How boAt rose to become the 1fifth-biggest wearable brand in the world
It was December of 2016, the Chinese tech companies were kicking up in the Indian market. The biggest handset player in India, Samsung faced a decline in its market share from 17% to 5%. Lava, Karbon, and Intex were on their downfall. It was the start of the era of Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo. These upcoming technological companies were about to bring in a wave of more and better technology in India. Around this major shift in the market is when boAt made its debut.
Story of the company
The company was founded by “Aman Gupta and Sameer Ashok Mehta”.
Aman was a chartered accountant, who pursued it only because of his father. He was an MBA graduate from Kellogg, who had its web from Citi to KPMG. This corporate experience gave him an edge, and he was consistent with Indian specific products and innovations.
Sameer did his B.com from Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and
Economics. He had his share of the business and corporate life from Redwood
Interactive (Computer Accessories Company) and Kores Ltd. (Business supplies
And Equipment Company).Both of them came up started “Imagine Marketing India”, a distributor company back in 2014. But in November 2016 during the uprising of smart products in the market of India, they came up with a consumer brand lifestyle boAt.
When they approached the bank for a loan they declined to lend any. The investors didn’t put much confidence in their plan, due to the competition against big tech Japanese, German, and many more such companies.
This didn’t pull them down. Both of the co-founders invested
₹15Lakh each for their journey to start by selling premium quality chargers and
Respective cables. Their research showed that the Indian market requires such
Quality small products or accessories which will be durable and sustainable to
Use with their respective products. And they were right, after the first
Year of their product release, they suffered a tsunami of sales. Their record
Showed sales of about ₹31 crores with a clean and cut the profit of ₹1.5 crores. Then the company started with music-related accessories as well. And it all worked, they haven’t looked back since. Now in 2020, boAt is the fifth biggest wearable brand worldwide, in India the company beat Apple, Samsung, and Xiaomi to become the biggest. In the financial year of 2020, the company’s total revenue holds a record of ₹701 crores, with profits of ₹49 crores. The brand sold 15,000 products every day i.e 10 products every minute, the company has a community with more than 30 Lakh users. The company had its journey from an SME to an MNC.
The pandemic was also very favorable for the company. As work from home and online classrooms became quite common in these times, their products spread like wildfire. In the first nine months of 2020, there was a serious fall in the price of the products: The average price of true wireless stereos dipped by 48.6% year-on-year to ₹4000 in the third quarter this year. Due to this, the market size grew and experienced a sale of 1 crore units in this period.
What the company did differently
From the very start, the company was built on filling the gap in the accessories market. Where the other global companies were selling the same products at an average price of ₹1000. boAt offered similar products in a price range of below ₹600. Whereas there were other local manufactured products offering music accessories at as low as ₹70-₹100, but they have a low shelf value and lack quality. The founder found that the generation can pay some good amount for equally good quality and durable accessories. Their major focus on the quality and differentiated position is what helped the company the most.
Research and development over their product according to the Indian market
Their R&D proved that the Indian market needs a quality product at a reasonable price. According to the environment of the country which is very diverse, some areas suffer quite rainfall, some areas are suffering more pollution than others. The boAt comes up with water-resistant, sweat-proof hearable products. Products were strongly built and were made dust-resistant.
The company understood the pain of the users with quick breakage and snapping of the wires. The solution the offered was not so unique “wires that don’t break, practically indestructible metal wires and also wires that don’t catch fire” and it caught the user’s eye. boAt products are manufactured in China on a contract basis and go through a six-people quality check which ensures quality.
boAt products are made up of eco-friendly and non-hazardous material, they are made of tangle-free wires and with a metallic finish. The company always kept its focus on bringing more innovative products to consumers. They recently brought a new speaker boAt Stone 700A — a waterproof and shockproof portable smart speaker with built-in Alexa, priced at around ₹3,499. Other major companies came up with the same products of about ₹4000. boAt understood that apple charging wires suffer the most often snapping so they started with Apple-certified metallic lightning cables for iPhones and iPads which they claim are indestructible.
Marketing strategy of the company
The company sells its products as fashion lifestyle accessories, not as electronic goods. They aspire to stage their product as a part of everyday fashion. They used this strategy at the recent Lakmé Fashion Week in Mumbai where boAt products were the only accessories by the models when they walked down the ramp for one of the designers.
Signing up with celebrity Brand Ambassadors, boAt signed Jacqueline Fernandez as one of the endorsers of the brand. Along with celebrities, the company made contracts with cricketers, the company was a major audio partner with six IPL teams which gave them the necessary push and recognition over the audio market. The consumer electronics group is now retailing at Croma stores, in addition to selling on Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, and Jabong, and exploring shop-in-shop models to give potential customers an immersive experience of their goods. The local stores now achieve 20% of the company’s total sales. The company aims to give a strong push towards offline sales and a plan to increase stores and sales in South India. The company is also going to start its website to sell its products in 2020.
The brand ensured was to get the four Ps of marketing right: Product, price, place, and promotion.
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