Xmi



Xmi Pte Ltd is a Singapore-based small and medium-size enterprise (SME) that specialises in the production of portable speakers, with a focus on audio technology innovation. Founded in 2006, Xmi is the first in the market to produce and retail a pocket-size speaker. Its products are now sold in more than 80 countries.1

Background and establishment
Xmi was established by Ryan Lee in August 2006. Lee, a graduate in finance and economics, is currently Xmi’s chief executive officer. Noticing a lack of quality portable speakers on the market, Lee, who has always been interested in technological gadgets, decided to start his own company producing such speakers. With aid from his brother and co-founder, Reuben, Lee started Xmi with S$30,000.2


Less than a year after its founding, Xmi launched its first product, the X-mini Capsule Speaker – in Western Europe instead of Singapore. In an interview with Forbes, Lee explained that the company had needed to produce large quantities of its product, and thus looked first to overseas markets instead of depending on Singapore’s small market.3

The company broke even within three months of its first product launch. After penetrating the Singapore market, local sales comprise about five percent of its total revenue.4 Lee has cited Singapore’s cultural and linguistic diversity as a factor in helping the company “establish global sales networks” and negotiating cultural issues with overseas suppliers.5
 
Company profile
Xmi aims to create “unique products of superior functionality, mass-market appeal and uncompromising quality” and, through technological innovation, become the market leader in digital lifestyle technology.6


The company specialises in the research and development of multimedia products, and is known for producing speakers with high-quality audio, built-in rechargeable batteries and an expandable base.7

Although Xmi has registered patents in multiple markets including Singapore and China, its business strategy is to focus on upgrading its speaker technology and expanding its range of products to secure its position in the market. The company monitors customers’ online feedback so as to improve its products.8

In an interview with The Business Times, Lee highlighted “innovative design and quality” as key traits of Xmi’s products. He added that, moving forward, the company would “target different demographics and various user functionalities”.9

Products
Xmi’s small speakers are collapsible and wireless. Some models can be connected together for greater amplification.10 Its signature speakers are the award-winning Capsule Speaker range, and a recent model in the line is the Kai 2, which features a noise-cancelling microphone and Bluetooth connection for mobile conferencing.11


Partnerships
As at 2012, Xmi has partnered 20 sporting events, including the Asian Formula Drift Championship in Indonesia. In 2013, the company supported the Tiger Street Football (Sydney), Formula Drift Asia (Melbourne), and the Kia World Extreme Games (Shanghai).12
 The brand counts a professional inline skater and a club DJ among its ambassadors.13

Selected awards14
2008:
Red Dot Design Awards, Germany – X-mini Capsule Speaker and X-mini Max Capsule Speaker

2008: Infocomm Singapore Award
2009: Emerging Enterprise Award (Innovation), Singapore15
2009: Singapore Prestige Brand Award
2009: Asia Pacific ICT Award (Start-up)
2009: Good Design Award, United States – X-mini II Capsule Speaker
2010: Red Dot Design Award – X-mini Happy Capsule Speaker
2011: Red Dot Design Award – X-mini Rave Capsule Speaker
2012: iF Design Award, Germany – X-mini Kai Capsule Speaker16
2012: Red Dot Design Award – X-mini Kai Capsule Speaker
2014: Red Dot Design Award – X-mini We Thumbsize Speaker17



