OnePlus is on a mission to storm into the public discourse, disrupt segments and make devices that are superlative. The Year 2016 has been a brilliant one for them. The OnePlus 3 has clearly been the phone of the year. It has set the benchmark for any other high end device that comes in next. OnePlus has boldly upgraded the OP3 mid-cycle with the OnePlus 3T and it’s already a hit. We caught up with Vikas Agarwal, GM, OnePlus India to talk all things OP with him
2016 has been a brilliant year for OnePlus. Thoughts?
We are a company that firmly believes in letting our devices do the talking. Our devices talk and people listen. People respond with happiness and loyalty when they experience our devices. We have a firm policy of engagement based feedback from the community fueling our products and that has stood us in good stead. We know who our target users are and they know us very well. All the listening we did when we launched the OnePlus 2 has helped make the OnePlus 3 what it is today, the phone of the year. Every bit of feedback was taken, analyzed and incorporated into our production cycle. We are very happy that people are liking the way we work. The sentiment is seen clearly in the adulation and appreciation that the OnePlus 3 has garnered. Experts, reviewers and users love the device and we are thrilled to bits about that.
The OnePlus One was your only phone that had two variants, now a mid-cycle upgrade to the OnePlus 3 in the form of the OnePlus 3T, isn’t that risky? Why fix something that is not broken?
Let me explain our perspective, we have been pioneers and early movers in many aspects in the devices arena, we were the first to make 3 GB RAM the default memory on our devices, our first device had 64 GB internal storage. We were the first to have a device that has only a 6 GB RAM version and no lower variant. High end experience that is flawless and perfect is our mission and even when the OnePlus 3 was getting accolades all over for being the best in the segment, we were listening. People told us that it’s perfect, but more battery, more storage would be a huge plus from an experience standpoint, we listened and decided that it would not be fair to make them wait for a year to give that to them, hence the OnePlus 3T, two versions of the same product with subtle but key improvements. We are happy to see the response and traction that it has garnered in just a few days after launch. Our thought process stands validated. Having said that, the OnePlus 3 users can be assured that they are going to get everything that the OnePlus 3T gets by way of updates and hence there’s no cause to worry.
The OnePlus pop up events are now a global thing that people look forward to. How did that happen?
The pop up events are like family gatherings for us, they are executed with the fans and users playing vital roles. We go there to actually celebrate the goodwill and love that they have for us and more importantly to listen to them. The listening helps us a lot. As a team, we have been very clear that community is the key pillar for our growth and we have that very firmly in our focus, we have plans to increase and constructively build up the good engagement we have. Coming back to the pop up, when we get there to set up and see a queue already there from early morning waiting for us, it feels like we have returned home from long travel and our family is right there to greet us. These meetings energize us to keep going and keep making superlative devices
How was the festive season for OnePlus from a numbers standpoint?
We are a company that makes good devices and hence does not have huge leftover stock to dispose off with festival “discounts”. We have a good grip on the pulse and we are managing the supply chain optimally. If you look at even the OnePlus One, there really hasn’t been much of a price drop on it. We do not believe in that model. Coming to your question, the festive season has gone very well for us and in terms of numbers we have performed. Again I would attribute that to our target buyer, someone who knows what they want from their device and will not compromise on the experience. We are very focused on business fundamentals and we are not here to play the low cost game. If you look at our devices, they are the same in all geographies and there are no underwhelming ones in one region and high end ones in another, we are globally focused on providing the same experience to all users.
Any other updates for your Indian community?
We are in the process of making the OnePlus 3T in India and this will be a big step for us. It is testimony to the fact that India is a key market for us and we are here for the long haul. Going forward you will see more steps coming in the same direction from us as a brand. India is another home and not just a branch office for us.