OnePlus: A Chinese Success Story in India

OnePlus: A Chinese Success Story in India
Case Code: MKTG419
Case Length: 16 Pages
Period: 2014-2020
Pub Date: 2020
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.500
Organization : OnePlus
Industry :Smartphone Manufacturer
Countries : India
Themes: International Marketing/ Business Strategy/ International Management/Globalization Strategy
OnePlus: A Chinese Success Story in India
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


This case discusses the success story of Chinese smartphone maker OnePlus in India, the world’s second largest smartphone market. OnePlus came to India in late December 2014 and in just four years emerged as the number one smartphone brand in the Indian premium smartphone segment. 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.

The case describes OnePlus’s strategies in India which included launching premium smartphones at affordable prices, customer centricity, community building, clever marketing, and the online-to-offline (O2O) approach. OnePlus’s core strengths were an obsessive focus on product design and quality, branding, and customer engagement. The company focused primarily on viral marketing and community interaction such as word-of-mouth and social media to spread brand awareness. With the launch of its first flagship smart TV – the OnePlus TV – exclusively in India in September 2019, OnePlus planned to develop a strong ecosystem of products in order to strengthen its premium-only brand proposition in the country.

Despite its phenomenal success in India, OnePlus had several challenges ahead. These included fierce competition, issues relating to scaling offline, price sensitive Indian consumers, low smartphone penetration, and an economic slowdown. Moreover, as OnePlus phones were getting expensive, the company faced the risk of losing price conscious customers. As India continued to be a critical market for OnePlus, the challenges before Vikas Agarwal (Agarwal), General Manager, OnePlus India, were to increase adoption of OnePlus devices in India, expand offline, crush competition, and continue to rule the premium Indian smartphone segment.


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 importance of the Indian market to OnePlus’s growth.
  • Understand the factors that contributed to the success of OnePlus in India.
  • Identify the issues and challenges faced by OnePlus in its key growth market, India.
  • Explore future strategies that OnePlus can adopt to sustain its position as a leading player in the Indian premium smartphone market.



International Marketing, Entry and Expansion Strategy, Globalization Strategy, Business Model, Experiential Marketing, ‘Make in India’, Strategic marketing, Competition, Competitive Strategy, SWOT Analysis, Hybrid Strategy, Smartphone market, Product portfolio, Customer centricity

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