13 things you didn't know about Xiaomi's Lei Jun
Five years ago, Xiaomi didn’t exist. Today, the privately help tech firm is the number one smartphone manufacturer in China and is ranked third in the world behind heavyweights Apple and Samsung. Its founder and chairman Lei Jun was named “Businessman of the Year” 2014 by Forbes Asia and has recently received worldwide acclaim for his leadership style and business acumen. Lei Jun has been dubbed the ‘new Steve Jobs’ but the man who managed to rival Apple in just four short years deserves more credit than a copycat nickname. Manufacturing Global takes a look at this rising bright star and his path to success.
Who is Lei Jun?
- In 1987 Lei Jun graduated from Wuhan University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
- Lei Jun founded Joyo.com in 2000, which was later acquired by Amazon in 2004.
- Before starting Xiaomi he was the CEO at Kingsoft for over 10 years and took it public in late 2007.
- Along with Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, Lei Jun is the face of China Inc.
- According to Forbes, Lei's net worth is estimated to be 8.8 billion US dollars.
- As well as being likened to Apple’s Steve Job, Lei Jun has also been compared to Ron Conway of Silicon Valley.
- When Lei Jun started Xiaomi, he already had one of the largest followings on Sina and Tencent Weibos because he was very willing to share advice on entrepreneurship and angel investing with his followers. This helped him to get the word out about the launch of Xiaomi phones and the MIUI operating system, and encouraged his fans to test his products and offer suggestions, which are then incorporated quickly into next versions.
- Lei Jun is a huge advocate of customer service and before starting Xiaomi studies lessons from Haidilao, a popular hotpot chain in China, and Wal-Mart, and was able to set high standards for his team to treat customers the right way.
- Lei Jun has been described as ‘the most successful angel investor in China to date’ – a coveted title indeed.
- He is a generous and methodical leader, and believes whole-heartedly in giving back to his employees, investors and business associates.
- Lei Jun believes that social networking, ecommerce and mobile Internet will be the three most impactful growth drivers over the next decade in tech.
- Jun is the recipient of many honors. He was awarded “Top 10 IT Figures” in 1999, 2000 and 2002. In 2005 he was chosen as the “Top 10 Figures of Gaming”. In 2012 he was selected by China Central Television as one of the Top 10 Business Leaders of the Year. He was also named one of the 11 Most Powerful Business people in Asia by Fortune in March 2013. In November 2013 he was awarded the Most Notable Entrepreneur by BAZAAR Men's Style and most recently took the title of “Businessman of the Year” 2014 by Forbes Asia.
- Lei Jun completed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge after nominated by investor Yuri Milner. In return, Lei Jun nominated Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou and Baidu founder Robin Li.
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.