Our weekly series is on the apps and gadgets that people from various walks of life love and can't live without. This week, we meet Xiaomi India head Manu Jain and get to see for ourselves the gadgets that he travels with and uses regularly. Here is the technology Jain can't live without.
1. Describe your technology setup - what computer/ phone/ tablet/ camera/ gaming console/ other gadgets do you use?
Manu Jain: The [Xiaomi] Mi 3 and Redmi 1S. I get almost all of my work done on these gadgets. I use three home screens [on my phones] - one for essential apps, the second for apps I use once or twice a day like social network apps, and the third for apps I don't use that often.
2. What are three apps (mobile/ tablet or PC/ Mac) you couldn't live without?
Manu Jain: These are the basic apps, which I have on the first home screen on my phones. If you ask me to pick three, I'd go for MIUI Mail, MIUI Calendar and WeChat. I also use WhatsApp, but WeChat is more popular among my friends and colleagues in China, so I use it more often.
3. What is one gadget (other than your phone) you never travel without?
Manu Jain: It used to be a tab[let] for content consumption, like watching movies, reading and playing games, and mostly because I wanted to travel light. My laptop was too bulky. But I've stopped carrying the tablet with me while travelling because I find that the big-screen phone [Mi 3] is good enough for my usage.
4. What is your dream gadget/ technology setup?
Manu Jain: I am a big fan of Iron Man. My dream technology setup would be a house like the one Iron Man has, with the cool voice assistant too. I like Iron Man because he is a self-made superhero. I became a huge fan of Iron Man fairly recently. I still like Batman and Super Commando [Dhruva] from Raj Comics. I wouldn't mind having all the technology Batman has either.
5. How has technology changed the way you work?
Manu Jain: I graduated from IIM Calcutta in 2007. Back then I had a feature phone. My wife worked with Nokia and she taught me how to access the Internet on mobile phones. I joined McKinsey, where they allowed email to be accessed only on certain phones. I bought one of those phones. From there to doing all my work-related stuff on my phone, it has come a long way.
My grandfather, he's about 95 [years old] now. For 93 years of his life, he was offline. Then we gave him a tab and he started using the Internet. A laptop or a desktop was too complicated for him. With a tablet, he just has to tap a button to switch it on and simply tap one icon to start Skype and other apps. It has become so easy. My dad was [also] quite averse to using the Internet earlier. He refused to use Google Maps. After we gifted him a smartphone, every time he drives to an unknown place, the first thing he does is open Google Maps on his phone. Things have come a long way.For more personally tech stories, click here.