Connect with us

Articles

How OnePlus Managed To Disrupt The Smartphone Industry

Avatar

Published

on



How OnePlus Managed To Disrupt The Smartphone Industry

In this digital age, where information is being exchanged at the tap of a screen or the click of a button, the need for owning a smartphone is huge.  The fact that smartphones are getting cheaper, smarter and readily available makes it easy for any individual to own one. 

The smartphone revolution began when Apple, under the leadership of Steve Jobs, released its first iPhone and Google developed its own open operating system (OS,) which came shipped on LG, Samsung and Sony devices.  The battle for the position of best smartphone was kickstarted with people choosing either Apple or Android devices. 

While Apple and Samsung are the market leaders of providing premium flagships which have the best features in terms of software and hardware, a small unknown Chinese company called OnePlus soon entered the scene.  OnePlus had everything to gain with their unique marketing strategies and their unbelievable pricing without compromising on the quality of both hardware and software. Eventually, they ended up disrupting the entire smartphone industry, earning them the moniker of ‘Flagship Killer.’

Marketing strategy

OnePlus started out with the intention of providing an Android smartphone which looked and felt premium in every way.  When OnePlus was beginning, Samsung was already established as a top market player with the reputation of releasing premium flagships.  If OnePlus was to compete with Samsung, they needed to do something different. 

OnePlus began by partnering with Cyanogen Inc., a custom ROM manufacturer for Android.  Post this partnership, they got themselves published on influential websites and blogs like GSMArena and Android Authority.  Once the public relations campaign was well underway and before the sale of the first OnePlus One device, the Company created an invitation only and internet only sales system.  Interested buyers had to register themselves for a list which was on a first come first serve basis and the sale took place only online. This unique approach also created a buzz which was good PR.  As OnePlus founder Pete Lau said in an interview with Larry Downes and Paul Nunes of Forbes, “We created the invitation system to manage uncertainty. We don’t know how many people will buy our products at any given time. Our approach helps us make an accurate sales forecast. If one phone sells for $ 200, for example, 50,000 units equals $ 10 million, 100,000 units equals $ 20 million and so on. Creating these kinds of inventories means taking on a huge financial risk. So we manage that by getting earlier insight into real customer demand through invitations.”

Identifying their geographic markets

After the success of the OnePlus One, OnePlus decided to come up with OnePlus Two and took the same approach—invite only and internet only sale.  They tied up with Amazon as their exclusive selling partner in India. The demand for the smartphone was so high, they failed to keep up with the sales.  OnePlus was always vocal about being in constant touch with their users on their forums in order to listen to feedback and they were surprised by the response of Indians on their forums.  Currently, India is the largest market for OnePlus, contributing to up to 35 % of its revenues. The Amazon partnership worked so well, OnePlus decided to replicate it in its other markets as well by partnering with local e commerce and mobile carriers.

Perfecting the customer service experience

OnePlus remains dedicated to their motto of ‘Never Settle’ and they adopted it for their after sales services as well.  They realised the need for a good customer service experience and committed themselves to opening service centers at multiple locations.  In India, OnePlus is able to resolve 70 % of customers’ queries within an hour. As Vikas Agarwal, the General Manager of OnePlus India, explains, “It took us almost two years to have these centers where we guarantee to repair the device within one hour. Today, we are able to resolve 70 percent of queries within an hour. As part of enhancing the experience, two years ago, we also published the prices of our spare parts to bring in transparency.”  Apart from this, they have free coffee, WiFi, XBox consoles and magazines, which elevate the customer experience. Their over the air (OTA) updates are usually continued for 3 years, which is a lot in the Android industry.

OnePlus was able to focus on developing a product which was cheap but exhibited a premium feel.  It was able to provide a product for half the price at which flagship smartphones are sold. They achieved this due to their disruptive pricing, innovative marketing and good customer service.  This let them capture the Indian smartphone market, which is considered as a huge revenue source by other smartphone providers, owing to the demographic dividend. Riding on their success, OnePlus also recently launched a new television, the OnePlus TV.  It is likely OnePlus will ‘never settle’ and continue expanding its business.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Articles

Types And Details About Corporate Loans

Avatar

Published

on

Types And Details About Corporate Loans

Guest post by Ashish Gupta

Corporate loans are loans that are taken for the purpose of business. There are many banks which provide corporate loans.  However, the eligibility criteria and the upper limit for the sanction of such loans would differ.  The loans are generally sanctioned for those businesses that have been in existence for at least 5 years and have been making profits for a period of at least 2 years before making such an application for the loan.  The funds of the loan when sanctioned can be used for long term as well as short term business expenses.

Corporate loans can be either secured or unsecured loans.  Secured corporate loans require collateral like business assets, for the sanction of the loan, and such collateral can be seized in case of non payment of principal or interest amount depending on the contract between the lender and the borrower.  On the other hand, unsecured corporate loans are those that do not require any collateral as such.  However, unsecured loans can be obtained only if the borrower has a good credit score.

