“OPPO gives utmost importance to consumer-centric innovation and continuous evolution to meet the changing needs of the Indian consumers”

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OPPO is a leading global smart device brand with a relentless pursuit of the perfect synergy of aesthetic satisfaction and innovative technology. Today, OPPO provides a wide range of smart devices spearheaded by the Find and Reno series. OPPO operates in more than 40 countries and regions, with 6 Research Institutes and 4 R&D Centers worldwide, as well as an International Design Center in London. The recently opened, first-ever R&D center outside of China, in Hyderabad, is playing a pivotal role in the development of 5G technologies. In an interaction with Mobility India Magazine, Mr. Tasleem Arif, VP & Head of R&D, OPPO India, share their company’s focus with special reference to their R&D facility opened in Hyderabad in 2018.

Elaborate more about the R&D facility of Hyderabad for the latest updates.

We launched our R&D center in Hyderabad in October 2018 and is our largest R&D facility outside of China. Our focus at this facility is to gain deeper insights about the Indian consumers which enable us to build consumer-centric innovative products and customized product offerings. In a short span of time, our Hyderabad R&D center has contributed significantly to OPPO’s innovation engine – both in India as well as globally. The facility has close to 500 employees who are constantly thriving to bring alive localized innovations to meet the growing needs of our customers. We carefully examine the demands of our customers, analyze the gaps, and finally deliver the best products and services.

At OPPO, we have launched a wide range of smart devices spearheaded by the Find and Reno series followed by A and F series smartphones. Beyond devices, we have also provided our users with ColorOS and Internet services like OPPO Cloud and OPPO+ Fan Community App.  The Hyderabad R&D center played a key role in the globalization of the ColorOS in the overseas market. Not only this, in 2019 itself, but our R&D center has also filed 27 patents in areas like camera and image processing, battery, networks (5G), system performance, payments, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and gaming. Our localized feature, for instance, DocVault,  developed at our R&D center in Hyderabad, was launched to disrupt the reach of Digilocker services and bring the ease and convenience of paperless governance to its more than 45 million users in India. The localized product ensures that the users can conveniently store their official documents.

Recently, we also signed an MoU with the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad to promote collaborative research in the field of science and technology. Over the course of the next two years, joint R&D projects will be taken up in camera and image processing, battery, networks (5G), system performance, and Artificial Intelligence, among other areas.

What is India roadmap for 2020, from device perspective and innovations?

Regarding product development, OPPO gives utmost importance to consumer-centric innovation and we have continuously evolved ourselves to meet the needs of the Indian consumer through our wide range of products and services. We are focused on meeting the current needs of the new-age smartphone users by designing products with improved technologies and keep upgrading and improving the user experience. Our customer-centric approach to design enables us to innovate new technology and bring out the best to each device. Our determination for exploring futuristic technology drives our commitment to provide a holistic experience to our customers. We are striving for real innovations rather than knocking together pieces of hardware. For instance, we are taking a lead in the IoT space and made great strides in the 5G segment. These technologies will play a major role in connecting people and making lives easier.

What is your Investment plan for 2020 -21?

Innovation has been the cornerstone of OPPO’s success in the smartphone industry. We have grown by leaps and bounds owing to our efforts to add value. We plan to remain committed to the R&D in core technology to develop world-leading devices and to build a multi-portal ecosystem of intelligent devices with smartphones serving as the key gateway. Globally, we will be investing $7 billion in the coming three years and India will also be a part of this. We will be developing core technologies in hardware, software, and system in addition to 5G/6G, AI, AR, big data, and other frontier technologies.

How Oppo is progressing pertaining to 5G development and roadmap?

With the advent of the new 5G era, we, at OPPO, will be going towards Tech Innovation 2.0 which will be spearheaded by ‘frontier technology’. As the adoption of 5G ramps up, intelligent connectivity will increasingly be within the reach. In India earlier this year, we had successfully conducted the first 5G WhatsApp video call at our R&D center in Hyderabad to display 5G band and speed. This not only strengthened our vision to be future-ready for 5G rollout but also highlighted the success of these tests. Additionally, this test validated OPPO’s adherence to using key technology to empower and simplify the lives of the consumers. As soon as the 5G ecosystem gets in place, we will be able to leverage 5G capabilities and will work towards exploring more exciting possibilities in this space.

How OPPO is empowering the startup ecosystem in India?

Innovation and entrepreneurship are the driving forces for the growth of the economy. Considering this, OPPO is committed to the development of the country and is aligned with the Government of India’s vision of fostering the start-up ecosystem. In 2019, we had signed MoUs with the Governments of Kerala [Kerala Start-up Mission (KSUM)] and Telangana to boost the start-ups in the respective states. Under these strategic partnerships and knowledge sharing, we aim to drive and accelerate innovation in the country. We are extending our support to the tech start-ups and stimulate incubation activity to create a healthy ecosystem for students, entrepreneurs and the start-up cohort in the state. As part of this incubation, we are looking at startups to develop services and applications that could be integrated with the Color OS 7. We are also systematically developing and supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs working in areas specific to camera and image processing, battery, networks (5G), system performance, payments, Artificial Intelligence, and gaming.