|Aman Gupta, Sameer Mehta
|Provide technical music support to users
|New Delhi, India
|Initial Capital invested:
|Rs. 30 lacs
|Wireless speakers, earbuds, smartwatches, headsets, earphones, etc.
|Crossed Rs.1500 Crores in FY-2021
|“Plug into nirvana”. Nirvana means attainment of complete peace or “moksha practice”. The founders chose this term to be the tagline as they believe that music connects a person to his soul thus attaining complete peace and freedom.
|“Plug into nirvana”
|Imagine Marketing Services Pvt. Ltd
It takes a lot of effort for a brand to become popular among others. A strong marketing strategy, keeping pace with the changes in society, and understanding the masses are a few elements that if followed judiciously, can yield great results for the business.
In today’s article, I am going to discuss one such company which touched heights in a very less time. We shall understand their strategies and what worked for them. We shall discuss the Indian-based consumer electronic brand, “Boat”.
Music – a natural healer:
Music is something that acts as a natural way to rejuvenate our souls. Music can become your travel partner too. Even medical science uses Music therapy to treat certain ailments like autism, Alzheimer’s, depression, and many more.
It is believed that music boosts memory, improves self-love and self-esteem, reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, and builds a better human being. With so many benefits, music has been the topmost priority of people when they want to refresh themselves.
BoAt case study:
Every person has his/ her preferences in selecting music. This has led to the emergence of portable music devices like headphones, headsets, and earphones.
These devices let you enjoy your selected music without creating a hindrance to others. So the demand for portable music devices has increased tremendously over the past few years. Thus many companies have come up with different forms of musical devices.
One such popular brand is “Boat”, which provides one of the best portable music devices on the market. It provides a huge variety of devices. Using good headphones, the user can listen to music as well as connect with professionals without holding the phone.
The emergence of the company:
A Delhi-based startup was founded in Nov. 2013. From 2013 to 2016, the company was struggling hard to generate sales. So in 2016, the company brought changes to its business strategies. BoAt emerged as a lifestyle brand that deals with fashionable electronic devices. The main idea behind launching the brand was to bring affordable, fashionable, and durable audio devices to accessorize people of different age groups.
Must read: Nykaa Business Model & How Nykaa Works?
Beginning of the journey: challenges faced by boat company
The company began as a cable manufacturer and seller company. In the initial years, BoAt bought earphones from Chinese manufacturers, applied branding on them, and sold them in the Indian markets bearing the name “BoAt earphones”.
It has grown in years to emerge as a popular global brand to sell fashionable audio devices ranging from portable travel charges to premium headsets. In just a few years, the company has successfully gathered more than 70,000 happy customers and popular brand ambassadors.
BoAt has emerged as the 5th largest global brand in 2020 to provide wearable music devices. Lakme Fashion Week in 2019 held in Mumbai, displayed ramp walkers carrying boAt products as the only accessories.
A story about the emergence & success story of Boat company:
Aman Gupta from Gurugram and the passionate audiophile Sameer Mehta came up with the idea of launching the brand. The rising popularity of Chinese products in the Indian market was something that made them realize the need for swadeshi products. They mainly focussed on providing good quality durable products with affordable prices to Indian customers.
Aman Gupta – Is the co-founder and CMO of boAt. Being a commerce graduate from DU, he jumped from one organization to another to finally land at co-founding one of the most popular audio devices companies in India.
He had an incredible career discussed below.
- Joined The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.
- Pursued MBA degree in
- General Management and Marketing, from The Kellogg School of Management from Northwestern University; and
- Finance and Strategy from The Indian School of Business.
- Joined Citi Bank as an Assistant Manager.
- He applied to work for JBL due to his fascination with gadgets and worked there for 2 years. He managed the offline distribution of JBL through kiosks like Croma, Reliance Digital, etc. During his working period, he learned about product management which later on helped him in co-founding boAt.
- Became CEO & Co-Founder of the Advanced Telemedia Pvt. Ltd.
- Became Senior Management Consultant of KPMG (Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler).
- Joined Harman International (JBL) as a Sales Director.
- Finally in 2016 co-founded boAt along with his partner Sameer Mehta.
- Also co-founded the parent company of boAt named “Imagine Marketing India”.
Sameer Mehta – Co-founder, CPO of boAt and ED of Kores. In the initial stage of his career, Sameer Mehta was the owner of a company named “Redwood Interactive”. Being a student of St. Xavier School, Mumbai, he pursued a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the popular Narsee Monjee College of Commerce and Economics.
