Oppo has been one of the major handset players in the Indian market. They have made huge investments in beefing up the manufacturing of smartphones in India. Recently we caught up with Damyant Singh Khanoria, Chief Marketing Officer, Oppo India. Here are teh excerpts from the interaction.
Oppo 5G Strategy
TMI: 5G networks have started rolling out in India, what kind of testing is Oppo doing to make sure its smartphones provide that functionality seamlessly to users?
Damyant: Oppo has been a pioneer of 5G technology in India and has been relentlessly working with the Government of India, several research institutes and telecom players to help implement and roll out 5G in India. OPPO defined new directions and technologies by setting up the industry-first 5G field tests across multiple cities at different frequency bands and scenarios to provide its users with the most comprehensive 5G experience. We also established our 5G innovation lab in India to support the country in path-breaking 5G innovations and applications.
We are a leading player in DSS, VONR, SA network slicing, and other technologies and are a leader in the number of 5G standard-related patents. Currently, all our 5G devices support 5G on a non-standalone network and users can experience seamless video calling, lag-free gaming on the cloud, and blazing-fast data upload and downloads on all OPPO 5G smartphones across categories.
The team at Oppo India R&D has also been working to enable standalone 5G support at the earliest. We initiated an intensive R&D process for the SA update on our smartphones in September 2022, and the team is working tirelessly to make all our 5G devices 100% compatible at the earliest.
OPPO has filed applications for over 4,900 families of global patent applications, declared over 2200 families of 5G standard patents to the ETSI, and submitted more than 8,000 5G standard-related proposals to 3GPP.
Oppo Killer Price Tag
TMI: Oppo is among the select few phone brands in India that manufacture not only end-to-end smartphones for their brand but also other brands like Realme and OnePlus as well. Why is it that we don’t see a killer price tag associated with OPPO phones?
Damyant: Oppo is a company that constantly innovates in its products. To this end, we spend on R&D activities that are geared to enhance the experience when you use an Oppo product. Take, for instance, our battery technologies like SuperVOOC, which has safely increased charging speeds in smartphones and BHE (Battery Health Engine) which has doubled the number of charge cycles from the industry standard of 800 to 1600 charge cycles.
These not only increase the life of the device but also pave the way for newer sustainable technologies. Similarly, Oppo has been at the forefront of camera innovations, whether it is an RGBW camera sensor that captures more light, MariSiliconX that results in cleared and brighter videos in low light, and even algorithms that result in better portrait photos. All of these technologies gradually percolate down to our entry-level devices.
In addition to building innovative products, we focus on building a long-lasting relationship with! our customers through a seamless after-sales experience. After establishing a wide network of 560+ centres in 500+ cities, we have started pick-and-drop repair services to take customer convenience to the next level. The send-in repair is operational across 13,000 pin codes in India. Oppo provides the industry’s best TAT (Turn Around Time) for returning devices within a week.
we have started pick-and-drop repair services to take customer convenience to the next level
Oppo, as a brand, believes in delivering value, and we do it in a way that goes beyond plain hardware specs but is all about user experience.
Oppo and its Offline strategy
TMI: Oppo has been strengthening its offline reach considerably in the last few years. Is it impacting the pricing of your smartphones?
Damyant: I believe we have addressed the question of pricing in the previous question. As a consumer-centric brand, we at OPPO India focus on providing our consumers with an overall premium smartphone experience from purchase to after-sales. We follow an omnichannel retail strategy to make technology more accessible even to consumers from the deepest parts of India.
Over the last eight years, we have developed a strong chain of 65,000+ retailers across the country. Further, we are expanding our online presence with the OPPO e-store, WhatsApp delivery and through strategic collaborations with e-commerce partners like Flipkart and Amazon. Leveraging these relationships, we have driven creative campaigns like the first-ever smartphone live-streaming sale with Flipkart for the Reno series.
we have developed a strong chain of 65,000+ retailers across the country
OPPO is committed to making cutting-edge technology available to consumers wherever they might be in India.
Oppo Factory in India
TMI: What do you manufacture at the OPPO factory in India, and how many Indian employees do you have there?
Damyant: Oppo India has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in India based in Greater Noida that’s backed by a strong investment of INR 2400 crore. Our facility is segregated into four sections: Assembly, SMT (Surface Mount Technology), Storage, and Supply Warehouse. We are aligned with the government’s vision of Make In India, and we can produce one smartphone every three seconds.
The super-machines at the SMT section, for instance, can hold 37,000 micro-components per hour. The manufacturing plant is spread across a 110-acre campus, and we have a strong workforce of 10,000 employees at the factory. All the employees at the plant undergo a rigorous training programme that covers technical skills and troubleshooting abilities, ensuring value creation, precision of work, and quality management.
We are aligned with the government’s vision of Make In India, and we can produce one smartphone every three seconds
With a focus on making technology more accessible, Oppo has constantly been working on building a robust ecosystem between our manufacturing and R&D capabilities.
Oppo Phone Batteries – Where are they made?
TMI: Do you manufacture phone batteries in India? Why do they have both Made in India and China labelling?
Damyant: Oppo India manufactures the batteries for its smartphones in the country, and the cell for the same is currently imported. In adherence to the regulations regarding the BIS certification, OPPO mentions the country of manufacture for the cells.
The Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and the Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC) for the battery are added to the cells in India. All the required testing is also performed locally. In keeping with India’s requirements, it is necessary to reflect the manufacturing site as India on the finished battery as well. The battery registration number can be checked on the BIS site for all OPPO devices.
As a committed partner to Make in India, all our current smartphones sold in India are made in India.
Manufacturing in India
TMI: OPPO has made considerable investments in mobile manufacturing in India. Can we see India becoming an end-to-end mobile manufacturing hub in the next five years?
Damyant: Oppo India has invested heavily to enhance the country’s manufacturing prowess, and we will continue to support local manufacturing.
We recently launched Vihan to support the government’s vision of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’
Under this, we will invest USD 60million in the next five years to empower SMEs and MSMEs to amplify their operations and, in turn, strengthen the local supply chain for a robust smartphone ecosystem in India.
Oppo India has collaborated with the government and the industry in encouraging around 30 tier-1 suppliers to set up operations in India. The initiative has led to employment generation for tens of thousands of Indian locals contributing to developing the electronics industry and enhancing India’s stature in the global value chains.
Oppo Foldable India Launch
TMI: Do you plan to unfold the Foldables in India anytime soon?
Damyant: Each Oppo smartphone product launch plan considers the company’s current market strategy, and our Fold device is no exception. Oppo will continue to create products and services with user experience at its core, so please stay tuned with us for more new products and cutting-edge technology from Oppo.