India is one of the largest smartphone markets in the world and it is no surprise that every brand wants to make a mark here. And one brand that has been able to do so, that too in a very difficult segment is OnePlus. A fairly new player in the Indian smartphone market scenario (it arrived in late 2014), OnePlus managed to build trust and brand value in the premium segment in a very small amount of time. The company was able to do so by giving the Indian smartphone market the attention and importance it deserves.
OnePlus is the leading brand in the Indian market when it comes to the premium segment and while many manufacturers want to be in its shoes, they simply have failed to create the bond with the India over decades, that OnePlus has built in only a few years.
In this brief period, OnePlus has proved again and again that India is a top priority for the company. While it has a major online presence all over the world, India is the only country where the brand has expanded offline as well. The brand has over 1500 offline stores all over India, something that the rest of the world misses out on because there are no official OnePlus offline stores anywhere else.
Unlike most other brands that often launch smartphones in other countries first and then bring them to India after months, (if ever), OnePlus has a reputation of bringing devices to India often within days (sometimes even within hours) of their launch. India was the first country outside of China to get OnePlus smartphones and accessories, right from the OnePlus One to the recently launched OnePlus 7 Pro and Bullets Wireless earphones.
And that will change with the OnePlus TV. For the better. After conquering the smartphone market, OnePlus will be venturing into the smartTV business and while India was one of the first countries to get hold of newly launched OnePlus devices in the past, with the OnePlus TV, it will actually be the first one as launch of the OnePlus TV will be an India-exclusive first.
OnePlus is also one of the very few brands in country that actually believes in creating a community and delivering not just products but experience. Over the years the brand has built a very strong OnePlus community where it constantly adds value to the experience that its products offer, while collecting feedback and adding features that users ask for. Not just that, it also believes in strengthening the bond it has with Indian consumers through music which is why the brand will also be hosting a OnePlus Music Festival in Mumbai on November 16 that will be headlined by the international pop icon Katy Perry.
And all of this hard work has paid rich dividends for the brand. In about half a decade, OnePlus has not only managed to make a mark in the premium zone in the Indian smartphone market but has actually been able to stand right next to some of the most established players in the country like Apple and Samsung. And has even beaten them. As per the Counterpoint report for Q2 2019, the brand widened its lead over the likes of Apple and Samsung in the premium segment and grew at an impressive annual rate of 33 per cent.
But OnePlus’ relationship with India is not a one-way street. As the country has been a vital part of the brand’s development and success, OnePlus is investing in the country. It recently launched a research and development (R&D) centre in Hyderabad and plans to invest INR 1,000 crore in the facility over the next three years. The facility will not only help in the development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning but will also help the company create more customised products as per the needs and demands of the Indian audience. The brand is also expected to expand manufacturing in the country and is even considering exports.
OnePlus has been asking its audience to “Never Settle” with the basic brands, but it definitely seems to have settled on India as a home away from home.