OnePlus may be a somewhat unfamiliar name to many mainstream smartphone buyers who rely on their carriers or local brick-and-mortar stores to buy their gadgets, but the Shenzhen, Guangdong-based company has already come a long way since being founded back in December of 2013. The company started out selling its smartphones and accessories primarily through online channels, but in recent times have experimented with offline opportunities by coming up with pop-up stores simultaneously in several cities around the world, including some of the major Indian cities, like Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore. While many took that as a precursor for the company to slowly inch its way into the more lucrative offline retail channels, the company’s CEO, Mr. Pete Lau, has now categorically said that at least for the time being, the smartphone maker will stick to its tried-and-tested online-only strategy in the country.
In an interview with Indian business publication Economic Times, Mr. Lau also said that he expects the company’s sales in India to jump over the next couple of years, thanks to the increasing demand for premium smartphones in the country. According to him, OnePlus is also considering gradually increasing its local production under the Indian federal government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative that’s aimed at bringing back manufacturing jobs to the country. While other Chinese tech firms such as Xiaomi and Huawei have also started assembling some of their smartphone models in India, unlike OnePlus, most of them are also looking to expand their footprint to offline stores in order to increase visibility and boost sales. Mr. Lau, however, sounded optimistic about India’s manufacturing sector, going forward. Primarily a service economy these days, the country could well have a “booming” manufacturing sector “at a global level” in five years’ time, according to Mr. Lau.
OnePlus had earlier tied-up with Foxconn to manufacture the OnePlus X in India, and to show that the company is still willing to walk the talk going forward, Mr. Lau said that their newly-launched handset, the OnePlus 3T, will be made in the country from the next quarter itself. While the Indian-manufactured units are not expected to fulfill the entire demand from consumers in the country, the OnePlus CEO assured that the company will gradually increase manufacturing in the country in the coming years if demand remains as strong as expected.