Chinese smartphone company OnePlus, opened its first R&D centre in India in Hyderabad. Pete Lau, Founder and CEO said over the next three years the company plans to grow the Hyderabad facility into its biggest R&D centre globally with investments to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore. The headcount will rise to 1,500 from over 200 today. The 1,86,000 sq ft facility spread across five floors is to play an important role in critical areas with focus on development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning in OnePlus products.
Of the total area, 36,000 sq ft is already operational while the remaining area is earmarked for future expansion. OnePlus has five other R&D centres in Shenzhen, Shanghai, Taipei, Nanjing and Santiago.
The Hyderabad facility is to drive innovations in India for the global product, especially on software with special emphasis on AI, 5G and IoT. According to Lau, the OnePlus R&D centre will house three labs - camera lab, communications and networking lab and automation lab that will focus on camera development, 5G testing, software with a focus on AI and performance testing.
The facility will focus on five areas including Network, Global Carrier Customization, OxygenOS native apps, global product development, software innovation and testing. With regards to software and network, the centre will specifically work on the development of India-specific OxygenOS features including OnePlus applications design and development and drive the 5G enablement for India, EU and the UK.
India, Lau said, is among the biggest markets for OnePlus, with revenues from the region accounting for over a third of its total revenues.
The centre will seek talent from leading Indian technical institutes. Speaking at the launch K T Rama Rao, president of Telangana Rashtra Samithi and former IT minister of Telangana urged Lau to consider setting up its own phone manufacturing facility in Hyderabad and open up a much larger job creation opportunity. State government officials were more than willing to show various locations that the state could offer the company. Lau, who has no finalised plans on this says, he does intend to visit the region again next month. He gave the impression of being quite upbeat about India and Telangana. Lau clarified that the R&D effort from India at the Hyderabad facility was for the global market and was exclusively for OnePlus and would not be shared with any of its other brands, including Oppo mobiles.