While the world has taken well to wearables—smart watches and fitness bands—India seems to be cosying up to the idea of new tech as well. According to an IDC report, the Indian wearables market saw a 41.9% jump in the second quarter of 2016 over the previous quarter with basic wearables—which don’t support third-party applications—accounting for 94% share in the market. While the wearables market has seen this spurt due to influx of cheap fitness bands which start at R999, the report pointed out that it was an Indian company GoQii which was leading, with a 16% market-share, followed by its Chinese counterpart, Xiaomi (at 10.3%).
Although the Indian fitness market still has a lot of room to evolve, the rise of GoQii, which offers health services along with payment options via NFC—the company tied up with Axis Bank for the second version of its band—provides an opportunity for other players to evolve beyond being a pedometer, calorie-counter and heart-rate monitor. With a Global Burden of Disease study highlighting a growing incidence of obesity—India, with 41 million obese people, is ranked third after the US and China—one can only expect the wearables market and services to grow further in the coming years.