Published On: 12, Dec 2017 | Source: Hindustantimes
Samsung India’s former Director Sales Deepak Nakra has joined rival Xiaomi. Deepak will be spearheading Xiaomi’s efforts to tap the offline market in India.
Deepak was associated with Samsung India since February, 2012 before briefly moving to Intex as Business Head in September this year
Announcing the development, Xiaomi’s Vice President Manu Kumar Jain on his Linkedin page said, “Excited to announce that Deepak will now be leading offline sales for Xiaomi India. Deepak has worked with several top handset brands & telecom providers and brings with him 20 years of sales & marketing experience.”
“We started our offline journey 9 months ago and have already grown 20x during this short span of time. I’m confident that Deepak will help us strengthen this position even further! Raghu (our head of online sales) joined us 2 years ago and has already taken us to the #1 spot in the online segment (of course, we are also the #1 smartphone brand in the country)!”
The development comes at a time when Xiaomi is said to be inching closer to Samsung in the Indian market in terms of market share. According a recent Counterpoint Research study, Xiaomi closed in on Samsung with 22% market share whereas Samsung managed to retain the top spot at 23% in third quarter of 2017.
“This is the first time since 2012 that Samsung and Xiaomi have reached this level of combined share. Additionally, the quarter was marked with return to growth for local handset players such as Micromax and Lava in the smartphone segment,” Karn Chauhan, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research had commented.
While Xiaomi has continued to dominate the online segment, it’s shifting its focus on the offline segment. The company has its unique Mi Preferred partners strategy to team up with offline retailers. Also, it has “aggressive plans” to tap the offline market.
In August, the company disclosed that it its offline sales saw a tenfold growth between January 2017 and July 2017, faster than its online sales. It said that 20% of its overall sales come from the offline channel. Jain said that the Mi Homes will initially be focused on the metro cities before expanding to Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities.
The company plans to launch 100 exclusive retail stores called ‘Mi Homes’ across India in the next two years.