The case is about China-based technology start-up OnePlus’s foray into India, the world’s fastest-growing smartphone market. In India, OnePlus positioned itself to appeal to users of high-end phones and undercut rival products on price, despite closely matching them on specifications. OnePlus devices appealed to cost-conscious young customers in a country where many buyers were first time users of smartphones. Following its launch in India in December 2014, the company sold close to one million smartphones in the country by the end of 2015. The case discusses the company’s strategy in India and the reasons behind its success. Despite a promising start in India, OnePlus faced some challenges in the country such as intense competition, low smartphone penetration, concerns related to intellectual property rights, and price sensitive Indian consumers. OnePlus had a long way to go in order to catch up with market leaders in India, including home grown players as well as Chinese smartphone brands that offered high-end phones at affordable prices. Whether OnePlus would be able to crush the competition and rule the Indian smartphone market going forward remained to be seen.
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The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives:
Evaluate OnePlus’s globalization strategy and its entry and expansion strategy in India.
Understand the factors that contributed to the success of OnePlus in India.
Understand the importance of the Indian market to OnePlus’s growth.
Identify the issues and challenges faced by OnePlus in its key growth market India and explore strategies that the company might adopt to sustain itself in this market.
Explore future strategies that OnePlus can adopt to emerge as a leading player in the Indian smartphone market.