It was only five years ago that the Chinese smartphone brand Oppo ventured into the Indian market. Today, it has established itself as one of the most successful tech brands in the country. Oppo’s success story set an example for other manufacturers, whether Chinese or Indian. Its upshot was simple: to make good in any business you have to lay special emphasis on the quality of your products.

The quality quotient has always been high in Oppo phones. This applies to their camera capabilities in particular. The brand was the first to introduce AI-powered cameras in their handsets and photography enthusiasts swear by these.

“Oppo today leads the way in smartphone camera technology, leaving no stone unturned when it comes to pushing boundaries to try to bring smartphones with the best camera technology for its users,” Charles Wong, CEO, Oppo India, told  Guardian 20. “The AI-powered phone cameras, the ‘group selfie’ trend and other high-end technology features have made us a leader in bringing smartphones with exceptional camera capabilities. Additionally, our unwavering focus on improving the camera quality, particularly to ensure that users get the best self-portraits has helped us achieve such a successful run in the Indian smartphone market.”

According to Wong, Oppo’s penchant for innovation makes the brand stand out in a cut-throat market. He said, “Oppo has continued its innovative streak by introducing several ‘firsts’ in one of the most competitive consumer markets. From the world’s first periscope-style dual camera technology to the world’s first motorised camera smartphone, we have exemplified our commitment to innovate and adhere to our belief of constantly elevating our user experience.”

The recently launched Oppo F11 Pro is another milestone for the brand, especially in terms of camera technology. It boasts a portrait photography feature that works very well in low-light conditions.

The camera is surely the USP of all Oppo phones. But there are other equally significant factors—ranging from design and performance to affordability—that have made their phones popular the world over.

“We have not restricted our innovation streak in only enhancing the camera capabilities of our smartphones,” Wong said. “From selfies to immersive displays, and from stunning designs to VOOC technology, we have ensured we meet the ever-changing requirements of our customers.”

Another reason the brand gained quick momentum in India is its offline distribution strategy. Wong said, “Since our entry into the Indian market in 2014, our focus has been on developing an offline distribution model. Our strategy of offline sales helped us connect with our consumers better. Today, India is the second-largest smartphone market in the world with an ever-evolving customer base across platforms. India’s growth trajectory has set an example for new and existing smartphone brands to cater to such a dynamic market like India. As of now, there are 300 million smartphone users in India with technology being a great enabler for the masses and is poised to revolutionise the untapped vernacular market too.”

Oppo, Wong explained, invested in market research “to better understand the trends, consumer demands and behaviour”. “As compared to the global markets, India has a diverse set of consumers with demands that vary from region to region, but we are gradually progressing the basis of our understanding of the market to fulfil the consumers’ demands,” he said.

Given the number of smartphone manufacturers who have chosen India has their operational base, the ecosystem has become fiercely competitive, where only the fittest can survive. To this Wong said, “India has a healthy competition in the smartphone industry and we are hopeful that our unbeatable product quality and robust business model will be our differentiating factor.”

In a bid for expansion, some smartphone brands, like Xiaomi, have recently branched out into areas like mobile accessories and even household appliances. Does Oppo have similar plans? “We have no plans to branch out our business into mobile accessories and consumer electronics,” Wong said. “However, we are setting up a Greenfield Electronic Manufacturing Cluster (EMC) in Greater Noida to manufacture electronics and accessories locally. Supported by the Department of IT and Electronics of the Uttar Pradesh government and approved in principle by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the EMC will help us produce two lakh units every day.”

Oppo’s India business strategy for the near future would be focused, according to Wong, on 5G phones.

He said, “This year we will be deeply involved in the R&D of AI, 5G and other frontier technologies to cater to our customers who are always looking forward to a world of premium technology and innovation. We expect to make breakthroughs in 5G soon, aiming to become one of the first manufacturers to launch 5G smartphones in 2019.”

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