Chinese smartphone OEM OnePlus is planning to set up its second global headquarters in India, alongside plans of setting up an R&D centre as well in the country. This move comes on the heels of strong sales of previous OnePlus flagships like the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, which helped the company hold on to more than 50% market share in the high-end segment ($400-$600) as of Q1 2018.
India accounts for a third of the company’s business revenue and the second-biggest market in volumes, so it makes sense for them to place the country at a higher priority. A second global headquarter will help decentralise operations and decision making, especially in light of OnePlus’s earlier announcement to manufacture 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. The centre will have around 50 employees — the Chinese centre has around 100 — to help localise products for Indian market.” – Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, OnePlus India
|OnePlus Company Logo|
OnePlus will also be expanding its service centres to 25 from the current 12, and also plans to set up five experience zones in the country. The OEM will also be expanding its offline footprint across India in efforts to provide community members more platforms to engage with the brand and experience their products before making a purchase decision.
This is a fair tangent for an OEM that was known to be “digital-first” in its early days, and speaks of the importance of a strong offline presence for any player that wants to remain competitive in the Indian market. In the past, OnePlus had also roped in celebrities for brand endorsements and conventional advertisements in India, as well as new age social media influencers to target young adults.
Just like the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T, the OnePlus 6 has also been well received in the urban Indian market despite the increase in price. Hopefully, the company can retain and improve its momentum.