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Manu Jain wants Xiaomi India to continue as a start-up

At Xiaomi, India head Manu Kumar Jain wants to continue like a start-up and aims to scale his team up to 50 members by the first anniversary.

Xiaomi India Head Manu Kumar Jain

Xiaomi India Head Manu Kumar Jain

India Head, Xiaomi
GOAL IN LIFE: Wants to do something different, something that would impact a large number of people.
BEST LEADERSHIP LESSON: Make sure that everyone who is in a leadership role should try to groom others. Have an honest discussion with everyone.

How many people in the world would take time off work and go backpacking to a country just to see the operations of a company? Manu Kumar Jain did just that in October 2013. He was curious to see how Chinese handset maker Xiaomi's dramatically different online-only sales model worked and went all the way to meet the Xiaomi team in Beijing, after exchanging a few calls with Bin Lin, Co-founder and President of the company. The reward: when Xiaomi launched in India in July 2014, it looked no further than Jain to head its country operations.

Within six months of its launch, Xiaomi had sold over a million phones through flash sales on Jain and his 19-member team in Bangalore created so much buzz around the snazzy phones that potential buyers would log in hours before the sale opened.

Meerut-born Jain graduated from IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta but his career path was far from conventional. From working for a company that created software for investment banks, to McKinsey in Zambia, and then co-founding online retailer Jabong, Jain took several risks. At Xiaomi, Jain wants to continue like a start-up and aims to scale his team up to 50 members by the first anniversary. Myshkin Ingawale, Chief of Staff, India, Xiaomi Technology, says Manu is a "detail-oriented person, who is focused on creating a culture based on performance over hierarchy".

An early bird, Jain starts his day at 5 a.m. He likes to wind down early, too, making sure he reaches home so that he gets to spend some time with his one-year-old kid. An avid Iron Man fan, he loves to read, but on weekends he and his wife make it a point to meet someone new or someone they haven't met in a long time.

FULL COVERAGE:India's Hottest Young Executives 2015

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