#BackToBusiness: pTron’s Ameen Khwaja on the strategy that needs to be followed to bounce back

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March 1, 2021 10:00 AM

How brands can make the most of the shift towards digital

Ameen Khwaja, founder and chief executive officer, pTronAmeen Khwaja, founder and chief executive officer, pTron

As brands try to find a sign of semblance post a period of uncertainty, it has become more important than ever to understand and evolve as per changing consumer expectations. From selling goods online to incorporating consumer feedback are some of the ways brands are trying to remain relevant. Ameen Khwaja, founder and chief executive officer, pTron, talks about how brands and agencies can engage with their consumers–

On the playbook, brands and agencies need to adopt in the new normal

When I think of the new normal, I think – Sanitization and Digitisation. In addition to being a horrifying health emergency, the pandemic broke all hell loose for businesses, leaving both consumers and businesses in a stupor. With quarantine and layoffs, consumption and purchase patterns were rapidly changing. However, the ‘new normal’, as terrifying as it was for us and other players in the audio accessories segment, has opened up many opportunities for driving innovation. Companies have realised that business agility and technology are the only way to survive.

On the gradual return of the business – how much of it is restored and the new trends which can be spotted compared to pre-Covid times

The mass flock from the wired to the wireless is the most prominent trend observed this past year. As per recent reports, India’s True Wireless Stereo (TWS) market registered a year-on-year growth of 656% in Q2 2020. Before the pandemic, the wireless earphones market was growing along with the increasing demand for wireless technology in the market. Then the global pandemic boosted the consumption of smart devices such as smartphones, laptops, and others, as people started to work from home and study online. This has boosted the market growth of wireless earphones on a large scale across market segments. pTron has witnessed constantly growing demand of 800% between 2019 and 2020, for its wireless and true wireless earphones since June last year due to their upmarket quality and affordability.

On how brands can create at-home meaningful experiences for consumers

With rapidly transforming consumer behaviour, it is of great importance for brands to drive the change, demonstrate agility and gain customer trust. Customer experience is now valued more than ever. People are stressed as is, so companies need to provide wholesome experiences for its customers through seamless transactions, services which reduce anxiety along with convenience and quality product offerings which offer them ease in working. These are now valued more than ever and only those companies which recognise the importance of refocusing their goals can survive the long run.

On the contribution of online versus offline outlets and how brands can make the most of the shift towards digital

I think it is no brainer that every business needs to go digital. There is no scope for survival for 100% conventional brands which refuse to adopt to digitisation. As an audio accessories brand, we tend to the younger age demographic, making our online presence of utmost importance. A strong social media presence, enabling digital payments, widening the payment options, and overall going truly virtual gives impetus for brands tending to the youth. If we had let the offline retail front the sales, we would’ve been clueless in the beginning of the pandemic.
Again, agility is of utmost importance for survival. Ecommerce market players have also played an important role in ensuring last mile delivery during the initial phases. For all brands, it has become imperative now to have a strong presence on these marketplaces apart from a strong grip on social and other digital media.

On the steps to be undertaken by brands to connect within Tier 2, 3, 4 markets and beyond

There is no playbook for creating a strong brand connection with customers. Sometimes when a brand’s communication is broadened and not focussed, it might prove to be futile. Especially when you look at your consumers in Tier 2,3 and 4 markets, the communication should be broken down to be direct and aimed at the target group – communication in regional languages can be a good start. Understanding your target group in the area – the age, purchasing power, trends and preferences, and such other aspects should be in prime focus while drafting communication. This, I believe, can reinforce the brand’s values and strengthen the customer base.

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