Chinese phonemaker Xiaomi is solidifying its push into the Indian tech ecosystem. After having announced that it would build a manufacturing facility in Telangana, the company is now looking towards India for developing software for its phones.
The company has already initiated talks with several Indian startups. “We have talked with quite a few startups in India, and liked a few. We want to work with companies that have built services that could integrate with our MIUI. We are looking for synergies,” said Hugo Barra, the Vice President of Xiaomi Global. “”Our investment in India mostly would be around mobile services and mobile apps, because hardware ecosystem is in early stages. In China, our major investments are in hardware startups because the ecosystem is more developed there.”
Xiaomi generally invests sums greater than $100,000 in innovative firms. Barra did not give a timeframe for investment but people aware of the company’s plans said it could be in the next two-three months.
The company already has cemented its foothold in India as regards to manufacturing, having recently partnered with Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer, to start assembling its smartphones in India. Currently, the Redmi 2 Prime smartphone is assembled in Xiaomi’s plant at Sri City in Andhra Pradesh. By next year, the company will be meeting its entire India demand through local production. It has tied up with Redington to distribute its smartphones in brick-and-mortar stores.
Xiaomi is also looking to expand its R&D team in India, which is currently has under 10 members.