OnePlus India Interviews: Vikas - General Manager (2/2)

  1. Emmanuel
    Marketing Nov 7, 2014

    Emmanuel , Nov 7, 2014 :
    Thank you all for participating in the OnePlus India Interview. We've selected a list of questions from the previous thread to ask our India General Manager Vikas. It's time for you to read on for insightful responses about OnePlus.


    Dear Friends,

    I am honoured by the love and affection shown by the fellow forum members. Being an unknown entity till few days back, I am proud to be graciously accepted as part of our big yet close-knitted OnePlus family.

    I am glad that these questions were asked as it pushed me to think deep on several of seemingly trivial but very critical questions. Some of the popular questions which are not answered in detail below are related to our launch date, price, sales model and service offering.

    Some of these details are contingent on external factors that are beyond our control whereas others are strategically important. We hope you understand our concern and appreciate our stand. As communicated earlier, we are working hard to close last few pending action items. We have always been very upfront in our communication with our forum members and be assured, launch details will be shared as soon as we go live.

    Question from @kanakdas12
    • Why do you think OP thinks India is a different game?
    Unlike our other global markets, India is probably the fastest growing and the least penetrated smartphone market. In addition, the huge untapped opportunity has gained the attention of all major brands that makes it fiercely competitive. Moreover, there is hardly any brand connect or loyalty towards any brand despite the presence of several over the last few years. We believe that there is a good opportunity to establish a customer-centric brand as current players have failed to capitalize on their first mover advantage.

    • Which bollywood character you think is close to your personality?
    Closest bollywood character would be Farhan Akhtar or Aamir Khan as both are very thoughtful and quality-focused performers. Both have dabbled and excelled in diverse activities and love to challenge themselves. Despite being big stars, they both are non-pretentious, extremely comfortable with newcomers and live a relatively low-key private life.

    Question from @thehashbd
    • What is your favourite rock band?
    I’m more of a Ghazal lover than a rock fan as I find ghazals more peaceful and meaningful. My favourite is of course Ghazal King Late Jagjit Singh.

    Question from @K Pandi
    • What about your plan for service support in India?
    Service is undoubtedly the top priority for us. With a long-term approach, we want our customers to enjoy the experience with a peace of mind over the life cycle of the product. We want them to be our brand ambassadors and help us spread the word about us. In fact, ensuring quality service is one of the key reasons for opening a local office in India.

    Question from @ku atone
    • What did you like in OnePlus company and mobile?
    OnePlus stands out from competition due to its focus on fundamentals (absolute focus on customer needs and not gimmicks), high-quality standards and long-term commitment. In addition, the positive energy and sheer creative talent in the OnePlus team is highly infectious and motivating. The OnePlus philosophy of Never Settle in pursuit of perfection really resonates with the vision for my dream company.

    I love the ergonomic design, solid build and choice of materials in the OnePlus One. The Sandstone Black cover is unanimously appreciated and offers a differentiated experience. The phone hardly feels like a 5.5” device and even my wife finds it easy to use with one hand. I like its frequent updates, customization options, battery longevity, crystal clear display and sound quality. I also found the heat dissipation really good as it hardly heats up despite continuous usage of over 30 minutes.

    Question from @sekhar_tr
    • Can you please describe OPO's selection process for GM? Were candidates expected to be part of this forum to be eligible for an interview invite?
    It was a transparent selection process wherein candidates from all backgrounds and profiles applied and shortlisted for subsequent rounds. In addition to listing on various forums, the team had directly partnered with select top institutes to share the opening with their alumni database. The selection process consisted of a mix of case studies and several rounds of discussions with various team members.

    Prior knowledge about the brand and forum membership was a plus but not necessary. While some of the other candidates had equally strong pedigree and relevant professional experience, I probably edged them on the cultural fit, shared vision, relevant experience, entrepreneurial spirit and clarity on execution roadmap.

