India's largest smartphone vendor Xiaomi said on Tuesday it will set up 5,000 Mi Stores across rural India by the end of 2019, a move that is expected to generate over 15,000 jobs. Xiaomi, which entered India in 2014 and sold smartphones exclusively online, ventured into offline retail in 2017. It operates its own chain of Mi Homes, apart from Mi Preferred Partners through franchise model. \u201cIt\u2019s been over a year since we started offering our products through offline retail and we have seen strong growth there . About 4-5 months ago, we started piloting what we called Offline 2.0 \u2014 where we are going to tier IV, V and beyond, rural India with our offline retail offering,\u201d Xiaomi vice-president and India managing director Manu Jain told reporters here. He added that under the \u2018Mi Store\u2019 model, the company has already set up 500 stores and will take the number to 5,000 by end of 2019. \u201cLocated across 14 states, these 500 Mi Stores were inaugurated at the same time on October 29. which helped us achieve a Guinness World Records feat for opening the highest number of retail stores in the world at the exact same time,\u201d he said. While Mi Homes \u2014 that showcases Xiaomi\u2019s entire product range across smartphones, televisions and ecosystem products \u2014 are spread across larger spaces in bigger cities, Mi Stores have an average size of 300 sq ft and will be located in rural India. \u201cThese stores can be found in some of the most remote corners of the country. We think this can generate massive employment opportunities with over 15,000 jobs in these regions, thereby boosting immense economic output,\u201d he said. Jain explained that offline retail is still a huge segment in our country with nearly 40% of the offline market focused in rural regions. Through its various efforts, the company expects offline retail to account for half of its smartphone sales by next year. Xiaomi expects to ramp up the number of Mi Homes to 100 (from current 50) and take its Mi Preferred Partners programme to 100 cities (from over 50 now).