A day after announcing that its India Managing Director will step down, Chinese handset maker Oppo Friday asserted it is currently in the "investment-heavy phase" of its "long-term strategy" in the country and will pump funds into the operations, including R&D.
Oppo, which competes against brands like Xiaomi and Samsung among many others, said that its India MD Yi Wang's exit from his role as a "mutual decision" and that the company will announce his successor at "an appropriate time".
"Oppo India is focused on expansion in the Indian market and sees itself as a long-term player in one of the fastest growing mobile handset markets in the world. We are here for the long-run and are currently in the investment-heavy phase of our long-term strategy," Oppo India President Charles Wong told PTI.
He added that the company's commitment in India will continue and that it sees the country as one of its largest markets for its products. Wong, however, declined to disclose investment-related details.
According to regulatory documents, the Chinese company saw its net loss widens to Rs 358 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 42 crore a year ago. Industry watchers attributed this to the company's huge marketing spends.
"For us at Oppo, India is a high priority market and is pivotal to our global growth strategy...Oppo will continue to drive investments in India. In fact, in line with the evolving market, we will further strengthen our R&D (Research and Development) capabilities in India," he said.
Although extremely competitive, India is a key market for smartphone players as it continues to grow at a strong pace. It ranks behind only China in terms of total smartphone shipment, having outpaced the US during the third quarter this year, as per industry estimates.
According to research firm IDC, smartphone shipments in India touched an all-time high of 42.6 million units in July-September 2018 quarter, registering a year-on-year growth of 9.1 per cent.
In October, Oppo had announced the appointment of former Samsung India executive Tasleem Arif to head its R&D centre in Hyderabad.
"We will be announcing our first R&D centre in Hyderabad soon," Wong said.
While the company did not disclose the investment being made for the R&D unit, it had said the Hyderabad centre would be Oppo's seventh such facility globally after China (Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dongguan), Yokohama (Japan) and Silicon Valley (the US).
Talking about the exit of the India MD, Wong said Wang had played a pivotal role in Oppo's India journey and that the executive continues to be a part of the Oppo family and "will help drive its story in a different market".
(With inputs from agencies.)