OnePlus, on Monday inaugurated its first global research and development (R&D) center in the Indian city of Hyderabad. The R&D facility was inaugurated by Pete Lau, Founder & CEO of OnePlus along with Former Minister of Telangana, K. T. Rama Rao and Principal Secretary for IT and Industries, Jayesh Ranjan.
Over the course of the next three years, OnePlus intends to put as much as Rs 1,000 crore into creating its biggest R&D center, right here in Vamsiram’s Sohini Tech Park, Nanakramguda, Hyderabad.
OnePlus decided to establish an R&D centre in Hyderabad as it is a major centre for startups and MNCs. It wouldn’t be wrong to call it one of the biggest IT hubs in India. Moreover, the Chinese electronics maker believes that the city attracts a lot of talent in the area of emerging technologies and as such, it will help generate more employment opportunities.
The company already has a workforce of 200 people for its Hyderabad R&D center and Lau mentioned that some of the Product Managers are being relocated to Hyderabad to assist in a more inclusive development.
OnePlus also conducts a campus hiring program in major premiere universities and institutes of India like the IITs, to provide opportunities and nurture young talents. The R&D centre will warpcharge this program with an aim to generate more interest amongst youngsters.
What will the OnePlus R&D center do?
Lau also revealed that the R&D facility will be home to three OnePlus Labs. These include the camera lab, networking and communications lab and automation lab.
The new R&D facility will headline development of India exclusive features for OxygenOS and drive 5G network deployment for India, Europe and the UK. But, that’s not all. The centre will also work on global product development, improving cameras, AI and performance tests.
OnePlus has a dedicated camera lab in Taiwan and the company now wants to set up a second and an equally compelling lab in India.
Vikas Aggarwal, General Manager OnePlus India, stated that the company will be taking part in the 5G spectrum trials sometime later this year. The Hyderabad R&D center is expected to play a major role in testing 5G connectivity for its products but we don’t have a definite timeline for the same, yet.
What’s more for India?
OnePlus currently holds the top position in the premium smartphone segment in India. It has captured 43% of the segment in India and 2% globally, which is enough for it to be listed amongst the top five premium smartphone companies of the world.
While discussing the company’s plans for India, Pete Lau said, “In three years, we plan to grow the new R&D centre in Hyderabad into our biggest globally. We plan to re-focus our R&D efforts on a large scale and drive innovations in India for the global product, especially on the software side with special emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, 5G and IoT.”
Apart from its online exclusive partnership with Amazon India, OnePlus is also present in the offline space with 15 OnePlus experience stores and over 1500 partner stores.
The company is also looking at large format experience stores as a viable option in its expanding offline strategy. The first OnePlus experience store is also being constructed in Hyderabad and is expected to be fully functional by the next quarter.
OnePlus plans to take this concept of large format super experience stores to major metro cities in the next 2-3 years. Besides, now that the R&D centre is operational, OnePlus wants to produce and source more components locally, in line with the Indian government’s Make in India strategy.