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OnePlus to turn India its global R&D hub

OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal said OnePlus is investing around Rs 1,000 crore in its R&D facility which is operational in Hyderabad. The company at present has 400 people in the Indian operation which will go up to 1500 people over the next three years. OnePlus at present has 30 brand stores in India in 15 cities.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Jan 10, 2020, 06.57 PM IST
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OnePlus has started export of smartphones from India including 5G handsets to the US and has plans for export of televisions which it will start local manufacturing from this quarter.
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KOLKATA: Online focussed smartphone brand OnePlus is turning its India R&D facility for global technology research in the area of 5G, television, payment solution and software with engineers leading the Chinese company’s manpower expansion in the country, the company’s India head said.

OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal said OnePlus is investing around Rs 1,000 crore in its R&D facility which is operational in Hyderabad. The company at present has 400 people in the Indian operation which will go up to 1500 people over the next three years, he said.

“Currently out of the 400, around 300 are engineers in India. Going forward, we expect the ratio of engineers in total manpower will further go up. India will become a research hub for all products and undertaking a lot of research in both software and hardware,” Agarwal said.

India is the biggest market for OnePlus accounting for one-third of its global revenue. The company is also the market leader in the premium (handsets priced above Rs 30,000) smartphone space competing tightly against Apple and Samsung. OnePlus also forayed into televisions in 2019 with a pilot in India.

The company has started export of smartphones from India including 5G handsets to the US and has plans for export of televisions which it will start local manufacturing from this quarter. “As and when OnePlus launches television globally, it will be exported from the country,” Agarwal said.

OnePlus at present has 30 brand stores in India in 15 cities, which Agarwal said will be expanded to 100 stores in 50 cities by December 2020. These stores are operated and managed by the brand, but the final sale is undertaken through a business partner. Agarwal said it has no plans to change this structure or start direct sales under retail FDI.

“For smartphones, we are now targeting to be available in top general trade outlets. We have already partnered with Redington and reaching out to its top 100 stores,’’ he said.

At present, around 80% of OnePlus India sales are generated from Amazon and the balance from offline trade, the company expects it will change to 50-50 in a couple of years due to aggressive offline expansion.

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