Types of Corporate Loans

There are various types of corporate loans offered to be lent by financial institutions.  Few of them are:

  1. Term loan is a loan that can be secured for the purposes of buying property for business, or for buying new equipment with better technological advancement.
  2. Loans against securities are those where the borrower can obtain a loan by pledging securities like mutual funds, bonds, insurance policies, and any other securities of similar nature.
  3. Letter of Credit Facility and Bank Guarantee is when the bank acts as a surety for transactions made by the concerned person for business purposes.
  4. Cash Credit Facility is wherein the borrower can avail up to 70% to 80% of the value of assets that he/she pledges for business needs.
  5. Overdraft Facility is an offer by the bank to debit your current account beyond the money that is present in there. Such a facility is generally provided according to the assets pledged by the borrower.
  6. Channel Financing helps the distributors in obtaining the funding required for buying new equipment, tools and other items.
  7. Working Capital GST Corporate loans help in attaining quick cash on the basis of the applicant’s GST returns and also eliminates some cumbersome paperwork.
  8. Drop-line overdraft facility is where the lender deposits certain money in a separate account for the borrower, from which the latter can utilise business expenses.  The speciality of this kind of loan is that the borrower only needs to pay interest up to the amount of loan that has been used by him/her from the money deposited in the account.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

The eligibility criteria for each financial or lending institution may vary according to their policies and rules.  However, few of the basic requirements that are necessitated by almost all lending institutions for availing a corporate loan are as follows:

  1. AGE: The applicant must at least be 21 years old, but less than 65 years.
  2. INCOME: The expected annual income of the applicant is generally Rs.1, 00, 00,000. However, some financial institutions may provide loans for a slightly lower income level as well.
  3. INCOME TAX RETURN: The income tax return for at least one year must be filed before applying for such a loan. Some lenders may even expect the applicant to have filed income tax returns for two years before applying for the loan.
  4. PROFIT: Most lenders require that the business must have made profits for at least 2 years before submitting the application for a corporate loan.
  5. CREDIT RATING: The applicant must have good credit ratings and credit score before making an application for a corporate loan, especially for those who wish to obtain unsecured loans.
  6. STABILITY: The history of the business is also looked into by financial institutions to know the stability and growth of the business. 

Documents Required

The documents required may also be subjective depending upon the lender.  However, few documents are fundamental that all lending institutions would need when an application for a corporate loan is submitted. They are:

  1. Permanent Account Number card, or the PAN card
  2. Identity proof
  3. Address proof
  4. Bank Statements for the past 6 months of one years
  5. Continuance proof of the business
  6. The latest Income Tax Returns which have been filed
  7. Other Documents like the certified copies of Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association of the company, or a declaration of sole proprietorship or partnership deed.

Things to consider before applying for a corporate loan

  1. CREDIT SCORE: The applicant must check his/her credit score before applying for such a loan, as credit scores would drastically affect the availability of a loan.
  2. INTEREST RATE: It is important to analyse the interest rates of each bank to ensure that more of the profits in business do not end up getting spent for interests.
  3. TENURE: The tenure of the loan is another important aspect that needs to be considered and analysed for the benefit of the applicant’s business.  If the applicant knows that more profits can be made quickly, then he/she must opt for a shorter term of repayment of loan.  On the other hand, if the applicant is aware that the business might not make profits immediately, then it is better to opt for a long-term loan.
  4. FILING INCOME TAX RETURNS:  The applicant must ensure that the ITR has been filed for at least 1 or 2 years before applying for a corporate loan.
  5. OTHER ALTERNATIVES: The applicant must consider other feasible alternatives than loans while in need of funds for business. For instance, if the business is a registered company, then alternatives such as shares, and debentures must also be considered.

Term of repayment for corporate loans

The term for repaying corporate loans depends on the contract between the lender and the borrower, and the kind of loan that has been secured by the borrower.  The repayment period of some corporate loans may be about 12-48 months, or it can even extend up to 5 years.

 

Continue Reading

Articles

How The Events Industry Is Impacted By The COVID-19 Pandemic

Avatar

Published

on

How The Events Industry Is Impacted By The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way businesses will operate in the future once the world recovers from the aftermath of the virus.  The demand across various sectors went haywire and in some cases has completely dried up, which means these are the industries which are the worst affected.  These are industries which rely on mass gatherings of people and in the current scenario governments across the world are cracking down heavily on large gatherings.  Aviation, Tourism, Movies, Malls, Hospitality, Transportation, sports and events are the worst hit amongst all the sectors.  Events industry in particular falls under the bracket of Meetings-Incentives-Conventions-Exhibitions (MICE) and is a Trillion dollar industry worldwide.  The COVID-19 pandemic is responsible for impacting almost 25 millions jobs across the world.  This is just the tip of the iceberg and the actual impact could be much higher when we consider indirect jobs and sporting events.