Goals and vision of boat company:
BoAt found flaws in the longevity of mobile charging cables used in the market. The founders witnessed frequent damage caused to such cables due to internal and external factors and thought of finding out solutions to such problems. So they focussed on launching indestructible cables. Soon they launched water and sweat-resistant hearable products.
Selling partners and brand endorsements:
The brand sells a variety of its products on popular eCommerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Jabong, etc., and even in retail outlets like Croma. It is believed that BoAt was born virtually on Amazon.com. The company tied up with 6 IPL teams Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.
The company includes popular endorsements from famous personalities of different industries like Bollywood, cricket, etc. Personas like Hardik Pandya, K.L.Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Kartik Aryan, Neha Kakkar, Kiara Advani, Jacqueline Fernandez, and many others are endorsements of boAt. Also, the company has co-branded with musical events like the Sunburn Festival and Lakme Fashion Week, etc.
BoAt efficiently uses the benefits of influencer marketing to promote its products. It calls its influencers “BoAtheads”. BoAt recently collaborated with Alcobev company Bira 91 and together launched an exclusive audio collection named BOOM on January 20, 2022. The collaboration saw an amalgamation of Bira 91’s vibrant colors and boAt’s exclusive audio experience.
Recently BoAt launched a line of products especially targeting the Marvel fanbase. It launched earbuds, headphones, and speakers having characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and Black Panther on them.
2018: an investor Kanwaljit Singh of Fireside Ventures, invested 60 million in BoAt. He was spellbound by the unique performance of the company from choosing the right audience to maintaining a standard quality of products.
2021: Qualcomm Ventures invested INR 50 crore in the company at a valuation of INR 2200 crore. The boAt has a total of 5 investors.
Some popular products of boAt:
the boAt has a wide range of products available for every individual. Its products range from wireless earphones, and audio-focused electronic devices to assorted mobile accessories and much more.
BoAt has a line of wireless earbuds in the name of “Airdopes’ ‘. A major difference between an EarPod and an Airpod is that AirPods are completely wireless whereas original EarPods are the wired version.
BoAt Airdopes has an active noise cancellation technology that cancels out any external noise and delivers only the pure sound of your media. Bluetooth connectivity enables wireless usage of the device. The Airdopes come with a case having an in-built battery to charge the wireless Airdope when not in use.
Tethered wireless earbuds:
BoAt offers a range of tethered wireless earbuds under the brand name Rockerz and Boat. Such earbuds are not connected directly to an audio source. The earbuds are connected through a wire or a band. The wire/ band houses the batteries and control systems. Users can wear the band around their neck or behind their heads.
BoAt offers wireless headphones in two forms- on-ear and over-ear. The headphones are under the brand name Rockerz, BoAt, and Nirvana. Unlike headphones of other companies, BoAt headphones have built-in Bluetooth connectivity to connect to any audio source.
The user need not connect the headphone with the audio source through any wire. The wireless headphone contains lithium-ion batteries integrated into the device. Many of the models of BoAt’s wireless headphones come with an auxiliary audio cable that can be plugged into standard headphone jacks. Connecting the headphones with the auxiliary cable does not drain down the extra charge.
Earbuds and wired earphones:
BoAt earbuds and wired earphones get connected to a standard headphone jack of the user’s audio-output device like a music system, mobile, PC, etc. The headphones and earbuds offer good noise cancellation by obstructing external sounds which create hindrance in the musical journey of the user.
The company offers smartwatches with various modes. For instance, the sports mode helps you track your steps while cycling, walking, hiking, climbing, exercising, etc. It is a great option for fitness freaks. The smartwatches also provide a Bluetooth calling facility to enable the user to receive calls without holding his phone. The screen of the smartwatch will display the caller’s detail and provide you with an option to either receive or decline the call. The watch even has a loudspeaker with which you can have an amazing conversation with the caller. The IPX Water Resistance ensures the longevity of your device by being sweat and swim-proof. boAt smartwatches also have a menstrual tracker for women, making them one of the best smartwatches for men and women.
BoAt wireless speakers:
BoAt offers an exclusive range of attractive portable wireless speakers under its brands Rugby and Stone. The speakers have effective Bluetooth connectivity and built-in batteries for an efficient wireless experience. They are affordable, provide louder sound output and have long battery life. The boAt Bluetooth speakers can be used indoors as well outdoors.
