In a surprise announcement, Manu Jain, the former executive who helped Xiaomi establish its business in India, revealed that he has left the company.
His departure adds to the list of execs seemingly fleeing the budget smartphone maker’s Indian division. According to TechCrunch, it has been losing ground to Samsung recently.
Sources claimed that he has been seeking investors for his own EV startup for several months and has been discussing his plans to leave the company for sometime. So, while it may appear as a surprise to the public, Xiaomi was likely prepared for his departure.
Xiaomi entered the Indian smartphone market in 2014 and quickly gained a significant market share by offering phones at more affordable prices with competitive specifications. Before long, it over took rivals like Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo. However, the company’s dominance in the market was short-lived as it has now lost its top vendor position in the country.
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The tension between China and India had a significant impact on Jain’s role at Xiaomi, according to insiders. He was allegedly supposed to have risen to a higher global position, but the company changed its mind. Xiaomi even reported that Jain was once summoned by India’s Enforcement Directorate over a tax dispute issue and he was threatened.
In his statement, Jain reflected on his time at Xiaomi, saying, “I joined the Xiaomi Group in 2014 to start its India journey. The first few years were full of ups and downs. We started as a one-person startup, working from a small little office.”
Raghu Reddy, the former head of Xiaomi India’s business, also left the company, increasing speculation that the unit might be in more trouble than we know. For now, Xiaomi has not commented on its market share decline and the executives jumping ship.
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