[Case Study] How OnePlus Topped in The Indian Market

When the Indian Smartphone industry was dominated by companies like Samsung and Apple in the year 2013 -2015.

There was an underdog in the smartphone industry called “OnePlus”.

OnePlus came into existence in the late 2013, specifically December 2013. Not many people knew this…

OnePlus was founded by an Ex-Employee of Oppo Electronic, Pete Lau. Now, this would be even more interesting to know that Pete Lau before shaping Company.

He used to sell Blu-Ray Players for Oppo Electronics. Who then became Vice-Present for Oppo Electronics.

Isn’t the beginning of OnePlus and The founder interesting and inspiring as well? I’m sure it is!

OnePlus was no different, as all other successful companies were once  a startup.

It was also a startup co-founded by Carl Pei which now is a successful company in the smartphone industry (at least in India).

[Case Study] How OnePlus Topped in The Indian Market

What Do OnePlus Believes In?

Company believes in their tagline “Never Settle”. They have a very clear and simple belief about the company.

They believe that a user will Never Settle for a device which do not meets his requirement in other words a Low-Quality Device.

Here is what you learn, there has to be a central objective, a belief, which you can keep in your mind while working and to work to the best of your ability to fulfil the companies belief.

OnePlus Had A Terrible Start

If you have set a successful business of your own who might relate to it closely, and also whoa re starting out can experience it even better.

Initially, in the years of 2013-2016 OnePlus was playing it safe. What do I mean by that? Initially company’s smartphones weren’t available easily (Stores or Online Portal).

Since OnePlus was a newbie in the smartphone industry, not many were aware of the their smartphones, but hey techies are exception here.

The company used various promotion strategy to make a brand name ‘OnePlus’ memorable, they introduced promotions like…

1. Smash The Past

Where in a smartphone user has to smash theirs old smartphone to get a brand new OnePlus smartphone for just a dollar or 70 rupees.

This particular promotion gave initial customers to the company, but goal was far away.

2. Invite System

OnePlus used ‘Invite System’ to sell off their product. Under an Invite System the interested individual for the product has to send an invite to company for the product (basically one who asks and pays for it, gets it).

Smash the Past and Invite System were a kind of failure, because to manage and run a Smartphone company is not as easy as a bite of a cake.

The minimum amount of sales required for company’s functioning were far away.

Company played safe for few year but they failed to acquire a respectable market share in the smartphone industry, here is what you can learn from this…

[Case Study] How OnePlus Topped in The Indian Market

OnePlus is Different

While in the same industry we see brands like Oppo and Vivo working hard to acquire the indian offline market, whereas OnePlus is a total different case.

Let consider two car brands, Jaguar and Tata. Both of the brands have the same origin (India) but both the brands have a different customer database. Jaguar focusing on the minority and tat focusing on the majority.

The same case is with the smartphone industry, the company have put in all their efforts and focus into the minority and Oppo/Vivo working hard for the majority.

Within past six years company has launched only 6 series of models in India. You may have noticed that they launch one series every year. Simply because of the customer database being high end.

They had in mind that they will target high end market and they must provide the best in class product just as jaguar.

OnePlus Has Manufactured Eleven Phones:

Name International Release  
OnePlus One 6 June 2014  
OnePlus 2 11 August 2015  
OnePlus X 5 November 2015  
OnePlus 3 14 June 2016  
OnePlus 3T 28 November 2016  
OnePlus 5 27 June 2017  
OnePlus 5T 21 November 2017  
OnePlus 6 22 May 2018  
OnePlus 6T 6 November 2018  
OnePlus 7 25 May 2019  
OnePlus 7 Pro  

India- Key Market for OnePlus, Says CEO

In the recent interview of Carl Lau with Forbes, Carl was asked about the target market in terms of countries.

Carl replied saying that they wanted to sell smartphones in Europe, North America and China. But India was the craziest amongst all reason being they didn’t sell anything in India initially but the Indians had a huge fan base for their products.”

Source: Forbes India

He Then Confirmed that India is Super Important for the company and India is their key market as well.

They have plans to have an OnePlus Headquarter in the Indian city of Karnataka called Bengaluru or Indian Silicon Valley.

Journey of Six Years

As we mentioned above the initial journey of the company was not good for a couple of years. Most probable reasons are…

New Entity –

OnePlus was a new company in the smartphone industry. For a new entity the biggest challenges is to compete with existing entities of the industry.

Starting With a Mid-Range Devices –

This can be a positive and a negative as well.

Let us first understand the negative, being a non-popular entity it would take lots of efforts to make customer buy the product of mid-range pricing.

Positive is that at that time the mid-range category of smartphone was easy to capture and that’s what the company did.

Look at the J-Curve of OnePlus’s Popularity in the past years…

[Case Study] How OnePlus Topped in The Indian Market

If you study the above graph carefully will find that being a new company it became popular to some extent…

There after the popularity is declined because company failed to meet the user’s requirement and provide them with the after sales support.

It was in 2016 when OnePlus studies the flaws in the product and the service and they filled up the every possible loophole and then the popularity regains its pace of growth.

Since then company never had a downfall mainly because they regularly ask for a feedback and fill in the loopholes in the product, service and company.

[Case Study] How OnePlus Topped in The Indian Market

The Best Is Yet To Come

It is just a beginning for OnePlus, past six year have been great for the company and they have a bigger smartphone market share in India. The brand has grown so well even in the rural area without any physical means.

The major cities of India such as Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, every major or minor city you could think off.  

The best of the best is on the way, the OnePlus Bullets Launched in the recent past and so they are preparing for the launch of OnePlus Television.

OnePlus has a growing demand and every middle class individual wants to own a particular device, main reason behind it is the High End Features at a Mid-Range Price.

The brand is working hard day and night to collaborate with different brands and make the product available to the customer at the cheapest price possible.


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