Staff Reporters
Jun 29, 2020

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Anuj Sharma, Xiaomi India

By using employees and customers as brand ambassadors, Sharma stretches his marketing budget as Xiaomi enters then dominates new categories, from hair trimmers to smart TVs.

Asia-Pacific Power List 2020: Anuj Sharma, Xiaomi India
Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers

Anuj Sharma

Xiaomi India

Within six years of its India launch, Xiaomi shipped over 100 million smartphones, becoming the fastest brand to ever do so in the country. Along the way, the Chinese electronics company has become the No. 1 smartphone brand in India with 32% market share, surpassing incumbents such as Samsung, Vivo and Oppo, who all have far larger marketing budgets. Xiaomi has built on its smartphone swagger to also lead the market for smart TVs, fitness bands and power banks in India, per tech researcher IDC. In some of these categories, Xiaomi is almost twice the size of the second largest competitor.

Despite working for a global brand, Xiaomi's India marketing chief, Anuj Sharma, has focused product communication and the marketing strategy to suit local tastes. Additionally, Xiaomi unlike other brands has a social-first approach, most of the marketing campaigns are driven through digital and social platforms.

Many marketing campaigns feature Xiaomi’s own employees and MiFans. This not only helps Xiaomi create a unique space for the brand but also makes campaigns economical and provides better exposure to employees as brand ambassadors.

Here’s how Sharma has helped Xiaomi to stand out in multiple electronics categories, ranging from smartphones to beard trimmers:

  • In December 2019, the firm shipped 100 million smartphones and to celebrate Xiaomi India teased a video on Twitter announcing this achievement, featuring several employees across businesses. The video has been viewed over 4 million times.
  • To celebrate five-year relationship with India, Xiaomi launched the #NoMiWithoutYou campaign to thank loyal consumers. The celebratory film, viewed over 16 million times, captures Mi Fans showcasing products and milestones achieved.
  • Using employees, including India head Manu Kumar Jain, Xiaomi promoted the Mi Beard Trimmer in a humorous video.
  • Xiaomi also partnered last year with Bollywood star Ranveer Singh as a brand ambassador. The brand further coined the campaign #NoteKiyaJaye and launched quirky web films that use the Redmi Note 7 Pro’s camera zoom capabilities.
  • Xiaomi’s first mass media campaign for its Smart TVs took a slightly different approach, while being deeply rooted in the Indian ethos of family connections. The popular video (133 million plus views) helped sell 600,000-plus units during the Diwali season.

During the lockdown, Xiaomi India stayed connected with its MiFans, its mobile user community, its influencers and other partners by moving physical meetings online. Xiaomi revisited launch timelines and realigned them to market developments, changing launch formats to go completely digital including post-launch fan meetups.

Sharma can be found on Twitter at: @s_anuj

Asia-Pacific’s 50 most influential and purposeful marketers


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