The Indian smartwatch market has witnessed a phenomenal rise in demand owing to the outbreak and prolonged impact of the pandemic. The health and lifestyle-related elements associated with the smartwatch and the emergence of quality home-grown brands is believed to be the biggest driver for the market. We spoke with Arnav Kishore, the co-founder of Fire-Boltt, which as per IDC and Counterpoint market research reports is the fastest growing Indian smartwatch brand at present. Excerpts from the interview:
How significant has been the health factor behind the significant spike in demand for smartwatches?
The third quarter of 2020vis-à-vis that of 2021 saw the watch market in India rise by more than 450%, as per a report on wearables by the International DataCorporation. The timeframe also suggests that the pandemic did play a major role in spiking the demand for smartwatches, considering the health features it offers. Blood oxygen level for instance has been one of the key elements in early detection of infection, and the smartwatches have proven to be quite accurate in this regard. We feel that health, fitness along with a few other lifestyle factors have resulted in the increased demand for smartwatches in India in the recent past.
Apart from health metrics, are lifestyle-related factors the biggest puller for smartwatch buyers?
Yes, other lifestyle factors have played a very major role in the growth of the smartwatch market. If You talk about health and fitness, of course SPO2, heart rate and BPtracking are most prevalent, but our Bluetooth calling smartwatches have also been received extremely well among users across all age groups. The convenience enabled by such advancements has led to the spike in demand for sure. Also, we cannot ignore the style quotient associated with smartwatches. When customers see the likes of Virat Kohli and Vicky Kaushal donning the same smartwatches, an element of aspiration too gets associated.
Tell us about some key health and lifestyle features which helped your sales during pandemic.
As mentioned earlier, SPO2, BP monitoring and 24×7 heart rate tracking have remained the most sought after health-related features, Bluetooth calling takes the cake when it comes to lifestyle elements. The other preferred attributes include meditative breathing, sedentary reminders, smart controls etc. Affordability too has played a decisive role in this regard, for the demand in affordable range has been the strongest.
According to an IDC report, you are currently the fastest growing Indian smartwatch brand. What makes you the leader in the segment?
The fact that we grew organically from 350 cities across the country to more than 750 towns and cities across metro, tier-II and tier-III regions within a year, speaks volume about what made us the leader in the segment. Furthermore, ourrecurrent launches with new features and price brackets each time,has been a key catalyst in our growth. We have also roped in brand ambassadors who are iconic in their own stream, resembling talent as well as energy, Virat and Vicky, who resonate with the audience,thereby making them believe further in our brand.
What innovations can we see inthe smartwatch segment in future?
According to us, the next wave of innovation in the smartwatch segment would be with respect to integration of IoT. The segment of smart controls can definitely be explored further and rest assured, many more such innovations are already on the way.
What are the future plans of Fire-Boltt?
After our success in the Indian Market, we expanded to the UAE market where the response to our entire line of products has been phenomenal. We further plan to expand to other markets, including the Middle East and Europe. Besides, we have a slew of launches lined up in India alongside a plan to set up mini stores across the country.