Garmin has launched the Venu Sq 2 (review) in India. With a starting price of Rs 27,990, the Sq 2 is the most affordable GPS smartwatch that it makes at the time of writing giving first-timers an attractive proposition to climb aboard the Garmin-train. Despite the lower price tag, the Sq 2 is packing some of the same core sensors as its pricier siblings, the Venu 2 and Venu 2 Plus— and similar deep-dive analytics.
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That’s a big deal but one that also pits Garmin straight up against some of the crowd-favourites from Apple and Samsung— aka Apple Watch SE 2 and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5. There’s Fitbit, too, with the freshly minted Versa 4 and Sense 2 which is to say that competition is pretty intense. In an exclusive interview with FE’s Saurabh Singh, Sky Chen who is the Regional Director at Garmin for South-East Asia & India, shares some rare insights into the company’s pricing strategy and what sets its smartwatches apart from other brands in a highly competitive market like India. Excerpts:
FE: What is Garmin’s pricing philosophy overall as a brand and strategy for markets like India?
Chen: As a consumer-centric brand, we have been known for cutting-edge GPS navigation products for almost three decades. Our recent Forerunner series embodies Garmin’s philosophy of offering users with compelling design and superior quality at the best price. Recently, we unveiled two new entrants in our Forerunner series, Forerunner 955, the world’s first dedicated GPS running smartwatch with solar charging and Forerunner 255. We follow a uniform pricing strategy across business channels with the sole exception of local tax/customs duty. With the launch of our latest Venu Sq 2 Music Edition, we envision providing our users premium quality at a competitive price point with more advanced technologies. India as a market has always been important for us and as we move forward, we will continue to bring unmatchable technology keeping in mind our users’ expectations.
FE: The Venu SQ 2’s big sales pitch is the promise of Garmin at relatively more affordable pricing. Please comment.
Chen: With a starting price of Rs 27,990, the Venu Sq 2 and Venu Sq 2 Music Edition are the most affordable built-in GPS smartwatches from Garmin. They are equipped with all the advanced wellness features such as more accurate health monitoring, fitness tracking, women’s health tracking, sleep monitoring, sleep score and connected features while also providing consumers with more detailed picture of their active and healthy lifestyle. The latest offerings have an increased battery life by 83 percent (as compared to the predecessor) which can run up to 11 days in smartwatch mode enabling users to monitor health metrics 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and provide a complete sleep quality analysis. With a bright AMOLED display, popular health and wellness features, smart notifications, and great battery life, the Venu Sq 2 series have the widest range of 24/7 health monitoring features available at an accessible price in the market.
FE: Who should buy a Garmin? Who is the ideal Garmin target audience?
Chen: We at Garmin strive to be the preferred choice of consumers leading an active and healthy lifestyle. The ideal target audience is people looking for a smart technology fitness partner which helps them to stay healthy while also complementing their style. Garmin is the best choice for someone who wants to keep active and accurate track of their fitness levels like body battery, daily step counts, SpO2, and sleep tracking to improve their performance. Garmin products have always been the first choice of athletes and runners across the world.
FE: What is Garmin’s value proposition in a price-sensitive market like India with the Venue SQ 2 and strategy to tackle competition from Apple Watch SE and Samsung Galaxy Watch 5 to the slew of Chinese wearables around?
Chen: The Indian market is very competitive with plenty of brands in the smart wearable industry. As a brand, our objective is to set a standard wherein people can access best performance and quality products at the competitive pricing. Hence, we focus on every detail and closely study the needs of our consumers and I firmly believe that has helped us to differentiate ourselves from the rest of the products available in the market. Besides, Garmin provides and delivers innovative GPS technology across diverse markets, including aviation, marine, automotive, fitness, and outdoor recreation. We started with a niche market that was more performance driven and now we have successfully positioned Garmin as the preferred choice for all hard-core fitness enthusiasts across the world.
FE: Can you give us a little insight into Garmin’s distribution channel, technical support and after-sales in India?
Chen: Keeping in mind the needs and requirements of our consumers in both online and offline segments, we ensure our presence across platforms. Our online partners are Amazon, Flipkart, Tatacliq, Nykaa, Synergizer where people can buy Garmin smartwatches. As far as offline platforms, our smartwatches can be bought from Garmin Brand Stores, Garmin Specialty Stores, Helios watch stores, Just in time, Croma and multi-brand watch stores. We also have service centres as well as in-house technical call centre to support our customers in India.
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