Multiple large scale events across the globe have been cancelled or deferred until further notice.  The cancellations began in February when the world is waking up to the fact that the virus is highly contagious and is spreading across borders with ease.  The first major cancellation was the Mobile World Congress 2020 edition, which takes place in Barcelona and is an event to exhibit mobile communication technologies.  This was just a premise for what was to follow in the coming months.  

In a survey done by Events and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) and which was shared with Ernst & Young the events and exhibitions sector in India is expected to take a one trillion rupees hit.  According to the report, in India alone it is estimated that 60 million people are unemployed and another 10 million directly affected by the crisis.

Business events like Annual General Meets (AGM,) corporate retreats, product launches, partner meets, conferences and seminars have been cancelled and have instead shifted online to Zoom, Google Meets, Skype and YouTube.  The best example would be the much anticipated OnePlus product launch of their OnePlus 8 series of smartphones.  The event was live telecasted on YouTube and the smartphone is now available for purchasing on e-commerce platform Amazon.

Exhibitions and trade fairs have been cancelled all over the world.  One of the biggest trade fairs which is the Dubai Expo 2020, has cancelled in light of the pandemic.  Some of the largest sporting events in the world like Tokyo Olympics, Football’s Premier League, National Basketball Association (NBA) and the much anticipated Indian Premier League in India stands cancelled at the moment.  

Corporates have been using video conference facilities for conducting internal meetings already, mostly with the intention of trying to run the operations effectively with due consideration to the ‘work from home’ initiative.  Video conferencing solutions by Go-to-Webinar, Kaltura and Zoom have seen an unprecedented surge in demand.  In India Event and Entertainment Management Association (EEMA) have urged the government to extend processes such as tax refunds, loan facilities for the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector and artistes to help reduce the negative impact on the livelihood of people involved in the entertainment and event space.  The Indian Government has responded with initiatives for the MSME sector with its Atma Nirbhar Package.

At present, technology applications such as video-conferences, webinars, virtual (events, meetings) and others are playing their individual parts to try and keep the operations running, especially for the corporate segment.  In the future however, we can see a hybrid approach to hosting events by integrating both virtual and physical components.  However, we will have a better understanding once the industry resumes its operations in three to four months down the line.

 

Continue Reading

Articles

How Does WhatsApp Generate Revenue

Avatar

Published

on

How Does WhatsApp Generate Revenue

If you own a smartphone, there is a very high chance that you are a WhatsApp user.  The simple and lightweight online messaging application has embedded itself into our lives and has become indispensable.  Family groups, friend groups, office groups, play groups and many other groups like these see millions of conversations happening on a daily basis.  But have you ever wondered how this leading online messaging application makes its money?  There are no ads on WhatsApp and if that is the case from where does Whatsapp generate its revenue?

The answer to the question goes back to the beginning of WhatsApp which was founded by Brain Acton and Jan Koum, both of whom were ex- Yahoo employees.  When Whatsapp was first developed and deployed for public use it became an instant hit with users but the founders quickly realised they required data centers to handle the huge volumes of data from the user conversations to keep WhatsApp running.  So, they set a price of $1 for some countries and for some other countries it was free for the first year but charged $1 for renewal from the second year onwards.  In short this was a subscription model and Whatsapp had 700 million users at the peak of this model which meant it was generating 700 million dollars in revenue.

Facebook ended up purchasing WhatsApp in 2014 for $ 19 billion but one of the founders Jan Koum decided to leave WhatsApp because of a disagreement with Facebook over its use of user data and its desire to allow advertisements on WhatsApp.  Both the founders were vocal supporters of user data privacy.  As of 2020, WhatsApp has over 2 billion users, the second largest user database after Facebook.

ALSO READ: 4 Useful And New WhatsApp Features That Released During The COVID-19 Lockdown 

But How is Whatsapp generating its revenue now since there are still no ads on display in the mobile app.  In a 2016 blogpost WhatsApp said “Starting this year, we will test tools that allow you to use WhatsApp to communicate with businesses and organizations that you want to hear from.  The goal is to have people communicate directly with their banks, airlines, etc. over the app, while the businesses pick up the bill previously paid through subscriptions.”  Facebook also uses the data from the user messages in WhatsApp to increase the reach of its ads on Facebook.  However, a user has the ability to turn off the settings which allow Whatsapp to share the data with Facebook.  According to a Forbes estimate, WhatsApp is generating a revenue of $ 5 billion at an average revenue of $4 per user.

Facebook is benefiting from Whatsapp by generating a huge wealth of consumer behavior data which inturn is being used to improve the ads on Facebook.  WhatsApp has a growing revenue stream because of the new users it keeps adding to its database and still has a lot of room to grow.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Recent Posts

Advertisement