    Question from @isumit96
    • How desi are you?
    Shat Pratishat (Cent Percent / 100%)

    • Do you speak bhojpuri or magahi? I do btw.
    No but I don’t find it very different from the dialect and language spoken in rural areas of western UP (my home region).

    • How much do you like Jalebies?
    As a kid, I used to like them a lot. Now, only at wedding parties do I get to eat Jalebies.

    • Were you using the OnePlus One before you became a part of the company?
    No. I was a Nexus fan until recently (I had bought six Nexus series phones and a tablet so far for my family). Nexus used to be reasonably priced in those days.

    Question from @VishnuvardhanPP
    • What are your greatest hurdles in a market like this?
    The biggest challenge faced by mobile companies in India is delivering reliable post-purchase support. Considering the huge geographical spread and diverse demographics, brands are highly dependent on unpredictable service support provided by 3P vendors. Despite the good intentions and paying premium in pursuit of better service, brands rarely get the desired level of service quality in return. While there is no easy solution, one way to address the issue is a robust grievance redressal mechanism which resolves the escalations on priority.

    The other major challenges are product differentiation and cost-effective distribution channel. However, these are addressable if you have financial muscle or a superior product.

    Question from @FAROOK
    • Will all accessories be released along with the launch event in India?
    Launching all accessories at launch is neither feasible nor advisable. As a startup, we have budgetary and production constraints and thus have to minimize our risk exposure at every step. Based on user feedback and our understanding of the market, we will gradually launch more accessories.

    Question from @viraaj11
    • Previous mobile phones?
    My last phone was a Nexus 5 and, prior to that, the other Nexus series phones. I still use the Nexus 7 Tab.

    Before Nexus, I used company-provided multiple Blackberry phones for close 4 years. During college, I had used Nokia mobiles (5700, E50, N79 etc). My first phone was a Panasonic GD75.

    Question from @raam31
    • I feel OnePlus had good opportunity to launch OnePlus One during Diwali season, companies like Moto and Xiaomi took advantage, how are you planning to recover from this lost opportunity?
    Agree that we lost an easy opportunity but it is okay in the larger scheme of things. We successfully launched the pre-order system and initiated expansion to several other countries during the same period. We are here for the long haul and there is never a shortage of opportunities in India.

    Question from @yupasana55
    • Are you hiring from india?
    Yes. Please visit the Career section at OnePlus to see our current openings.

    Question from @anchit3
    • Regarding payment, will only Paypal work? Will it be possible to pay directly using credit cards like when purchasing plane tickets, movie tickets?
    Yes, all popular payment modes will be available.

    • As for warranty, what kind of provisions are in place if a defective product is delivered
    Be assured, all warranty related issues will be suitably taken care of.

    Question from @sushilkansal
    • Since you seem to be a vegetarian, how do you plan to eat through the competitive sharks in the mobile industry?
    Interestingly, sharks are known to be afraid of dolphin sounds or a pack of dolphins. Our simple strategy is to solely focus on user satisfaction to build a strong community of informed and loyal users through word-of-mouth publicity as our sole promotion strategy. The collective might of our users would be sufficient to deter competitors and thwart any predatory attempt.

    However, I am not sure if bigger players really consider as a threat. We have a long way to go before we make a dent in their market share. Moreover, it is better to focus on business fundamentals and ground execution than to think of outsmarting competition. Customers are also smart enough to differentiate and make the right choice. Also, the market is sufficiently big for all players to co-exist at least in the near future.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

  2. thehashbd
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 7, 2014

    thehashbd , Nov 7, 2014 :
    yay... first to comment:)

    One of my question got answered but still there are no details released regarding the Indian launch :confused::rolleyes:o_O:);):(
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

  3. Elstron
    Gingerbread Nov 7, 2014

    Elstron , Nov 7, 2014 :
    At least tell us about the price at which OPO will launch in India?

  4. r.aditya1987
    Honeycomb Nov 7, 2014

    r.aditya1987 , Nov 7, 2014 :
    Seems like u picked all the "right" questions!! All the questions on everyone's mind have been answered!!
    Like how much will OPO cost in india..
    When will you launch?
    How will the invite system work etc. etc..

