OnePlus has thought of setting up an R&D centre in India but is not sure when, CEO Pete Lau told IndianExpress.com in an interaction a day after the launch of their new flagship the OnePlus 5 in India. “We have thought about it. But we don’t have a detailed plan and don’t want to increase the burden on the management at the moment,” Lau said.
However, the OnePlus CEO said his global headquarters in Shenzhen has many Indians. “In the future, we will have an R&D centre in India, I just can’t say when.” Interestingly, a third of OnePlus’ volumes comes from India, which explains why the CEO was launching his new phone in India just a couple of days after it was unveiled globally.
On what role he saw for the company in India, the OnePlus founder said he hasn’t given it much thought. “We just focus on providing the best products for our target groups — the young, confident, people who pursue good quality,” he added.
The OnePlus 5 launched in Mumbai with a starting price of Rs 32,999. The older OnePlus phones also sell primarily in the Rs 25,000 to Rs 35,000 segment. And Lau wants to stay focussed here and was clear that he does not want to look at any other price segment or product category. “We are only focussed on providing the best Android flagship phones,” he reiterated.
The company is also clearly focussed on pursuing its online strategy, at least in the short run. “We will let our customers experience our phones at pop-up events and we will open experience stores. However, we will not have offline distribution,” Lau said. However, he did not rule out the option of the company looking at offline sales in the “next three to five years”. “We think the online sales model will give our customers more benefits,” he explained.