“India is important and community building is paramount” – Pete Lau

OnePlus is by no means a small or new player in the mobile market. They have stormed on to the mobile front with the OnePlus One, totally captured the public imagination. They turned the whole flagship game on it’s head by making a nearly perfect powerhouse in the form of the OnePlus One and pricing at a point where people couldn’t believe it. They have held their own since and done so admirably.  We recently caught up with Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus and had a very informative conversation with him.

Pete Lau

Pete has a very unassuming and down to earth demeanor, you feel like you are talking to your friend from college. Absolutely no airs or any other frills that you would expect when you meet the CEO of one of the most happening brands in recent times. When you ask him something, you can very clearly see that a lot of thought goes into formulating the response. He takes a pause and responds very thoroughly. There aren’t any short responses. It was almost a Zen-like focus that one could discern when talking to him.

We decided to talk to him about things that lead into the near and long term plans that OnePlus has for India and in general too. Here are the highlights of the chat

With the OnePlus Team

 

What does 2016 look like for OnePlus? From a planning and expansion perspective

We have established a very good standing of our own as a brand and a device maker. People know that we make unique and well thought out devices that are more focused on delivering a world class experience. We plan to take that forward. We will be making significant strides in reaching out, connecting and engaging with our community. They are the key focus for our growth further.

We know that there are device makers who are launching almost a device a month, we will stick to our policy of one device every six months and we do not plan to change that. Our devices standout from the crowd and that is where we will focus.

One of the key areas that is important to us is the India Journey. We plan to start sustained community building and frequent messaging to engage the community here. India has a unique community that can understand tech and and at the same time is also very focused on their individual experiences with tech. The young indian is very important to us and she/he will be at the leading end of our reach out.

From a device standpoint, the OnePlus Three, will be up next, probably in the second quarter of 2016.

What are the India specific points in your strategy that you are excited about?

Like I said, the young indian is important to us. We will be setting up a nation-wide network with our engaged fans and the young people. We plan to expand our footprint at campuses and other similar locations where young people thrive. This we will do across the country. We have a lot of interesting and exciting communication capsules and activities in our mind to reach out to the young.

Further, the Make In India angle will get strengthened and our endeavor will be make a major percentage of the OnePlus devices sold in India here itself. This is the plan and we are starting the action towards that in phases. India is one of, if not the biggest market for us. Naturally we will be prioritizing our India Strategy high in our global plans.

OnePlus is widely regarded as a bold brand that makes devices that define or create segments, what’s the key to that?

Like I have said in the past, The Nexus devices created the online paradigm in mobile buying. OnePlus is taking that further, we are making very powerful and well designed devices that have practical pricing. We are focused on experience being the driver and not the hardware specs alone.  Our line of devices starting with the OnePlus One, and the OnePlus Two and recently the OnePlus X are testament to that. Our focus is not the competition, it is the value we deliver to the user and given that the mobile phone is now a lifestyle feature, we try to make it the best.

Our Team is committed to taking this philosophy forward. We make no compromises in the processes that lead up to a device and hence we stick to our release cycles for devices. We are not here to blanket the market with too many devices, we are here to make THE device every time we make one. The support of  our fans has been invaluable in keeping this going.

So, is the OnePlus Three going to be a radically new design that will again define a segment?

All I can say now is that we are working on the device to make it a very useful, good looking and well performing one. The rest, you will have to wait and watch like everyone else. I don’t want to be spoiling the excitement at the early stage! What’s the fun in that?

What do you want to tell your Indian user base?

You are very important to us and this year, we will keep talking to you to understand how to make our special relationship even better for the both of us. And we will cover the entire country in this effort!

With that, it was time to wind the chat down, Pete comes across as a very determined and focused person who has India very firmly in his sights. And that is very good news for people who are following OnePlus here. The future looks exciting and we wish Pete and his time all the very best to keep the flag flying high!

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