References
1. Wells, J. S. (2012, May 1). Small speakers, big potential. Forbes. Retrieved from Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/global/2012/0116/companies-people-ryan-lee-singapore-xmi.html; Xmi. (n.d.). About us. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/about-us; Oo, G. L. (2014, August 8). Xmi: Sound beyond size is the mantra of this eight-year-old home-grown company. The Straits Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
2. Chan, F. (2009, May 6). Xmi’s sound strategy a winner. The Straits Times, p. 37. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Zhang, Y. T. (2009, May 21). Local signature style speakers have won six awards. The Business Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Tuned in to sound strategy. (2011, November 3). The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva; Kan, L. (2010, December 7). Young minds, big ideas. The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
3. International Enterprise Singapore. (2014, April 14). X-mini Capsule Speakers plug in to the US. Retrieved from International Enterprise Singapore website: http://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/Venture-Overseas/Browse-By-Market/Europe/Germany/Success-Stories/cs/Success-Stories/X-mini-Capsule-Speakers-Plug-in-to-the-US
4. International Enterprise Singapore. (2014, April 14). X-mini Capsule Speakers plug in to the US. Retrieved from International Enterprise Singapore website: http://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/Venture-Overseas/Browse-By-Market/Europe/Germany/Success-Stories/cs/Success-Stories/X-mini-Capsule-Speakers-Plug-in-to-the-US; Tuned in to sound strategy. (2011, November 3). The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
5. Wells, J. S. (2012, May 1). Small speakers, big potential. Forbes. Retrieved from Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/global/2012/0116/companies-people-ryan-lee-singapore-xmi.html
6. Xmi. (n.d.). About us. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/about-us.
7. Wells, J. S. (2012, May 1). Small speakers, big potential. Forbes. Retrieved from Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/global/2012/0116/companies-people-ryan-lee-singapore-xmi.html; International Enterprise Singapore. (2014, April 14). X-mini Capsule Speakers plug in to the US. Retrieved from International Enterprise Singapore website: http://www.iesingapore.gov.sg/Venture-Overseas/Browse-By-Market/Europe/Germany/Success-Stories/cs/Success-Stories/X-mini-Capsule-Speakers-Plug-in-to-the-US; Tuned in to sound strategy. (2011, November 3). The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
8. Tuned in to sound strategy. (2011, November 3). The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva; Wells, J. S. (2012, May 1). Small speakers, big potential. Forbes. Retrieved from Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/global/2012/0116/companies-people-ryan-lee-singapore-xmi.html
9. Tuned in to sound strategy. (2011, November 3). The Business Times. Retrieved from Factiva.
10. Monash University. (2009, October 24). Sound system. Retrieved from Monash University website: http://www.monash.edu.au/pubs/monmag/issue24-2009/alumni-news/sound-system.html
11. X-mini targets rise of ‘lifestyle conferencing’ with Kai 2 portable speaker launch. (2014, July 22). Press Association National Newswire. Retrieved from Factiva.
12. Xmi. (2013, August 16). X-mini goes to Tiger Street Football 2013. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/news/tiger-street-football-2013; Xmi. (2013, August 14). X-mini goes to Formula Drift Melbourne 2013. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/news/formula-drift-2013; Xmi. (2013, August 15). X-mini conquers AIL podium at World Extreme Game Shanghai. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/news/world-extreme-games-2013
13. Wells, J. S. (2012, May 1). Small speakers, big potential. Forbes. Retrieved from Forbes website: http://www.forbes.com/global/2012/0116/companies-people-ryan-lee-singapore-xmi.html; Xmi. (n.d.). Our ambassadors. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/our-ambassadors 
14. Xmi. (2013). Our successes & awards. Retrieved from Xmi website: http://www.x-mini.com/awards
15. Yeo, J. (2009, June 8). Celebrating smaller enterprises. The Business Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
16. iF Design. (n.d.). X-mini Kai Capsule Speaker. Retrieved from iF Design website: http://exhibition.ifdesign.de/entrydetails_en.html?mode=madr&offset=0
17. Red Dot. (n.d.). Red Dot Award: Product design: X-mini We Speaker. Retrieved from Red Dot website: http://red-dot.de/pd/online-exhibition/work/?code=21-00355-2014&y=2014&c=165&a=0&lang=en




This article was written by students from Nan Chiau High School as part of the “50 Schools, 50 SMEs” initiative held in celebration of Singapore’s 50th birthday. For more details, please visit http://www.singapore50-ei.sg/project-50schools-50SMEs



The information in this article is valid as at 21 May 2015 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading material on the topic.

Subject
Trade and industry
Commerce and Industry
Economy

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