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OnePlus to Appoint ‘Student Ambassadors’ to Connect with Youth in India

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus would appoint ‘student ambassadors’ for augmenting the brand connect in India.

The brand, predominately sold online, has yet not tied with any celebrity, and instead followed a distinct marketing and publicity strategy.

“We would be visiting degree colleges to select ‘student ambassadors’ for connecting the youth with our brand. This year, we plan to appoint such ambassadors in at least 10 educational institutions,” OnePlus India general manager Vikas Agarwal told Business Standard here.

He said these students would be paid stipend and offered training, internship and global travel support during the tenure of their association with OnePlus.“Later, depending upon mutual understanding, they could also be provided with an opportunity to join the company as well,” he informed.

Meanwhile, the company is gearing up to start printed circuit board (PCB) level manufacturing at its non-captive unit in Noida. “In fact, the trials have already started for the PCB grade manufacturing at our Noida plant, which commenced operations in 2015.” Currently, OnePlus figures among the top three premium segment brands in India longside Samsung and Apple.

Unlike Samsung, OnePlus does not cater the budget category market, which constitutes the bulk of the domestic mobile phone market with almost 100 million units. The premium segment comprising handsets of Rs 30,000+ price tags is pegged at about 6 million pieces annually. Budget segment refers to handsets with price tag of less than Rs 15,000.

However, OnePlus is slowly adopting the physical store format and collaborating with modern retail chain Chroma, he informed. “We have found that offline availability of handsets actually boosts the online sales too, since the people get an opportunity to see the actual product, which enhances the brand connect.”

Agarwal was in town to announce the launch of a physical store in a Lucknow mall. He said the company’s latest offering OnePlus 6 had become its fastest selling smartphone clocking a million milestone globally in 22 days of launch, compared to its earlier bestseller, OnePlus 5T, which had taken 3 months to sell a million pieces.

OnePlus 6 was launched globally on May 22 and it was the first smartphone released in India featuring Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor with 8GB RAM and up to 256 GB storage.

“Our ‘one flagship a year’ strategy has helped us remain focused on creating superior products. Lucknow is a key market in India. There is a growing segment of tech savvy users upgrading to premium smartphones,” Agarwal added.

With India contributing almost a third of its sales, OnePlus is making India its home market and relocating key management posts here. It is the fastest growing premium smartphone brand in India, according to Counterpoint Research (Q1 2018), indicating it grew 192 per cent in the premium segment capturing 25 per cent of the share. – Business Standard

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