“It [Redmi] is not a separate entity, but a separate brand, a separate, sub-brand, similar to what Poco is in India
,” Jain explained. “It’s a business entity in a way that it’s a separate P&L and everything that we monitor, but it is not like a separate legal entity and everything. Like in India we don’t have a separate legal entity [for Poco], in China we don’t have a separate legal entity for Redmi.”
“It’s mainly meant from a product and R&D perspective. If you look at the product and R&D, now Redmi has a different ethos, different design language, different brand attributes than a Mi, than a Poco, than many other brands,” he added.
“A Redmi is all great price, great performance, all-around, killer features. Mi has a little bit of vanity attached to it — Mi Mix
, fullscreen display, ceramic back, slider phone; Mi 8
, full transparent back
in the Explorer Edition
— a lot of these vanity elements are included that sometimes also make these phones a lot more expensive because they are so beautiful phones. Poco is for tech enthusiasts, crazy specs, and also for gaming enthusiasts, that’s why we introduced liquid cooling technology within Poco. So very different positioning for each one of them.”
“And we realised it’s very difficult for one R&D team, and one product team to focus on all three, because they require separate focus,” Jain continued. “Like how online-offline require separate focus, different product lines require different focus. What we have is separate product teams, separate R&D teams for three different sub-brands or brands — Mi, Redmi, and for Poco, we have a separate one in India.”
“So in China, we don’t have a separate legal entity, but for Redmi, yes we have a separate product and R&D team,” he added.
We asked Jain if the Redmi Note 7 India launch would coincide with the launch of the Redmi sub-brand in India as well. Jain revealed that company has no immediate plans of going down that route in India right now, though that may change in the future.
“For having a separate product team, eventually maybe yes, right now, we have a separate product team for Poco, but right now in India, till now we have same team for Mi and Redmi from a product and R&D perspective,” he said. “In future maybe yes, we will have a separate team also.”
We asked if the decision to launch a Redmi sub-brand was spurred by the success of Poco
, or if it was a move that was always on the cards.
“It was not always on the cards, but I think it was a natural evolution, and as and when businesses become big, they need dedicated focus,” Jain said.
“When your business starts growing, just to add more focus, sometimes you tend to have separate teams so that the focus, the core ethos does not go away,” he added.