Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi yesterday officially announced its entrance to Bangladesh with a view to establishing a plant within the next couple of years.
“Bangladesh is one of the biggest strategic markets for us and we are targeting it as it has huge potential as well,” Manu Jain, vice-president of the global technology company, told The Daily Star at a programme at the Four Points by Sheraton in Dhaka.
Xiaomi launched two mid-range smartphones at the event. It will start selling the two smartphones through daraz.com from July 26 and it will take a few more weeks to reach physical stores.
Jain also shared plans to start the process of bringing in other digital products such as smart televisions and bicycles within a few months.
“Xiaomi also intends to start an e-commerce venture in Bangladesh,” he said.
He said Xiaomi wanted to establish a position in the Bangladesh market first and in the meantime prepare to open the plant and the e-commerce platform.
“The size of Bangladesh's digital commerce market is still very small and we will try to scale it up through our platform.” Xiaomi's mi.com is the eighth largest e-commerce venture in the globe and third in China and India.
Four years past entering India, the company has become a leader in the physical market while grabbing 60 percent of online sales by setting up six mobile plants, said Jain, also the managing director of Xiaomi India.
Only about 20 percent of the people in Bangladesh use smartphones while Xiaomi has 4 percent of the market share and wants to increase the numbers which will also help take the country's digitalisation process forward, Jain said.
He said Xiaomi would be running business separately from a local partner that imports some of its handsets.
Global brand Samsung has already set up a mobile handset plant in Narsingdi, while five other local and global brands are in the process of establishing assembly plants on the outskirts of the capital.
Walton, a local brand, started manufacturing mobile handsets at its plant last year.