Amazon has better reach than physical retailers: Vikas Agarwal
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Amazon has better reach than physical retailers: Vikas Agarwal

Vikas Agarwal, GM, India, OnePlus says Amazon has a better reach than any major retailer in the country.

OnePlus, a technology start-up that is committed to the best possible technology to users around the world, has so far given the big Indian mobile tech companies a run for their money. When the Chinese phonemaker announced its third major phone launch in India, after OnePlus One and its successor OnePlus Two, customers literally queued up online to get their hands on the phone.

Terminating the invite-only sales model for their previous devices, including the latest OnePlus X, and rumours suggesting the launch of OnePlus 3, whose images the Internet and social media channels seem to be lauding – the Chinese phonemaker may, in just two years of its entry in India, have something else up its sleeve too. Retailer media caught up with Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, India at OnePlus and discussed the brand’s only-online strategy, future plans (Agarwal didn’t speak much about the much-awaited OnePlus 3 official launch) and everybody’s favourite smartphone market that is India.

Did you ever think OnePlus was going to change of rules of mobile tech in India?
We have always thought that! OnePlus we started a year and a half back, in December 2014, with OnePlus One. It has been a runaway success. Everybody bought that phone! We started selling through invites, and with such a focussed approach and limited market, India has undoubtedly become one of our major and biggest markets globally. If you include Europe and US, it is the single biggest country and one of the biggest regions. We are very proud of that fact!

Since then we have launched two more devices OnePlus Two and OnePlus X, which have also done extremely well. We are very positive and bullish about India.

You are coming up with OnePlus 3, is the company ready with the launch?
You will know when it comes out! I don’t want to discuss any further.

When will you start selling phones offline, or in physical stores?
In our case, it is slightly different. Because we are an online-only brand. We do not sell offline, primarily because of the complexities associated with the physical retail channel in the country and the cost inefficiencies. Online, on the other hand, allows us to connect better with our users. We know who our users are, we can actually reach out to them, better engage with them. From our perspective, Amazon can reach out to a customer better than an offline retailer any day. That’s also part of our business strategy in India, focussing on the online channel has always had us connect better with our fans and users.

What are your views on 100 per cent FDI in online market places?
Sooner of later it will happen. There is no reason why Indian customers do not get an access to the International brands. I think it is a step towards the future. The Indian customer is catching up with the global markets, our consumption of the retail brands is very less but we will eventually catch up to the global standards. And more and more people will look out for these International brands. Also, then Indian brands would have to step up to the level of global standards.

What, according to you, have been the mantras for OnePlus’ success in India?
Focus on the customer; one should never lose the trust of their customers; focus on shipping the products, because for the online market deliveries are very critical; customer service and keeping your prices low. The moment you raise the prices, customers will start looking for alternatives. Keeping our cost to the bare minimum is definitely one of our mantras that have worked.

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