Rapidly expanding its foothold in India, China-based technology company Xiaomi that started as a smartphone brand has been actively bringing in more smart devices in the country. After disrupting the air purifier market followed by televisions and smart security cameras, the company has now ventured in the water purifier segment.
Commenting on the need of launching Mi Water Purifier (RO+UV), Raghu Reddy, Head, Category and Online sales, Xiaomi India says, "Today, you see several water purifiers which look complicated and ugly with high dependence on after sales, which at times can cost a lot. Xiaomi's Mi Smart Water Purifier solves all these problems. What stands Mi Smart Water Purifier apart is the clean, minimalistic 'Mi design' and the fact that users do not need to depend on a third-party AMC contractor to keep their Mi Smart Water Purifier in a good condition. Besides, users will also be able to use the Mi Home app to know exactly what kind of water (with respect to TDS levels) is being fed to the appliance, and the output, thus making them more aware about the kind of water they are consuming."
Specially made for India, the Mi Smart Water Purifier (RO+UV) priced at Rs 11,999 features a Penta purification process, which is facilitated by three filters - PolyPropylene+Activated Carbon (PPC), Reverse Osmosis (RO) and Post Activated Carbon (PAC) along with an in-tank UV light. As per the company, the PPC filter intercepts large and visible particles while RO filters out heavy metals, scales, and organic matter with a 0.1nm precision. The PAC filter further removes odour and organic substances, and the in-tank UV light kills bacteria and viruses with up to 99.99 per cent efficiency. Belonging to Xiaomi's smart living ecosystem, it connects to the Mi Home App that monitors and displays TDS level in real-time. It shows the filter life of each of the three cartridges and notifies for filter replacement. From September 29 at noon, the water purifier will be available on Mi.com, Flipkart and Mi Homes. The filter cartridges will be available for Rs 3,997 for the complete set. Individual filter cartridges will also be available.
Water purifiers are not a one-time investment and require regular filter replacement. Xiaomi has addressed this concern in its own unique way. "This is something we certainly considered before entering this category. As for filters, they are truly DIY and can be replaced by the users themselves. To combat the problem, we provide an easy solution - users will be notified in time when a filter replacement is due; a one-click buy button within the Mi Home app will ensure only genuine filters reach the user. We aim to solve issues generally faced by buyers of this category - installation delays, after-sales issues, AMC obligations to name a few", avers Reddy.
Filters on Mi Smart Water Purifier offer a life up to 12 months or 10,000 litre for PP+AC filter and 3600 litre of water each for RO and PAC filters, subject to input water conditions. The filter cartridges will be available for Rs 3,997 for the complete set. Individual filter cartridges will also be available for purchase.
Although the company has eliminated the after-sales service part, a product like water purifier requires proper installation by trained technicians. "We have a vast after-sales network in India and for Mi TV alone we have 700-plus service touchpoints in India. We're confident that we have the required infrastructure in place for that and learnings from servicing TVs. The same infrastructure has evolved to service the water purifier category as well," adds Reddy.
While the company refused to comment on the market share they aim to acquire by the end of this year, Reddy says "at this point, our target is to increase awareness around water health and the new category."
Xiaomi has been quickly expanding its product offerings in India. In February last year, Xiaomi had introduced TVs in the country, which as a category has been doing fairly well. This was followed by the launch of smart devices such as security cameras, LED bulbs, LED lamp and more. With consumers having high expectations and hoping Xiaomi would bring in more ecosystem products, Reddy adds, "We take into account multiple factors before launching a new category - we evaluate the need for a product, and if there is a scope to make something better along with bringing it an honest price for our Mi Fans.
Additionally, we never want to hurry into launching something without having a proper service and support network in place. Every category poses a different set of considerations. We're constantly evaluating new categories and products. It's safe to say that the Indian market will continue seeing exciting and disruptive products in the coming months."