Indoor theatre soundbars:
BoAt offers another range of home audio equipment through its brand Avante. It delivers subwoofers and home theatre sound systems to be connected with televisions and home theatres. It has exclusive features like Bluetooth, auxiliary audio cables, HDMI, and USB-A. These speakers give you a theatre experience. You can get the feeling of sitting in a hall without even booking a ticket. The captivating sound of Dolby Audio Technology is what will drive you crazy about this audio device.
Along with fancy audio devices, the brand also provides portable devices to accessorize your mobile devices, like USB cables, auxiliary cables, power banks, adapter chargers, and many more. Boat power backup external batteries are available under its brand “Energyshroom”.
BoAt limited edition:
Limited/ special edition of a brand is the upgraded version of an existing product. The purpose behind launching a limited edition product is to promote the brand or establish collaborations with other brands. The Boat provides limited edition products to its customers which are in form of headphones/ speakers/ cables, and many more.
BoAt revenue performance report 2022:
The largest product line of BoAt was wireless earphones and headphones. The sales grew by 2.5 times to Rs.947.4 crore in FY 21 from Rs.375.7 crore in FY 20. The second position was taken by the wireless speakers. Sales of the speakers grew up to 2.6 times from Rs.113.2 crore in FY20 to Rs.297.4 crore during FY21. The manufacturing and assembling of the company take place in China. The company plans to shift its manufacturing industry to India through the Indian Government’s PLI (Production Linked Incentive) scheme. The company’s total annual expenditure grew 2.2times from Rs.637.6 crore in FY20 to Rs.1420.1 crore during FY21.
BoAt’s revenue has crossed a whopping 500crore in FY2020, which was the expected revenue of the company for FY 21-22. Today, the company has 5000+ retail stores and 20 distributors.
Shareholders of BoAt:
The owners Sameer Mehta and Aman Gupta hold 28.26% of equity share capital on a diluted basis, i.e. both the founders hold 56.52% in the company. The BRLMs(Book Running Lead Managers) are Axis Capital, Credit Suisse, ICICI Securities, BofA Securities, and Link Intime.
BoAt recently signed a 50-50 john venture with the electronic manufacturer Dixon Technology Ltd. to establish a powerful manufacturing base in India for local production of its products. It was a step to move away from China.
Marketing strategies of BoAt:
- Private label business – In the initial years of its origin, the brand used the traditional business model of Private Label Business, where it purchased its products from Chinese manufacturers, did the branding, and sold them in India under the name of “BoAt products”. This method did not benefit the company. So to increase its sales, the company thought of changing its business model.
- Designer electronic devices – Till 2014, audio devices were sold in the market as simple electronic devices. Nobody focussed on their design. The boAt started launching electronic products which grabbed the attention of the audience due to their unique designs. It sells audio devices like accessories. The boAt is also collaborating with the fashion industry. It launched spunky headphones at the Lakme Fashion Week 2020 by collaborating with the popular fashionista Masaba Gupta. Together, they launched products that gave a feel of the disco style of the late 70s.
- Digital marketing – To increase sales, BoAt adopted digital marketing techniques in its marketing strategy. For a successful business, it has to first create demands in the existing market. So the founders turned their focus around e-commerce. The marketing strategies of the company are as under:
- Mobile marketing – boAt connects with its audience and customers through a mobile app, emails, and SMS marketing.
- Email marketing – The company sends personalized messages to their existing and potential customers informing them about a new product or upcoming discounts. Such messages carry catchy and crisp emails.
- Social media marketing – boAt has reached great success through social media marketing. It makes a presence on digital platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
- Hashtag Marketing – The company smartly uses catchy hashtags to increase customer conversion. Such hashtags have made a remarkable presence on social media platforms. Some of the popular hashtags used by the company are #boatheads, #levelupwithboat, #raisethebar, and others.
- Campaigning through social media – Instagram stories are created and shared by BoAt under the name “boAt adventures” to catch the attention of the audience. Digital campaigns have helped the company connect with the right target audience and share the right type of content.
- Influencer marketing – boAt has struck deals with influencers, celebrities, and popular personalities from different industries. Celebrities like Kartik Aryan, Kiara Advani, and Jacqueline Fernandes are some famous endorsements of BoAt. Also, popular content creators like Prajakta Koli, Harsh Beniwal, and Bhuvan Bam are some of the promoters of the brand.
