The founder of the fourth-largest smartphone maker in the world – Xiaomi Inc. is Lei Jun with an estimated net worth of $11.9 billion. He co-founded Xiaomi with Lin Bin in 2010 that has become a globally popular phone with high tech facilities, yet at cheaper rates. Lei is often called the “Steve Jobs” of China. He has also created the most popular Android custom ROMs Worldwide.
Lei’s life was full of struggles. Born on 16th December 1969 in Xiantao, Hubei in China, his early life passed near a central China’s coarse industrial city called Wuhan. He completed his BA in Computer Science from the Wuhan University in 1991. He was highly inspired by Steve Jobs and wanted to make a business of his own that would rank the top.
After his studies, he started to work at Kingsoft, a Chinese software company as an engineer in 1992. This company used to do word processing, anti-virus software production, gaming distribution and eCommerce. Hardwork and dedication paved his way of life and rose him to the position of the President and CEO of the company in 1998. He then founded Joyo.com, an online bookstore in 2000. Four years later, this bookstore greatly emerged and was purchased by Amazon.com for $75 million.
Spending 16 years with the software maker and after completing their IPO in 2007, Lei resigned from his previous position and became the Vice-Chairman at Kingsoft. In a very short time, due to his investment made in Vancl.com and UCWEB, he became the Chairman of UCWEB as well.
Finally, after being able to enter the fast increasing Mobile space, Lei founded Xiaomi in 2010 and from here his life took a new toll. Firstly, he needed a team and then a perfect partnership so he chose Bin Lin, an Ex-Googler for assistance. The second step was to arrange funds. His regular investor was the Hong Kong billionaire Chan, who controlled Hang Lung Properties. Apart from this, other investment funds were Qiming, Ceyuan, IDG Capital Partners, etc.
Xiaomi along with 8 co-founders, namely Liu De, Hong Feng, Zhou Guangping, Chuan Wang, Li Wanqiang, and Kong-Kat Wong was finally launched on 6th April 2010. After this, Xiaomi again launched their first Android-based firmware called MIUI. This firmware was a software that synchronously worked with the applications as the OS that controls the operations of cellphones.
Later in August 2011, the company announced its first smartphone, Xiaomi Mi1 which was shipped using MIUI firmware. Then came the Xiaomi Mi2 smartphone powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon S4 Pro. These phones were sold even more than expected and with the assistance of the wireless phone vendor Mobicity, the company captured the western market. In 2013, the company was successful to hire Hugo Barra, the Vice-President of product management for Google. He was in-charge of Xiaomi’s Global Division.
Lei always aimed at scaling the marketing strategies to a higher position so that his company becomes the world leader in smartphones for the upcoming decade.