StartupTalky presents Recap'22. This is a series of interviews in which we conduct in-depth discussions with founders & industry leaders to understand their growth in 2022 and their predictions for the future.
Smart accessories are devices or products that are designed to enhance the functionality of other devices, such as smartphones or smart home systems. Examples of smart accessories include smart watches, fitness trackers, smart home cameras, and smart speakers. These accessories typically connect to the main device through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and can be controlled through a mobile app or voice commands. They often have built-in sensors and can collect and transmit data, allowing users to track their activity, monitor their homes, or control other devices in their homes.
The smart accessories market has been growing rapidly in recent years due to the increasing popularity of connected devices and the Internet of Things (IoT). The industry is expected to continue growing at a significant pace in the coming years.
According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, the smart accessories market is projected to grow from USD 22.2 billion in 2020 to USD 38.8 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 12.1% during the forecast period.
For this Interview, we invited Sanjay Kumar Kalirona, CEO and Co-founder, Gizmore, and we talked about the growth, challenges, insights, and future opportunities in the Consumer Electronics industry.
StartupTalky: Sanjay, what products does your company sell? What was the motivation/vision with which you started?
Sanjay: We are in the business of smart accessories and home audio products.
Operating in the hearable, wearable, and speakers categories, we started with the
the vision of creating a trustworthy brand in the market that focuses on bringing the latest technology at an affordable price to every city in India.
StartupTalky: What other products/features have been added in the past year? What is/are the USP/s of your products?
Sanjay: We have launched a complete range of smartwatches that are Made in India and come with the latest features like Bluetooth calls, connectivity, and tracking. The latest Gizmore Amoled range of smartwatches – the Glow series – has been able to deliver on customer expectations and has achieved a positive response from the market. Our other innovative products, like neckbands with touch control, hall switch, and incoming call alert, have strongly impacted the segment. We have also launched a unified app for all our smartwatches and IoT devices in partnership with AI-based health tracking solution Tres Care.
StartupTalky: How has the consumer electronics industry changed in recent years, and how has your company adapted to these changes?
Sanjay: The industry's most significant change has been that consumers expect the latest features at an affordable price. As manufacturers like Gizmore have been able to deliver on customer expectations, it has made the wearable category one of the most significant and fast-moving categories.
There has been a dramatic shift towards online platforms. As part of our strategy,
we have launched our D2C website recently. In addition, we are working closely with partners like Flipkart and other e-commerce players to build our online presence. Our primary focus is smartwatches, and we have ensured that our products are available across major channels.
StartupTalky: How do you stay up-to-date on the latest trends and developments in the consumer electronics industry?
Sanjay: We work closely with our distribution partners and category buyers to understand the requirement of the market and customer expectations. This approach helps us to understand what the consumer is expecting. The latest trend in smartwatches is the Amoled display. It is a type of OLED display that contains thin strips of thin-film transistors (TFT) behind each pixel. As it provides a superior user experience, we have been able to offer an AMOLED display in Gizmore products to meet customer expectations.
StartupTalky: What key metrics do you track for company growth and performance?
Sanjay: We track the top-line sales growth and net margin retention to check the growth and performance of the company.
StartupTalky: What were your company's most significant challenges in the past year, and how did you overcome them?
Sanjay: The most significant challenge for our business was the rising dollar cost and the difficulty in imports from China. We handled both these challenges by shifting our manufacturing to India and focusing on introducing Made in India products.
StartupTalky: Repeat purchase is one of the essential parameters on which most e-commerce brands are betting. How do you keep your customer engaged in stopping churn?
Sanjay: Our consistent focus on technology, quality, and affordable price points has ensured success for the brand. At the same time, we continue to add the latest features to our products. This approach has helped us build a loyal customer base that expects nothing but the best from us.
StartupTalky: What are the different strategies you use for marketing? Tell us about any growth hack which you pulled off.
Sanjay: We signed Dinesh Karthik as the brand ambassador for Gizmore. It has helped us to gain consumers' trust and establish ourselves as a stable brand in the market. At the same time, we focused on expanding our online presence with a D2C website, partnership with Flipkart and other popular e-commerce brands and dedicated social media campaigns, and building an engaged audience on leading social platforms like Instagram.
StartupTalky: What important tools and software do you use to run your business smoothly?
Sanjay: We rely on our in-house CRM for customer service needs. We use BUSY for our accounting and billing requirements. These are some of the tools that help us run our business smoothly.
StartupTalky: What opportunities do you see for future growth in your industry in India and the world? What kind of difference in market behavior have you seen within states in India?
Sanjay: Smart accessories is an ever-evolving industry. As new technology comes in, it can generate its own demand in the market. It will continue in the future as well. The market will increasingly move towards branded products and the average selling price for the products in the categories we operate in will continue to increase.
StartupTalky: What lessons did your team learn in the past year, and how will these inform your future plans and strategies?
Sanjay: Our lesson in the past year has been to focus on the right product mix and offer adequate choices for the customers. We will continue to innovate.
StartupTalky: How do you plan to expand the Customers, SKUS, and team base in the future?
Sanjay: We plan to enhance our digital presence and, at the same time, build our offline presence. It will help to increase our customer base and SKUs in the market.
StartupTalky: With so much hype around d2c brands spending on ads, What will be your growth strategy, organic or inorganic? How to plan to work around SEO and content marketing?
Sanjay: For any D2C brand to be successful, the initial growth comes from an inorganic push with ad spending. Once the brand is established, it is time to sustain the momentum and go for organic marketing. We plan to focus on content marketing and SEO heavily in the near future.
StartupTalky: One tip that you would like to share with another D2C founder?
Sanjay: It is crucial to have patience, and numbers will follow gradually.
We thank Sanjay Kumar Kalirona for spending his valuable time and sharing his learnings with all of us.