The premium smartphone market in India has changed a lot in the past three-four years. While Vivo and Oppo have been battling with another Chinese giant Xiaomi, OnePlus has undoubtedly cemented itself as the leading premium smartphone in India.
As per the latest development, OnePlus is all set to make India a major development hub for 5G with a broader focus on the global markets in 2020.
The Shenzen-based company has announced its plans of focusing on offline expansion, manufacturing and research and development in India from next year.
Since India contributes one-third to OnePlus’ global business outside its home market of China, the company would open 100 stores in 50 cities and another 500 through partners, told Vikas Aggarwal, country head, in an interview with Economic Times.
News of OnePlus’ expansion plans is not a surprise.
The company has been focusing on the Indian market, and it is considering to make the country its manufacturing hub after evaluating the available manufacturing quality at sustainable costs here.
In September, the company had started export of Indian manufactured handsets to foreign markets including North America, intending to hedge its risks considering the recent US-China trade disputes.
In August this year, the company was also in talks to invest Rs 1,000 crore in its first Indian Research & Development facility located in the southern city of Hyderabad. The facility was aiming to cover major software features and areas such as AI, 5G, and IoT.
Apart from the manufacturing facility, the company has implemented a different approach with its supply chain in India. While most of its sales worldwide are generated through purely online sales, it has set up an India-specific offline retail channel to boost sales in tier II and tier III cities.
On the lines of Apple, the company has also been working towards monetizing the premium handset user base via services.
During the launch of its latest offering – OnePlus 7T – the company had also announced launching OnePlus Pay and OnePlus Cloud.
At present, the company employs 250 of its India staff of around 400 in Hyderabad. It is now looking to have over 1500 employees in the next years, along with hiring key executives for various business roles.