Sameer Mehta and Aman Gupta 2016 founded boAt lifestyle. Previously Aman Gupta worked at Citi Bank as an assistant manager after completing his CA, where he found his love for marketing. Due to this, he joined JBL as Sales Head. Gaining knowledge about the audio industry, he wanted to start his brand; he partnered with Sameer Mehta to create a boating lifestyle. The brand was bootstrapped with an investment of INR 30 lacs from its pocket.
However, boAt did not start by creating audio equipment. Instead, the founders noticed the lack of strong and good quality iPhone charging cables, and seeing the opportunity, they started selling it on E-commerce. They quickly gained popularity as no other brand sold such quality cable at an affordable price.
Entering the Audio Industry
While the brand was doing well, the founders were unsatisfied with their initial success. They did not want to expand further into the charging cable business. Aman, already having knowledge about the audio industry through his experience in JBL, decided to do something in that industry.
The company noticed a gap that existed in the audio industry. In India, no brand sells good quality products at an affordable price. Either there were high-priced premium products or cheap products that were extremely low in quality and were imported from Vietnam or China. In short, there was no middle product. This was a problem for the middle class, which couldn’t afford the high-priced premium product and, at the same time, did not want to use the low-quality product. Seeing this opportunity, the company decided to fill the gap by launching its product.
How BoAt captured the Indian Market
From the start, boAt was marketed as a wearable lifestyle brand. The company has a strong marketing focus which is one of the reasons for its success. The brand calls their customer ‘boAthead,’ making them a part of their family, and claims every 3 minutes, a new member becomes a boAthead. The brand is also known for hiring celebrities popular among people to market its products.
The brand sells wired and wireless earphones, headphones, speakers, trimmers, and smartwatches. The brand has created a demand-pull in the market, meaning they don’t have to market the products they have already launched. Why? Because the products are already popular in the market for providing good quality at a low price.
BoAt achieved this by selling wired earphones between INR 350-550, as no other company was selling them at that price range. Making their products affordable and dominating the market.
Another example would be the boAt Bluetooth speaker – BoAt Stone which gained popularity in the market for its affordability. The cost of the speaker was INR 2,000, and at that time, the competitors were selling similar products at around INR 5,000.
This type of pricing system is also known as penetration pricing, where the company initially sells its products at a low price to penetrate the market.
Let us look at a few business strategies applied by the brand which helped it climb to success-
Lifestyle Brand- BoAt has repeatedly insisted that it is a lifestyle brand, not a tech one. It creates trendy and fashionable products for youth, targeting Gen-Z and Millenials and not another boring traditional tech brand.
Outsourcing- BoAt products are made in China as they did not have expertise in manufacturing earphones in India. Saving the cost and ensuring quality so they can focus on marketing and brand building.
Customer First Approach- BoAt has always changed its devices according to its customers’ needs. For example, when customers demanded earphones with heavy bass, the company added extra bass to satisfy them, customers.
The company is the no.1 audio earwear brand in India and the no.5 wearable brand in the world, with a revenue of INR 2,873 crores in FY22. According to the founders of boAt, the company’s future plans involve focusing on improving their smartwatch offerings rather than earphones, as they have already captured a significant market share in the earwear segment. The company aims to provide affordable and feature-packed smartwatches that cater to the needs of the Indian youth. In addition, the brand is also looking to expand its product offerings beyond audio equipment and smartwatches, possibly into other lifestyle categories. boAt also plans to expand its presence globally and become a leading player in the global audio market. Overall, the brand aims to continue its customer-first approach and maintain its focus on providing high-quality, affordable lifestyle products for the youth.