OPPO is a brand that has taken the Indian government’s Make in India initiative very seriously and has been actively manufacturing smartphones in the country. We quizzed Damyant Singh Khanoria, CMO, OPPO India, on details regarding the company’s manufacturing efforts and how it’s addressing service requirements in the subcontinent.
Q. Please share some details on your manufacturing facility in Noida.
A. OPPO India has a robust manufacturing facility in India based in Greater Noida that’s backed by a strong investment of INR 2400 crore. Aligned with the government’s vision of Make In India, the factory manufactures one smartphone every three seconds with the help of state-of-art equipment.
Our facility is segregated into four sections: Assembly, SMT (Surface Mount Technology), Storage, and Supply Warehouse. The super-machines at the SMT section can hold 37,000 micro-components per hour.
The manufacturing plant is spread across a 110-acre campus, and we have a strong workforce of 10,000 employees at the factory. All the employees at the plant undergo a rigorous training programme that covers technical skills and troubleshooting abilities, ensuring value creation, the precision of work, and quality management. With a focus on making technology more accessible, OPPO has constantly been working on building a robust ecosystem between our manufacturing and R&D capabilities.
Q. While we’re on the subject of Make in India, do tell us what kind of tests OPPO conducts on its smartphones at the time of manufacturing.
A. At OPPO, product quality is a cornerstone of sustainable, long-term development. Before reaching the customers, all our devices pass the journey of over 300 stringent tests to ensure optimum durability. These include drop tests, sandpaper tests, environmental tests, mechanical stress tests, durability tests, performance tests and many more. After multiple levels of testing, OPPO devices are packed and shipped to the 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 that are sold in India made locally?
A. Over the years, OPPO India has emerged as the leader in ‘Made in India’ smartphone shipments. The latest Counterpoint research report shows OPPO India leading the segment in the second quarter of 2022, with a 24 percent share.
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 in the country.
Take for instance, the battery that powers all OPPO smartphones. The cell for the same is imported currently. In adherence to the regulations regarding the BIS certification, OPPO mentions the country of manufacture for the cells.
But for this to become a battery that can be used in devices, we need to add the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) and the Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC) to the cells in India. All the required battery testing is also performed locally. In keeping with India’s requirements, it is necessary to reflect the manufacturing site as India on the finished battery. The battery registration number can be checked on the BIS site for all OPPO devices. As a committed partner to Make in India, we are also working further to strengthen the supplier ecosystem across categories in smartphone components.
Q. Does OPPO export smartphones that are made in India? Any related plans?
A. OPPO India has invested heavily to enhance the country’s manufacturing prowess, and we will continue to support local manufacturing. We recently launched Vihan to support the Government’s vision of an ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat.’ Under this, we will invest USD 60million in the next five years to empower SMEs and MSMEs to amplify their operations and, in turn, strengthen the local supply chain for a robust smartphone ecosystem in India.
OPPO India has collaborated with the Government and the industry in encouraging around 30 Tier-1 suppliers to set up operations in India. The initiative has led to employment generation for tens of thousands of Indian locals contributing to developing the electronics industry and enhancing India’s stature in the global value chains.
Q. Now with 5G networks rolling out, what kind of testing is OPPO doing to make sure its smartphones provide that functionality seamlessly to users?
A. OPPO has been a pioneer of 5G technology in India and has been relentlessly working with the Government of India, several research institutes and telecom players to help implement and roll out 5G in India. OPPO defined new directions and technologies by setting up the industry-first 5G field tests across multiple cities at different frequency bands and scenarios to provide its users with the most comprehensive 5G experience. We also established our 5G innovation lab in India to support the country in path-breaking 5G innovations and applications.
We are a leading player in DSS, VONR, SA network slicing, and other technologies and are a leader in the number of 5G standard-related patents. Currently, all our 5G devices support 5G on a non-standalone network and users can experience seamless video calling, lag-free gaming on the cloud, and blazing-fast data upload and downloads on all OPPO 5G smartphones across categories.
The team at OPPO India R&D has also been working to enable standalone 5G support at the earliest. We initiated an intensive R&D process for the SA update on our smartphones in September 2022, and the team is working tirelessly to make all our 5G devices 100% compatible at the earliest.
OPPO has filed applications for over 4,900 families of global patent applications, declared over 2200 families of 5G standard patents to the ETSI, and submitted more than 8,000 5G standard-related proposals to 3GPP.
Q. Where does OPPO’s service and support network in India stand at the moment?
A. After-sales services and support are integral to OPPO’s operations. We have developed a robust network of 560+ OPPO service centres in India across 500+ cities. Our focus has always been to build a seamless after-sales experience for our consumers to build long-term relationships.
Further, we have started pick-and-drop repair services to take customer service to the next level. The send-in repair is operational across 13,000 pin codes in India.
OPPO provides the industry-best TAT (Turn Around Time) for returning devices within a week. Recently, we have also introduced OPPO Service Centres 3.0 to ensure transparency to our customers. These centres allow customers to experience face–to–face repair and service for handheld devices. Currently, 3.0 centres operate in four cities: Chandigarh, Kochi, Calicut, and Lucknow. By 2024, we aim to upgrade all existing service centres across India to 3.0 centres.