    I am sure u liking ghazals is good enough an anwer for all these questions!! :)

  5. thehashbd
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 7, 2014

  6. mridulrajk
    Froyo Nov 7, 2014

    mridulrajk , Nov 7, 2014 :
    Good stuff. Gmail worked well with invite based activation. So much for exclusivity. Innovative tricks to attract more folks would be the next challenge.

    thehashbd likes this.
  7. cabhay
    KitKat Nov 7, 2014

  8. ndr696969
    KitKat Nov 7, 2014

    ndr696969 , Nov 7, 2014 :
    the only new thing learnt from these chosen questions and answers and this topic in general is HOW THE GM of INDIA LOOKS LIKE .
    Still doesnt even give hints about indian availability and the system that will be used !

  9. r.aditya1987
    Honeycomb Nov 7, 2014

    r.aditya1987 , Nov 7, 2014 :
    Manager jokes are going off in my head!!! sirjeee aap to manager nikle!! :p

    Knows everything except about the product!

    All questions have politically correct answer!

    AAP KA NUMBER AAEGA, you just have to wait!! :D

  10. larryripper
    Eclair Nov 7, 2014

    larryripper , Nov 7, 2014 :
    Thanks for answers all the questions asked but there were many irrelevant questions asked which was not necessary at all.

    Lets_Lose and thehashbd like this.
  11. Gaurav Gandhi
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 7, 2014

    Gaurav Gandhi , Nov 7, 2014 :
    I am a very satisfied Oneplus one user in India using an imported handset 64 GB sandstone black (Global Version). Will u assure warranty to me.
    Also I want to link my phone to my ID (Alias) how can I do that.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

    gmsm and thehashbd like this.
  12. sandeep_m72
    Donut Nov 7, 2014

  13. BOBINS
    Froyo Nov 7, 2014

    BOBINS , Nov 7, 2014 :
    You didn't answer the most important Question

    When is the so-called 'India specific Invites' going to roll-out?
    And, additionally what is the criteria to get an invite?

  14. aayushthakore
    Gingerbread Nov 7, 2014

  15. indianblood
    Gingerbread Nov 7, 2014

    indianblood , Nov 7, 2014 :
    The one thing i dont get is why do so many companies not fully utilize the indian market for the rapid growth. Quality products sell in quantity and i'd think 1 Billion + customer base is should be a top priority. Instead were are always behind on releases we always have to wait months b4 products are available in india compared to us,europe etc
    I can take the argument that super high end phones like iphone etc may not sell in large quantities in india, but reasonably priced phones always perform well here. ex xiomi
    Did one plus forget india ?
    why were not a part of the initial launch countries ?
    I think i speak for everyone when i say we're really tired of settling . I hope when opo does finally correct its mistake and launches here , it doesn't start trickling the india specific invites. At Least hold a single pre order for india where us loyal patient supporters can get our phones in one swoop then trickle the invites . I have been waiting months to get an opo now i dont want to spend months trying to get an invite..
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2014

  16. aayushthakore
    Gingerbread Nov 7, 2014

  17. r.aditya1987
    Honeycomb Nov 7, 2014

    aayushthakore and thehashbd like this.
  18. ynaveen6183
    Eclair Nov 7, 2014

    ynaveen6183 , Nov 7, 2014 :
    The First question should be answered is" when are u going to launch OPO in INDIA".Without answering that i think u have answered unnecessary questions :(.I am sure u are going to lose some of the fans

  19. nareshb
    Gingerbread Nov 7, 2014

  20. hrituss
    Honeycomb Nov 7, 2014

    hrituss , Nov 7, 2014 :
    The Interview doesn't have a single question about India specific invite system, Indian sale mechanism, expected price in India. From this I think we should infer that it woulnd't be launched till january and price is not yet fixed. Hope MI launches Mi4 with a 15,000 rs price tag so that OPO would come up with a competitive price as well.