What you need to know
- POCO's head of product Jai Mani has left Xiaomi.
- Before taking the helm at POCO, Mani was the lead product manager for Xiaomi in India.
- Mani joined Xiaomi from Google back in 2014.
POCO's head of product Jai Mani has left Xiaomi after being with the Chinese manufacturer for just under five years. Mani was hired as the lead product manager for Xiaomi India by erstwhile Xiaomi VP Hugo Barra back in 2014, and in recent years he turned his attention to the hardware side of things, working out of Xiaomi's offices in Beijing.
The POCO F1 was one of the most talked about devices of 2018. Xiaomi launched the sub-brand seemingly out of nowhere, and the value on offer was unlike anything we've seen in the smartphone industry. Retailing for the equivalent of just $300 in India, the F1 came with a Snapdragon 845, along with a massive 4000mAh battery and rugged design.
In his role as head of product, Mani was instrumental in getting the device to market. After the launch of the F1 last year, he sat down with me to detail how POCO was able to launch a Snapdragon 845-enabled phone for $300, stating that the sub-brand leveraged Xiaomi's infrastructure to manufacture the device.
Mani was a regular fixture at Xiaomi launch events, and his team's efforts with the POCO F1 shook up the value space in India. Before joining Xiaomi, Mani was a product manager in the Android/Play Analytics team at Google. According to his Twitter profile, Mani is now looking to work in the intersection of healthcare and technology, focusing on mental health.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.