Meet Manu Kumar Jain, The Smartphone Man of India

6 minute read
Manu Kumar Jain

You must have heard of Xiaomi which is a tech company that has captured the Indian market in only a few years and become a household name. Today the popularity of Xiaomi is such that most of us have heard about the brand or might own a smartphone produced by Xiaomi. Nowadays, a brand doesn’t grow on its own, and it’s the entrepreneurial skills of the individuals engaged, which ensure its success. Do you know about the person who is behind the success of Xiaomi in the Indian market? We bring you the phenomenal journey of Manu Kumar Jain a.k.a India’s smartphone man who is the Global Vice President of Xiaomi and played a bigger role in the success of Xiaomi in India. 

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Manu Jain

Manu Kumar Jain: Early Life

Manu Kumar Jain - Smartphone Man Of India
Image Source: Business Standard

Born on 25th January 1981 in Uttar Pradesh, Manu Kumar Jain is an entrepreneur who captured the global market with his skills. After acquiring a degree in from IIT Delhi and while pursuing an MBA from IIM Calcutta in 2007, Manu Kumar Jain entered the world of business. Being a bright student, he achieved several milestones while making his upward journey. Cracking IIT JEE in 2001 and CAT in 2005 are few of his academic achievements, he started his professional career by working with Headstrong, a US-based IT company where he worked in the business promotion department.

In 2006, he also qualified for a summer internship with Tata Teleservices. With this exposure, he created a strong foundation for himself in the business and entrepreneurial world. After completing his MBA from IIM, he immediately went onto work with the American company McKinsey & Co., one of the largest consulting firms in the world. Here he gained experience as an engagement manager and explored certain fields including finance, sales and automobiles. 

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After garnering such experiences and expertise, Manu Kumar Jain founded his own e-commerce portal named Jabong that we all know of today. This was a huge milestone that he achieved in his life, but he would not settle this easily and kept looking for more opportunities to grow. While working on Jabong and analysing its sales, he realised the potential smartphones hold in the global market and was hugely fascinated by it. And it’s exactly this fascination which marked the beginning of the second stage of his remarkable life. 

Becoming the Global Vice President of Xiaomi

Vice President of Xiaomi
Image Source: Beeborn

So, how did the founder of Jabong become the Smartphone Man of India? The brand Xiaomi was established in 2010 in China, and Manu Kumar Jain got to know about it in 2013. At that point, he himself didn’t know that he will become such a significant part of Xiaomi, but he was interested enough in the brand to try and know more about it. So, he took a flight and started his 20 days stay in China, where he systematically understood the Chinese startup market. During this short visit, Manu Kumar Jain came in contact with the founders of Xiaomi, and it was the beginning of a very fruitful partnership. He got to know about the company’s plan to enter the Indian market from Bin Lin, the president of Xiaomi. In 2014, he finally decided to join Xiaomi as the company’s Operations Head in India. 

Now, being a founder himself, joining a company as an Operations Head might seem like a downward slope to some. Still, Jain took this challenge because he knew the potential that Xiaomi held in the Indian market. And we all know how accurate his calculations were seeing the position that Xiaomi as a brand holds in the Indian market. And the credit for this goes to Manu Kumar Jain who came up with the strategies to promote the smartphone during its first release in India. The response that the launch received in India was immense and so many orders were placed simultaneously that the selling e-commerce platform Flipkart crashed. With the sale of Xiaomi platform rocketing sky-high began Manu Kumar Jain’s journey as the smartphone man of India. 

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Life Lessons To Learn From Manu Kumar Jain

The benefit of knowing about such ambitious personalities is that you get to inspire yourself and begin your own personal journey of success. So, let’s use this opportunity and look at the life lessons that we could learn from the life of Manu Kumar Jain. 

Source: YouTube

Follow your dreams

We hear the statement follow your dreams quite often in our lives, but some people whose journey resonates with this idea. And one such person is Manu Kumar Jain. Leaving his position at Mackenzie & Co. was not an easy decision, but he made it nevertheless because his dreams were not to be tamed by his present comfortable position. So, dream big and have the courage to follow them like Manu Kumar Jain. 

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Expand your Horizons

Your limit is what you set it to be. So, keep pushing yourself and do it often. If Manu Kumar Jain had settled for his position at McKinsey & Co, he would never have become the Global Vice President of Xiaomi. He kept expanding his horizons and look where it took him. So, learn from him how to not limit yourself and keep chasing greatness. 

Hard Work is the Key to Success

Now, the success over which Manu Kumar Jain has claim today was not served to him on a silver platter but was a result of his constant hard work. He was a self-made man who kept pushing himself to do better. This is something that we can learn from him and work hard towards our goals and aspirations. 

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Manu Kumar Jain’s Net Worth

As of 2020, Manu Kumar Jain’s net worth is predicted to be at $5 million.

Xiaomi Journey

  • The firm expands to India in February 2014.
  • April 2014 – Paid a record US$3.6 million for the domain name
  • Launched Mi PowerBanks in October 2014, which were instant popularity in India.
  • December 2014 – passed the 1 million phone mark in India.
  • Ratan Tata bought a stake in Xiaomi in April 2015.
  • August 2015 — The business teamed with Foxconn to bring the Redmi 2 Prime, the first Made in India phone, to market.
  • In India, the Redmi Note 3 Pro, the first smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 CPU, was released in March 2016.
  • April 2016 – Invested in Hungama, which resulted in an exclusive content delivery deal with Mi consumers.
  • The business signed a patent licensing arrangement with Nokia in July 2017.
  • It surpassed Samsung to become India’s most popular smartphone brand in December 2017.
  • August 2018 – The business unveiled POCO, a mid-range smartphone series that would debut in India initially.

Manu Kumar Jain Startup Journey & Career Growth

Manu began his career as a Senior Associate at Headstrong after completing his B.Tech, where he coded and developed software solutions for investment banks. He was there for two years until leaving in May 2005. He started as an Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company in 2007 and departed in December 2011.

He co-founded and became the Managing Director of the fashion e-commerce web Jabong in February 2012. He has built Jabong into a prominent fashion and leisure online shopping platform since its beginnings. (In 2016, Myntra purchased Jabong.)

Xiaomi offered him the position of Managing Director in 2014 and tasked him with bringing Xiaomi to India and launching its operations there. He proved his worth by becoming Xiaomi the most popular smartphone brand in India. In January 2017, he was appointed Xiaomi’s worldwide Vice President.

Manu Jain was on the boards of many firms like KrazyBee and Hungama in the time between co-founding Jabong and becoming the MD of Xiaomi India.

Manu Kumar Jain Awards and Recognition

  • BW Businessworld’s 40 under 40 awards was given to him in 2018.
  • On October 29, 2018, we set a Guinness World Record by launching over 500 Mi Stores in one day.
  • In 2019, he was named the Most Promising Asian Business Leader at the Economic Times Asian Business Leaders Conclave in Hong Kong.
  • In 2019, he was awarded the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader award.
  • Forbes India awarded him the title of Best CEO (MNC) of the Year in 2019.

This was all that you needed to know about Manu Kumar Jain, the smartphone man of India. When you are surrounded by such inspirational stories your desire to do better gets ignited in you. So, follow us at Leverage Edu and keep in touch with all such stories. 

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