There is no stopping Fastrack —the Titan Company brand wants to be the one-stop shop for all the cool Gen Z accessories.
Last month, the brand launched Reflex Play+, its first ever Bluetooth-calling smartwatch, priced at an affordable Rs 6,995. Earlier this year, Fastrack extended the Reflex portfolio to Reflex Vox, a smartwatch, at just under Rs 7,000. Last year, Fastrack added activity trackers and wireless earbuds to its portfolio.
Says Ajay Maurya, marketing head, Fastrack, “Anything new which happens in the space of fashion or technology, the first group to get really impacted is the Gen Z and they are the first adopters. Tapping on to this target group (TG) is extremely important because these are the trend catchers, and some of them are even the opinion leaders in the market to influence purchases.”
In line with its strategy to be known as a fashion tech (‘fash-tech’) brand, Fastrack in 2021 changed its positioning statement from Move On to You Do You to fuel the fearless expression of Gen Z’s (18-26 years) fluid identity. It also onboarded Sanya Malhotra as ambassador.
But why Gen Z? India’s Gen Z population of 375 million has already exceeded China’s 250 million. This cohort possesses massive purchasing power and is therefore the target of a range of brands. Maurya says Fastrack has a “hand-in-glove association” with the group. Out of its total business, close to 60% of this comes from GenZ customers.
Maurya adds that the Reflex brand is likely to grow at the rate of 200% this year, over the last. The strategy, he says, is to place an assortment of smartwatches across the price spectrum to appeal to a wide group of consumers. Most of its smartwatches are in the Rs 4,000 – 7,000 bracket, so it plans to enter the economy segment, with wearables starting at `3,000.
The Indian smart wearables market is expected to register a CAGR of 23.91% over the 2022-27 period, as per Mordor Intelligence with the market seeing double-digit growth in the first quarter of 2022 as shipments crossed 13.9 million units. While incumbents Samsung and Xiaomi have had a strong presence in the space for some years now, new-age D2C brands are giving them a run for their money.
Speaking on the growing competition, Maurya says the brand hopes to introduce differentiated products that stay relevant for a long period of time, are difficult for the competition to imitate, and which will give Fastrack an edge in the market. “We are very strong with our design capabilities, which will be one of the biggest differentiators compared to any of the D2C brands that are available in the market,” he says.
Consumer response to the brand’s foray into audio accessories last year, however, has been lukewarm, says Maurya, adding that it is working to get the proposition right.
Recent research from Counterpoint’s IoT service shows India’s smartwatch market grew 173% YoY in Q1 2022 (January-March). The report said Noise has 23% of market share, Fire-Boltt has 21% and boAt 18%. More than 10 brands entered this booming market in Q1 2022.
Staying relevant and in-sync with the cultural mood and fashion choices of Gen Z has been a challenge for the brand, says Devangshu Dutta, chief executive, Third Eyesight. He adds that Gen Z consumers are more fickle than loyal—they are spoilt for choices, have short attention spans, and are even more demanding than the older generations.
Fastrack currently retails through multi-brand outlets and 175-odd exclusive brand outlets. The offline retail outlets contribute around 65% to its total revenue, and the rest comes via the online channels. The company plans to double the network in a year’s time — with a special focus on tier-II, III cities. Third Eyesight’s Dutta says ensuring price-accessibility will be key to success here.
“While being digital first is the mantra for the brand and the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards online purchasing habits, the need to look and feel a product is coming back,” Maurya says. While digital takes up 50% of its ad spends, the rest is allocated to on-ground activities.