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How OnePlus Managed To Disrupt The Smartphone Industry




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.

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Ferrari – The Story Of The Luxury Automobile Brand




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The name Ferrari evokes a sense of respect amongst motor car enthusiasts.  All over the world, Ferrari is known for its luxury car offerings with high end engine specifications as well as swanky designs to go with them.  It is always at the forefront of innovation, constantly finding ways to upgrade its line of products. However, it is also renowned for its rich history of motor car racing.  Ferrari is one of the biggest and oldest teams to compete in Formula One racing.


Ferrari was founded by Enzo Ferrari.  However, Ferrari was not initially a luxury car manufacturer.  Enzo Ferrari wanted to work with FIAT, but his application was rejected.  He then worked as a race car driver for Alfa Romeo, post which he founded Scuderia Ferrari, which translates to Ferrari Stable and was a sporting society which allowed its members to race.  

Scuderia Ferrari was formed in 1929 with its headquarters in Modena, Italy.  Scuderia Ferrari fielded Alfa Romeo cars for racing. Scuderia Ferrari went on to become the racing division and team of Alfa Romeo after the Company disbanded its in house racing team.  Alfa Romeo later acquired Scuderia Ferrari and formed the Alfa Corse and subsequently disbanded Scuderia Ferrari. Alfa Romeo also appointed Ferrari as Sporting Director. 

Founding of Ferrari

In 1939, Enzo Ferrari left Alfa Romeo on the grounds he would not use the Ferrari name in association with racing cars for at least four years.  So, Enzo founded Auto Avio Costruzioni, the ancestor of Ferrari which manufactured machine tools and aircraft accessories. Due to the World War II, Ferrari saw little sales and their factory in Milan was bombed by the allies.

The factory was eventually rebuilt and the first Ferrari car, powered by a V12 engine and bearing the black prancing horse logo which is symbolic of Ferrari, made its debut.

Racing history

Enzo Ferrari was an avid race car driver and his passion lied there.  Although Enzo was making cars for the public, he saw it as a way to obtain funds to fuel his passion for racing via Scuderia Ferrari.  Scuderia Ferrari is now the racing division of the luxury sports car manufacturer.

Ferrari is one of the oldest race car competitors and the only one to compete in all the editions of Formula One since the championship’s inception in 1950.  Scuderia Ferrari has produced some of the greatest drivers like Niki Lauda, Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello, Felipe Massa, Kimi Räikkönen and Fernando Alonso.

Today, it is easy to recognize a car of the Ferrari make by looking at the black prancing horse logo.  Over the years, owning a Ferrari has come to symbolize status, wealth and the love for speed. In 2002, Ferrari released a car, the Enzo Ferrari, named in honour of the brand’s founder Enzo Ferrari.  Only 400 of these cars were made and the 400th one was donated to The Vatican for charity.

Enzo Ferrari and his brand are an inspiration to many across the world and racing purists will always swear by the quality and design Ferrari provides.  The Ferrari brand was painstakingly built over the years and the popularity has not waned, mostly due to the dedication of Enzo Ferrari and his vision. People looking for inspiration can take lessons from his life and his passion for automobiles.

Read about Henry Ford’s unknown facts here: Henry Ford Unknown Facts

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Carlos Ghosn – The Rise Of A Titan Of Automobile Industry




Car makers like Nissan and Renault are now known to many and their automobiles are used all over the world.  Nissan, in particular, has a reputation for quality engineering, which reflects on its Japanese roots. However, there is one person who is behind the success of Nissan and Renault and that is Carlos Ghosn.  He was instrumental in turning around the fortunes and reviving these failing companies and turned them into some of the world’s largest car makers. The journey of Carlos Ghosn is truly inspiring and will be spoken about at many business schools worldwide.

Early life and beginning

Carlos Ghosn was born in Porto Velho, Brazil.  After falling sick and being unable to recover, his mother moved with him and his sister to Beirut, Lebanon, to stay with Carlos Ghosn’s grandmother.  Carlos Ghosn did his schooling in Lebanon and obtained his graduation from France’s top schools, École Polytechnique and École des Mines de Paris.

Following his graduation, he began working at Michelin, Europe’s top tyre manufacturer.  He spent eighteen years there. He then went on to be appointed head of research and development for the industrial tyre development division in 1984.  Following this, Ghosn was appointed chief operating officer (COO) for the South American operations and reported directly to François Michelin.

