OPPO is a brand that has taken the Indian government’s Make in India initiative very seriously and is actively manufacturing smartphones in the country. We quizzed CMO, OPPO India, Damyant Singh Khanoria on the details of the company’s manufacturing efforts and how they are addressing service needs in the subcontinent.
Q. Please share some details on your manufacturing facility in Noida.
A. OPPO India has a strong manufacturing facility in India backed by a strong investment of INR 2400 crores in Greater Noida. In line with the government’s Make in India vision, the factory manufactures one smartphone every three seconds with the help of state-of-the-art equipment.
Our facility is divided into four divisions: Assembly, SMT (Surface Mount Technology), Storage and Supply Warehouse. The super-machines in the SMT division can process 37,000 micro-parts per hour.
The manufacturing plant is spread over a 110 acre campus and we have a strong workforce of over 10,000 employees in the factory. All employees in the plant undergo a rigorous training program to ensure technical skills and troubleshooting abilities, value creation, accuracy of work and quality management. OPPO is constantly working on building a strong ecosystem between our manufacturing and R&D capabilities, with a focus on making technology more accessible.
Q. While we are on the topic of Make in India, let us know what kind of tests OPPO conducts while manufacturing its smartphones.
A. At OPPO, product quality is the cornerstone of sustainable, long-term development. Before reaching customers, all our devices pass a journey of more than 300 rigorous tests to ensure optimum durability. These include drop tests, sand paper tests, environmental tests, mechanical stress tests, durability tests, performance tests and many more. After multiple levels of testing, OPPO devices are packaged and shipped to market to deliver industry-leading reliability and durability.
Q. What details can you share with us about your Make-in-India strategy? Are all OPPO phones sold in India locally manufactured?
A. Over the years, OPPO India has been a leader in ‘Made in India’ smartphone shipments. According to the latest Counterpoint Research report OPPO India is leading the segment with a share of 24 percent in the second quarter of 2022.
Backed by a robust manufacturing facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a strong, well-trained workforce, 100 percent of our smartphones sold in India are manufactured domestically.
Take, for example, the battery that powers all OPPO smartphones. The cell is currently imported for this. Adhering to BIS certification norms, OPPO states the country of manufacture of the cells.
But for it to become a battery that can be used in devices, the cells in India need to be attached to a printed circuit board (PCB) and a flexible printed circuit (FPC). All required battery tests are also performed locally. As per Indian requirements, it is necessary to reflect the manufacturing site as India on the finished battery. Battery registration number can be checked on BIS site for all OPPO devices. As a committed partner to Make in India, we are working further to strengthen the supplier ecosystem across categories in smartphone components.
Q. Will OPPO export smartphones made in India? Any related plans?
A. OPPO India has invested heavily in building the country’s manufacturing expertise and we will continue to support local manufacturing. We recently launched Vihan to support the government’s vision of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. Under this, we will invest USD 60 million over the next five years to enable SMEs and MSMEs to expand their operations and, in turn, strengthen the local supply chain for a strong smartphone ecosystem in India.
OPPO India has worked with the government and industry in encouraging around 30 Tier-1 suppliers to set up operations in India. This initiative has led to employment of tens of thousands of Indian locals, helping to develop the electronics industry and enhancing India’s image in global value chains.
Q. Now that 5G networks are rolling out, what kind of testing is OPPO doing to make sure its smartphones offer users that functionality seamlessly?
A. OPPO is pioneering 5G technology in India and has been working tirelessly with the Government of India, several research institutes and telecom players to help implement and roll out 5G in India. OPPO has defined new directions and technologies by setting up industry-first 5G field tests in multiple cities across various frequency bands and scenarios to provide its users with the most comprehensive 5G experience. We have also set up our 5G Innovation Lab in India to support the country in path breaking 5G innovations and applications.
We are a leader in DSS, VONR, SA network slicing and other technologies and a leader in the number of 5G standard-related patents. Currently, all our 5G devices support 5G on an independent network, and users can experience seamless video calling, lag-free gaming in the cloud, and fast data uploads and downloads on all OPPO 5G smartphones.
OPPO India R&D team is also working hard to launch standalone 5G support as soon as possible. We have started an intensive R&D process for the SA update in our smartphones in September 2022 and the team is working tirelessly to make all our 5G devices 100% compatible as soon as possible.
OPPO has filed applications for 4,900 families of global patent applications, declared more than 2200 families of 5G standard patents to ETSI, and submitted more than 8,000 5G standard-related proposals to 3GPP.
Q. Where is the OPPO service and support network in India currently?
A. After-sales services and support are an integral part of OPPO’s operations. We have developed a strong network of 560+ OPPO service centers across 500+ cities in India. Our focus has always been on providing our customers with the best after-sales experience to build long-term relationships.
Furthermore, we have launched pick-and-drop repair services to take customer service to the next level. Send-in Repair works across 13,000 pin codes in India.
OPPO offers an industry-best TAT (turnaround time) to return devices within a week. Recently, we also introduced OPPO Service Centers 3.0 to ensure transparency for our customers. These centers allow customers to experience face-to-face repairs and service for handheld devices. Currently, 3.0 centers are operating in four cities: Chandigarh, Kochi, Calicut and Lucknow. By 2024, we aim to upgrade all existing service centers across India to 3.0 centers.