In an email to me, LeEco has shared that India is one of the most strategic markets for the company and they do not have any exit plan. The company claims that they’ve upgraded their strategy from ‘fast market expansion to healthy and sustainable growth’ and have a very experienced team comprising senior team leaders and business heads.
The company has shared that they have a ‘healthy product pipeline’ for India this year, including the launch of its next generation TV scheduled the coming week (although, I think that will be deferred now). Also, the company’s R&D function in India works for India as well as LeEco globally, and is integral to long-term business.
Looks like LeEco, the Chinese internet and smartphone company, is having a hard time sustaining business in India.
According to a report by Economic Times, the company has fired 85% of its India staff and two senior executives — Chief Operating Officer (Smart Electronics Business) Atul Jain and Chief Operating Officer (Internet applications, services and content) Debashish Ghosh have resigned from the company.
The news comes four months after LeEco CEO Jia Yueting acknowledged that the company was running out of cash and their global expansion strategy went too far considering the available capital and resources. LeEco entered India in 2016, and placed a huge bet on marketing with advertising budget as high as ₹80 crore ($12m) a month according to some reports.
The move is seen as a precursor to the company’s withdrawal from the Indian market, while focusing on China and the US. Alex Li, Chief Operating Officer of LeEco India has confirmed the exit of the two executives to ET but has denied any plans to exit the market or liquidate stock. He’s called the layoff as ‘recalibration and reimagining of the business in India’.