Xiaomi launches ‘Mi Crowdfunding’ platform in India

Chinese technology giant Xiaomi has launched its ‘Mi Crowdfunding’ platform in India, which will help the company gauge consumer interest for launching more innovative products in the country. Launched on April 5, the Mi Crowdfunding India website currently lists two products – Mi Selfie Stick Tripod for Rs 1,099 and Mi Bluetooth Audio Receiver for Rs 999. With 12 days remaining for the products to be funded, they have already crossed the 100 per cent funding threshold, with the former having received 154 per cent funds whereas the latter has 184 per cent of funds.

Raghu Reddy, Head of Online Sales, India – Xiaomi Technology, explains, “In China, the company gets the prototype ready and puts on the Xiaomi Crowdfunding platform to gauge customer interest in those products. If it hits a certain threshold, we try to then take it from a prototype into a full-scale manufacturing. It serves as a good way to test market the product before launching it.”

The Mi Crowdfunding platform launched in India is different from the one in China. Reddy adds, “When we decided to launch this platform in India, there are a few challenges that come into play. Any new product that has to be launched in India in the consumer electronics space has to go through the certification process, which can take anywhere between three to six months. If we were to launch the platform as it runs in China, we were to run into a situation where people will like the product and pay money to get the product but we will not be able to make a commitment as to when we will deliver the product because of the uncertainty on the certification timeline.”

Xiaomi has been working on launching this crowdfunding platform in India for over a year and a half and has adopted a different approach. Xiaomi will first shortlist a few products based on the consumer feedback and market research. Once shortlisted, the company will get the product certification, post which, will list it on the Mi Crowdfunding platform.

Mi Crowdfunding platform allows consumers to prepay for the product, and if it is funded successfully, the product will be shipped within the promised time. “This way, we are able to launch a lot more innovative products in the country. It will help us in exploring the market for the innovative products that are out there in our catalogue and figure out a way to launch them in quantities that will help us support the demand as well.” If the project is unsuccessful, which means that it has not attained the required number of supporters, Xiaomi would refund the entire money back.businesstoday