Chinese smartphone maker – OnePlus – opened its first Indian research and development (R&D) facility in the city. It plans to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the next three years to develop the facility which was opened by TRS working president K T Rama Rao, Telangana IT and Industries department principal secretary Jayesh Ranjan and OnePlus founder and CEO Pete Lau.

OnePlus, which entered India in 2014, already has a manufacturing facility in Noida and with this R&D centre it is aiming to make India its biggest market outside of its headquarters. The facility spread over 1,86,000 sq ft of user area already has 200 employees working and the company plans to hire 1,500 people in the next two to three years.

“We plan to develop our base in India in three phase manner – one through expanding the Made in India concept, two by investing heavily in employing Indian talents and three by strengthening India as an innovation hub for domestic and global markets. The facility will focus on technologies like 5G, Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence,” said Lau.

The smartphone maker is also looking at relocating product managers from other global facilities to this centre and aims to have 25-30 per cent of its employees to be fresh talent. It plans to scout talent from top engineering institutes like the IITs and the NITs and hire about 100 fresher’s this year.

Speaking on what kind of development will happen from the centre, Vikas Agarwal, general manager, OnePlus India said, “The centre will lead the development on our operating system and it will have three labs – Camera Lab, Automation Lab and Networking and Connectivity Lab, which will work on 5G technology developments.”

OnePlus also pointed out that its largest experience store is all set to go live in Hyderabad by end of this year. It will also be looking at exporting its phones that are manufactured at the Noida facility to countries like US and Europe by end of this year.

Ranjan said, “It is satisfying to see that Hyderabad has emerged on top after OnePlus has evaluated several factors and considered several cities globally. I congratulate OnePlus on setting up this beautiful R&D facility at the Vamsiram’s Sohini Tech Park near the Wipro
TRS working president KT Rama Rao was in his element on Monday while delivering the inaugural

address at the opening of the first R&D centre of OnePlus in India, subtly lacing his pitch for business with wit and humour.

The former State IT Minister, who has more than once in the past displayed his comfort levels not only with IT leaders, but also foreign delegations, slipped into the role of a business and investment motivator with panache, speaking about the facilities that Hyderabad has to offer, to the city being the ‘cuisine capital of India.’

Addressing Pete Lau, the founder and CEO of OnePlus, the TRS leader said the former, during a quick conversation between the two, had pointed out that Hyderabad had great many attributes that could lead it to become the Shenzhen of India. “I do believe your words will come true,” he said.

Turning to Vikas Agarwal, general manager of OnePlus India, the suave leader said with a smile: “You have made a big announcement of Rs 1,000-crore investment in the R&D centre that will ramp up to at least 3,000 jobs in three years. But, I am disappointed that you are still in Bengaluru. You should come here. I am also disappointed that you don’t make phones in Hyderabad, yet”.

Bringing in the business perspective, Rama Rao “strongly recommended” that the company set up a manufacturing unit in Hyderabad — given the fact that OnePlus was facing space shortage at its Noida factory.

On sales and marketing of phones, the TRS leader assured that the State would help with it. “I am actually quite decent at selling stuff, and I will be open to the idea,” he said, sending the gathering into peals of laughter.

Getting back to Pete Lau, Rama Rao, observing that the CEO loves dosas, said: “We make better dosas than Delhi and Bengaluru for sure. And, you should also try out another thing in Hyderabad — the biryani, it’s unbelievable”. When the crowd got rapturous at the mention of biryani, Rama Rao said: “You hear that?”

The TRS leader also mentioned the unique brand name and borrowed its tag line ‘Never Settle’ to drive home a business point. “I am happy that you didn’t settle for any other city. You have chosen wisely. And don’t settle for any other city when it comes to your factory, please set it up in Hyderabad,” he said, concluding his brief four-minute speech.

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