility outside of China, as it looks to beef up presence in the booming Indian smartphone market.
The company, which expects the centre to be operational in the next few months, will focus on localising its products and features for the Indian market through the unit.
"We have always stated that India is one of our most important markets. We are in process of signing the lease on a facility in Bengaluru, which will be our R&D unit. This is the first one outside China," Xiaomi India Head Manu Jain said.
Work on the facility is expected to commence by the end of March and in the next few months, it will be operational, he added. Jain declined however to comment on investment details and the number of people who would work at the R&D centre.
"The R&D unit will focus on India-specific products to begin with. We will focus on localisation, themes and then India specific features to cater to local requirements here," he said.
Xiaomi is also looking at bringing in its own eCommerce website into the country to sell its products here.
Xiaomi, which currently sells devices in India through homegrown e-commerce major Flipkart, will bring in its website 'Mi.com' to India in the latter part of the year. "We are currently looking for warehousing and logistics partners in India, as well as deciding on a payment mechanisms like cash on delivery.
It may take anywhere between three to nine months," Jain said. He added that the firm will continue its association with Flipkart.
Currently, the company sells devices through its website in most countries of operations, except India and Indonesia. Xiaomi launched its new Mi4 handset in India for Rs 19,999 as it seeks to expand its operations here.
"We have always stated that India is one of our most important markets. We are big plans for India this year... We are in process of signing the lease on a facility in Bangalore, which will be our R&D unit. This is the first one outside China," Jain said.
According to research firm IDC, India is the fastest growing smartphone market in the Asia Pacific region with about 82 per cent growth in the July-September quarter of 2014 over the same period last year.