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OnePlus: The journey of the company that stole the thunder in India

OnePlus phone in hand

India is OnePlus’ largest market which accounts for 33% of the company’s total revenue. To be very specific, $466 million is the number that is accounted for by the Indians to the Chinese company OnePlus. India loves OnePlus and the company also loves the country because their products are super successful in the country. The Chinese company has not put a foot wrong in this country, they have only risen from day one and there is not one person to praise for this.

Here is a fun fact, India was not on the radar of OnePlus when it launched its first device back in 2014. They were not even looking at India as the premium phone market in India was not as good as they wanted it to be. The company was looking at the US and Europe. They wanted to conquer the online markets in the two continents and India’s online market was just beginning to ripe fruits. That said, they overlooked India completely and never launched OnePlus One in the country.

However, Indians being stubborn had other ways to get the device, there were people that loved the reviews of the phone and ordered it from Amazon’s global market on an American address and then redirected it to India using Aramex, which is a logistics company based in Dubai. OnePlus took note of this and came to know that India was within the top seven countries amongst their sales. The subcontinent country was not that far behind the top countries.

That said, the company looked at the Indian numbers and decided to launch its device in the country. This is where the journey started and now they are one of the most successful phone-makers in the country. This has a lot to do with the pricing of the products and also with the marketing.

India is a price-sensitive country and their previous versions were pretty much priced for the average customer. However, they have gradually increased the price and the flagship phone which can be compared to the Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 costs only about INR 38,000. Compare it with Apple’s iPhone X, which is priced at INR 85,000, twice that of OnePlus and Samsung S9, which is priced at INR 61,000.

The pricing is one of the reason and also the fact they entered the market at the right time. The timing of their entry into the Indian market wouldn’t have been better. When they entered the Indian market, the premium phone market was about 1-2 percent and now it is grown to almost 5-6percent. This growth is huge and the company has grown with this as well.

The other things that worked for OnePlus were the mouth publicity and the social media attention. Indian buyers rely a lot on the reviews of the phone and the reviewers love OnePlus as it came in as an underdog and conquered the smartphone market. There are a lot of Samsung and iPhone users leaving their beloved companies for OnePlus and their fans are loyal as when they want to upgrade they will look for a OnePlus device only.

-Unmesh Phule

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