Manu Jain, an executive who assisted Xiaomi in establishing and growing its operations in India, has left the company, he announced on Monday, adding his name to a long list of well-known departures from the regional unit, which is steadily losing market share to rivals like Samsung.
Jain did not give a reason for leaving the company, but according to people with knowledge of the situation, he has been pitching investors ideas for an EV startup for some time. According to many of the people he has spoken with, Jain had been disclosing his plans to leave the company to numerous industry figures for several quarters.
2014 saw Xiaomi’s entry into the Indian smartphone market. The company started to make a dent in the market within a few quarters, undercutting competitors Samsung, OnePlus, Oppo, and Vivo with higher-spec phones at lower prices.
A few years later, Xiaomi rose to prominence as India’s top smartphone seller, a position it no longer holds.
People with knowledge of the situation said that Jain, who was once a key member of the Indian team, suffered greatly after relations between China and India deteriorated in the wake of rising geopolitical tension in 2020.
One source claims that the company changed its mind about elevating Jain to a higher global role. Jain was additionally called before India’s Enforcement Directorate, where, in accordance with Xiaomi, he was threatened with “physical violence” over a tax dispute matter.
Several significant Xiaomi executives, including Raghu Reddy, head of business in India, have recently left the company amid the unrest at its India division.
A request for comment made to Xiaomi in December went unanswered. Throughout last year, Jain ignored numerous requests for comment.
“In order to help the Xiaomi Group begin its India journey, I joined in 2014. There were many ups and downs in the early years. We were a one-person startup at first, operating out of a tiny little office. With few resources and no prior relevant industry experience, we were the smallest of the many smartphone brands, according to a statement from Jain.
Jain did not address Xiaomi’s declining market share in India or the other declining India leadership team in his lengthy statement on Monday.