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Xiaomi puts the focus on India with plans to open 100 retail stores
Posted on 13th May 2017
Xiaomi is increasing its office retail presence in China as bids to gain ground stolen by rivals in its homeland, and now it is making that very same push in its second largest market, India.

The Chinese company, which is valued at $45 billion, suffered a tough time last year as sales growth slowed — Xiaomi, notably, didn’t go public with sales figures for 2016 — but India has been a bright spot. It passed $1 billion in revenue for the first time in the country last year, and it ended 2016 as India’s second highest selling smartphone maker behind only Samsung, according to analyst firm Canalys.

Now it is doubling down on the country by introducing its ‘Mi Home’ stores, starting with a debut space in Bengaluru which will open in just over a week. The plan is to expand the initiative to reach 100 stores over the next two years, Xiaomi’s India head Manu Jain said in a tweet.

Jain told Economics Times that Xiaomi is aiming to stock all products available in India but, in the off chance that it is out, customers will be able to pick up a code that allows them to buy their desired device online. The stores will also show off products from China before their local launch in India.

Initially, Xiaomi is somewhat constrained by Indian regulations on overseas firms operating brick and mortar retails stores. That means its first stores will be run by a partner, although Xiaomi said it has applied for the relevant license to take over. Apple is among others that is in the same boat. The U.S. giant is waiting on permission to bring the Apple Store to Indian soil, a move that would massively increase its sales presence. While CEO Tim Cook has said that India-based sales are growing at record levels, Apple is estimated to have shipped just 2.5 million iPhones to the country last year. For comparison, it sold 50.8 million iPhones in the most recent quarter alone.


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The Modi government, true to its intentions of divesting Air India, has put apartments owned by the airline across Mumbai on the block. These apartments, most of which are concentrated in upmarket South Mumbai, are expected to fetch Air India a minimum of Rs 305 crore. According to the company’s auction documents, the minimum price (called the reserve price from which bidding shall start), range from above Rs 10 crore to a little under Rs 1 crore.

While the bids for some these properties need to be submitted on or before August 31, bids for others can be submitted a day later on September 1, 2017. Cushman and Wakefield has been appointed as the advisors for the sale of these properties.


 
Walmart and Google are today announcing a new partnership that will enable voice shopping through Google Assistant, Google’s virtual assistant that lives on devices like its smart speaker, Google Home. Specifically, consumers will now be able to take advantage of Walmart’s “Easy Reorder” feature through an integration with Google’s shopping service, Google Express. This will allow consumers to shop from hundreds of thousands of Walmart products just by speaking, the companies explain.

Related to this, Google Express is also today ditching its membership fees, and now promises free delivery across its retailers in one to three days, as long as customer orders are above each store’s minimums.


 
After a game of patience, GMR Infrastructure Ltd’s sustained focus on airports is slowly paying off. Return on investments in airports’ development and maintenance is improving, as regulations are being eased and traffic at key airports is rising.

On Tuesday, the company detailed its expansion plans for its prized asset, Delhi International Airport (Pvt.) Ltd (DIAL), where it leads the consortium. A 60% increase in capacity for passenger traffic and increase in cargo handling infrastructure, besides world-class facilities, will be done in three phases over a decade. Although this would imply cost increases in the near term, it would gradually ramp-up revenue and profit. In fact, June quarter passenger traffic at Delhi airport grew by 14%.


 
New Delhi: The government is close to finalizing a proposal to grant licences in perpetuity to pharmaceutical companies, scrapping the existing policy that required renewal of licences every five years.

Aimed at enhancing the ease of doing business in India, the government has proposed that manufacturers be granted licences that will remain valid as long as they comply with good manufacturing practices (GMP).


 
The BSE Sensex firmed up by another 149 points and the Nifty reclaimed the 9,800—mark in opening trade on Wednesday, aided by fresh buying mainly in realty, healthcare and banks, coupled with positive global cues.

The 30—share index moved higher by 149.01 points, or 0.47 %, to 31,440.86. The gauge had gained 33 points in yesterday’s session.


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