Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus is looking at making India as its second headquarter with plans drawn up for setting up a full-fledged organisation framework in the country, which could make policy decisions required for managing the brand in a better way.
The firm will also be opening its long-awaited R&D facility in India by the end of this quarter (September) either in Bengaluru or Hyderabad. OnePlus has a big R&D centre in China, which houses around 200 people and the proposed one would employ about 50 people.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event here on Wednesday, Vikas Agarwal, general manager, OnePlus India, said the new Indian R&D centre would not be a typical engineering centre, but would essentially focus on understanding the local market and feedback which would be incorporated in forthcoming models.
The company was of the view that the time has come for it to make ‘physical presence’ felt in India as it has all along been considered itself as an internet first company. Apart from exclusive tie-up with e-commerce major Amazon and its own website, the company is busy building up its own offline stores in the form of experience stores and service centres besides joining hands with retail store chain Croma.
Agarwal said OnePlus would have its first experience store in Chennai very soon, followed by six other cities by the year end. “We are growing at the rate of 100% now and have 50% marketshare through online sales. But, the online market is not enough for us. The key focus for the current year would be to increase the offline footprint across India. We expect the growth to come from tier-II and tier-III cities due to penetration of channels,” he said. The company has plans to double the service centres in India from 12 to 25 by the year end. He said that the whole idea of second headquarter was that outside its headquarter in China, decisions related to Indian market could be taken in the country itself.