Chinese smartphone-maker OnePlus plans to set up 2nd global headquarters in India

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on July 18, 2018 Published on July 18, 2018

Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India, at a press conference in Chennai on Wednesday   -  Bijoy Ghosh

R&D centre by year end

Chinese smartphone-maker OnePlus plans to set up its second global headquarters in India, a market that accounts for a third of its business (in revenue terms). This is to decentralise operations and decision-making. It also plans to set up an R&D centre in India. This announcement follows an earlier decision, last year, to manufacture its smartphones in India for the local market.

“The R&D centre is to be set up either in Hyderabad or Bengaluru by the year end,” Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India, told newspersons. India is the second-biggest market (in volumes) for OnePlus after China, he said.

“The centre will have around 50 employees — the Chinese centre has around 100 — to help localise products for Indian market,” he said. OnePlus is expanding its service centres to 25 from 12, and the company plans to set up around five experience zones, including one in Chennai, he said. A local headquarters will also enable the company decentralise the operations, Agarwal added.

Focus on offline footprint

The company is charting a roadmap to make India its home market. Despite being a digital-first establishment, its key focus for the year will be to increase its offline footprint across India to offer community members more platforms to engage with the brand and to allow for experiencing the product before buying.

OnePlus is the fastest-growing premium smartphone brand in India, according to Counterpoint Research (Q1 2018). OnePlus grew at 192 per cent in the premium segment, capturing 25 per cent of the share. OnePlus 5T was the best-selling premium smartphone in India in Q1 2018. It competes with Apple and Samsung in the premium segment, said Agarwal who was here to launch its flagship model OnePlus 6.

“Our one-flagship-a-year strategy has helped us stay focussed on creating superior products with premium user-experience,” Agarwal added.

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Published on July 18, 2018
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