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OnePlus plans to invest ₹1,000 crore in R&D facility in Hyderabad

Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus

Pete Lau, founder and CEO of OnePlus   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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The global R&D facility, the company’s first in India, will have a headcount of 1,500.

Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus plans to invest ₹1,000 crore on its research and development (R&D) facility in Hyderabad over the next three years.

The global R&D facility, the company’s first in India, will have a headcount of 1,500. Currently, it employed over 200 people.

“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,” Pete Lau, OnePlus founder and CEO and a poster boy for the start-up world, said here on Monday.

He said this while pointing out how India is already an important market for the five-year-old start-up, contributing to over one-third of its revenues.

At 1,86,000 sq ft, spread over five floors, the R&D centre will be one of the largest such of OnePlus and play a critical role in the development of Artificial Intelligence and Machine learning in OnePlus products.

₹100 crore 5G Lab

One of the features of the R&D centre will be a 5G lab to be established with an investment of ₹100 crore, said Mr. Lau, who spoke at the inauguration of a part of the R&D centre and to media later.

The new facility will house three labs, camera, communications and networking labs, and automation labs that will focus heavily on camera development, 5G testing, software with a focus on AI and performance testing, a release said.

The leading player in the premium smart phone segment also plans to grow its offline retail presence in major cities and tap into the vast online sales potential emerging from tier II and III markets.

A 16,000 sq ft experiential centre is another facility the OnePlus is setting up here. It will be ready next quarter, Vikas Agarwal, General Manager, said.

Telangana IT and Industries Secretary Jayesh Ranjan and working president of the ruling TRS K.T. Rama Rao, who addressed the inaugural event, urged OnePlus to scale up its operations in the State.

Mr. Rao, who was formerly Industries and IT Minister, said OnePlus should also consider setting up manufacturing facility in Hyderabad. Currently, the phones are made in Noida.

To queries later on whether the company would consider such a move, Mr. Lau said it was too early to comment or decide about a new plant, but he would be visiting Hyderabad next month to take a look at a few sites.

Mr. Lau, who spoke in Mandarin and interacted with the assistance of interpreters, said the company would by December start exporting phones from Noida, something for which the facility was likely to be expanded.

On its decision for setting up the R&D centre in Hyderabad, the company said it weighed in several critical factors especially the talent pool and active start-up zones in the country.

The facility overall will focus on 5 areas including network, global carrier customisation, OxygenOS native apps, global product development, software innovation and finally, testing.

With regards to software and network, the centre will specifically work on the development of India-specific OxygenOS features including OnePlus applications design and development and drive the 5G enablement for regions like India, EU and the U.K, the release said.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:37:05 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/oneplus-plans-to-invest-1000-crore-in-rd-facility/article29260745.ece

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