After creating waves with its affordable smartphones in India, Chinese
smartphone giant Xiaomi
is now looking to make inroads into the country's hinterland for which it has partnered with rural-focused retail platform Storeking.
Through the partnership, Xiaomi
will make its devices available at offline stores in small towns, with the first device to go on sale being the new Redmi 3S+. Storeking
has a distribution reach of 25,000 stores spread across 100 districts in rural India.
"We have made significant movements in our offline distribution plans for India, especially in 2016. We have been taking gradual steps in this direction and believe our association with Storeking
will take us a step further in our plan," said Vipin Raina, Head of Offline Sales at Xiaomi
India, in a statement.
Storeking, which is one of the leading assisted e-commerce providers in the country, has forged partnerships with Amazon
and Shopclues. The company has also partnered with Indian Oil Corporation
to provide its services through petrol bunks in Tier III locations across the country.
The Redmi 3S+ smartphone which was launched earlier this month for Rs 9,499 is the company's first device to be sold exclusively offline in India. Xiaomi
which kicked off selling its devices in India
through Flipkart, has slowly been increasing its distribution reach to take on local smartphone giant Micromax.
"With Mi India
on-board, we aim to serve rural consumers better regardless of their location and give them access to the best of products," said Sridhar Gundaiah, founder and CEO of StoreKing.
wants to become the largest retailer in rural India
and is aiming to tie up with 100,000 stores by 2018. The company's assisted e-commerce model allows customers to walk into a store affiliated with it and order products on its platform. In turn, the products are then shipped to that store within 48 hours from where the customer can pick it up.