Ghosn completely turned around the South American operations during the time of Brazil’s hyperinflation by employing cross functional management teams to determine best practices.  His performance in South America led to him being later appointed COO for the North American operations.


Having heard about Carlos Ghosn’s success story at Michelin, Renault, a French automobile maker, invited him to work with them.  Renault was undergoing a severe recession in sales and Carlos Ghosn was roped in as Executive Vice President, in charge of purchasing, advanced research, engineering and development, manufacturing and power train operations.  He reported directly to Louis Schweitzer, the Chief Executive Officer of Renault at the time. Carlos Ghosn was able to replicate the success he had with Michelin at Renault as well. 

The Renault-Nissan alliance

In 1999, the automobile industry was set to see the biggest turnaround with the Renault-Nissan alliance.  It was dubbed by many as a failure due to the friction in the drastic difference in working and corporate cultures between Japan and France.  Renault purchased a 36.8 % stake in the nearly bankrupt Nissan and Carlos Ghosn was appointed COO of Nissan while maintaining the same role at Renault.  He turned around the fortunes of both companies with a revival plan which included drastic cost cutting measures, downsizing and investing in design. This move earned him the moniker ‘Le Cost Killer.  He announced a three year plan, wherein he would put Nissan at the top of the industry and bring back profits, failing which he would resign.  He went on to successfully achieve all the targets he set. He went on to become the CEO of both Renault and Nissan and became the first person in the world to run two Fortune 500 companies simultaneously.

While the automobile industry celebrity went on to achieve many milestones in his illustrious career, he courted multiple brushes with the law, leading to him being incarcerated and his image being tarnished.  He was stripped of his titles and responsibilities, owing to huge financial frauds wherein he under reported his income earnings from Nissan to the Japanese authorities and a coup which involved whistleblowers who were his close aides.  The fall from grace has been heavily reported all over the world, but it does not change the fact that Carlos Ghosn is a true visionary and leader.

Read about how Carlos Ghosn turned from a CEO to an international fugitive here: Carlos Ghosn : From Automobile Industry Celebrity To International Fugitive

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Adam Neumann – Unknown Facts About WeWork Founder




Adam Neumann is the founder of the American real estate company WeWork, which offers fully furnished co working spaces to freelancers and entrepreneurs so they can pursue and fine tune their business ideas.  Taking his Company to the elusive territory of a unicorn was not an easy road, with Adam Neumann being in and out of the news for his wild adventures and he has had an interesting journey so far.

Let us have a look at some unknown facts about WeWork founder Adam Neumann.

  1. Born in Israel

Adam Neumann was born in Israel and as a child, spent time on an Israeli kibbutz (gathering of a community) and went to school near the Gaza Strip.

  1. Dyslexic

Adam Neumann was severely dyslexic as a child and could not write until he was in the third grade.

  1. Spent time in the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF)

Israeli citizens have to spend three years in the IDF, as mandated by the government.  Adam Neumann served in the Navy for five years before being discharged at the rank of Captain.  After finishing his stint with the IDF, Neumann moved to New York City, enrolled in a community school and obtained his Masters in Business Administration.

  1. Failed at business before founding WeWork

Adam Neumann started a business from his apartment called Krawlerz, a clothing line for infants.  The clothes, especially bottom wear, featured padding in the knee area to make crawling more comfortable for children.  The business failed to take off and Adam Neumann was left with the inventory due to lack of demand.

  1. Made outrageous claims

Adam Neumann is known for his radical and impulsive thoughts.  During an interview with a magazine in New York, he expressed his interest to run for President of the United States of America.  He also once claimed he would run for the position of the Prime Minister of Israel and also expressed his desire to be the president of the world to match his ego.

  1. Trademarked ‘We’ and sold it to WeWork

Adam Neumann opened a private company named The We Company and trademarked ‘We.’  WeWork, during that time, wanted to rebrand itself around the word ‘We’ and Adam Neumann was the CEO of WeWork at the time.  WeWork paid Adam Neumann six million dollars for trademark rights to use ‘We.’

Adam Neumann is a self made billionaire.  Though he is eccentric and has impulsive urges, he has always believed in the idea of a community and built his offerings around the same, in the hopes he would be able to help young individuals find and pursue their passion.

Read more about the story of WeWork here:WeWork The Story Of The Real Estate Unicorn Startup


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