- Engagement Marketing – Concerts created by boAt are unforgettable to the audience. The company uses a two-way communication method using photo booths, and nirvana zones and asks its customers to participate. They then share customer stories on their official Instagram page. This creates emotional bonding between BoAt and the audience and creates a loyal customer base. This engaged communication generates buzz around the market. Further boAt has conducted takeover tours with popular musicians like A.P.Dillon and has successfully launched campaigns in Mumbai, Chandigarh, Goa, Gurugram, and Hyderabad. In 2019, boAt conducted the Sunburn Festival at Goa where stars like Wiz Khalifa, DJ Snake, Tyga, and Yellow Claw performed.
- Offline marketing – Digital marketing has been proved to be a very effective marketing strategy for many businesses. Offline marketing like print media, newspaper ads, and others also play a pivotal role in promoting a business. The boAt uses print media to promote its brand. The company also sells through retail outlets like Reliance Digital and Croma.
- Innovation – The company experts adopt innovation in their product range. The company keeps launching different types of products and continuously grabs the attention of its audiences. Every product launched by the company has a touch of innovation.
boAt mainly focuses on customer needs, the customer wants, and their behavioural patterns. The company made its products affordable and durable for every type of customer. The brand deeply studied the market and its customers. Thus it collaborated with cricketers, musicians, fashionistas, and such personalities who were popular among the target audiences. In such a way the company could successfully create a strong customer base and become a billion-dollar company in India.
Triumphs of BoAt:
The boAt has emerged as the 5th biggest audio company in the world. There is no particular tip or reason behind such a huge success. The consistency in the efforts put in the company by the team has given them such a huge success in a short period. Let us discuss some of the reasons for their success.
Reasons for the success of BoAt:
- Improvisations – BoAt refers to the influencers of its brand as BoAtheads. They form an integral part of the clan. The company aims at customer satisfaction and brings in products based on their likes and requirements. This gives their users a feeling of belongingness. The products of the company are fresh and colourful.
- Adaptability – The steep growth of the company is mainly because it adapts itself to the changing trend in the market. It kept a keen eye on the latest trends in the market. It constantly kept adopting such changes in its marketing strategies. The brand’s first product was the indestructible Apple charging cable followed by an exclusive range of earphones. Their first earphones were named BassHeads. Soon after, in 2018, the brand came up with a wide range of speakers. In 2019, BoAt launched soundbars and home theatre systems.
- Classification as a lifestyle brand – The brand depicts itself as a lifestyle brand and not a consumer electronic brand. These tactics were displayed during the 2019 Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai, where the models displayed boAt products as their only accessories while dressed up in designer outfits.
- Blitzscaling – It refers to the quick growth of a company. This method prioritizes speed over efficiency. This method is also used by companies like PayPal and Airbnb. This risky method is meant to provide quick success.
- Targeting the appropriate group – The brand is famous for providing stylish products at affordable rates. The brand selects younger personalities as its ambassadors. The company focuses on providing lifestyle products mainly targeting the younger mass.
- Digital marketing – The company saw a steep growth in sales during its initial period. It bypassed the traditional marketing mediums like TV and print media. The campaign by BoAt mostly runs on digital platforms like Facebook, Instagram, etc. The online group of BoAtheads consists of 80,000 members at present. Word-of-Mouth marketing is another marketing strategy of BoAt. The company claims to sell 4 units every minute and 6,000+ units per day. The company establish 5000+ retail outlets and is supported by 20+ distributors.
Awards and recognitions of BoAt:
- 2020: Company was declared as ‘No. 1 brand’ for truly wireless earwear in India.
- 2020: Declared as “5th largest wearable brand in the world”
- 2021: Selected as the official audio partner of 6 IPL teams
Within 6 years, boAt company has successfully captured the whole world of electronic gadgets in a spellbound way. It has established itself as the 5th largest wearable brand in the world and the number 1 brand in India. The marketing strategies of the brand are commendable. The company mainly focuses on smart and crisp marketing campaigns. They have smartly used the digital platform for the promotion of their products. Even during the pandemic, the brand used different tactics to stay relevant in the market. Their popularity has forced other big companies like JBL to lower their product prices to compete in the affordable audio device category.
FAQs related to BoAt:
What is BoAt?
It is an Indian startup that manufactures and distributes electronic gadgets. The brand has become India’s favored wearable brand.
Who founded boAt?
The boAt was founded by Sameer Mehta and Aman Gupta in 2016.
Is boAt an Indian or a Chinese company?
The boAt is an Indian-based consumer electronics brand that provides a wide range of wearable, stylish and affordable audio devices.
Who is the present CEO of boAt?
Vivek Gambhir is the present CEO of boAt.