Xiaomi's Global Push to Boost Complexity and Experimentation

Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Lei Jun, chief executive officer of Xiaomi Corp., attends the launch of the new Xiaomi smartphone and Xiaomi TV at China National Convention Center in Beijing on Sept. 5, 2013. Xiaomi has made its phones stand out through sleek design, software that anyone can customize and prices that rivals won’t touch. Close

Lei Jun, chief executive officer of Xiaomi Corp., attends the launch of the new Xiaomi... Read More

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Source: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Lei Jun, chief executive officer of Xiaomi Corp., attends the launch of the new Xiaomi smartphone and Xiaomi TV at China National Convention Center in Beijing on Sept. 5, 2013. Xiaomi has made its phones stand out through sleek design, software that anyone can customize and prices that rivals won’t touch.

Xiaomi's global push to boost smartphone sales fivefold to 100 million units next year will add levels of complexity that will force the four-year-old smartphone maker to experiment as never before, says Hugo Barra, the company's vice president for international sales.

After taking its first step outside the Greater China region into Singapore earlier this year, Beijing-based Xiaomi is preparing to start sales in Malaysia in "a few weeks" with Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand following shortly, Barra said. Xiaomi is "actively looking" at India, Brazil, Mexico and other markets, Barra said.

"Adding new locales and requirements increases complexity and it takes an incredible amount of hard work by our many Xiaomi and partner teams to pull that off," Barra said.

To accomplish that, Xiaomi, which keeps costs down by selling direct to consumers over the Web and foregoing advertising expenses, may have to look at some new methods of doing business, Barra said.

Xiaomi will "experiment with other channels where it makes sense to do so," Barra said. "We are constantly trying new things."

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