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How fire boltt is playing smart with its smart watches

This article is on fire boltt's success story


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Parmish Singh

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Advertere- The Marketing Society of MSI

2 years ago | 2 min read

The brand that inspires me to become an entrepreneur is Arnav Kishore's Fire- boltt.In 2015, Arnav Kishore thought himself to be a smart Alec. He rolled out Fire-Boltt with his sister Aayushi, prepared an exhaustive blueprint to make the business tick, and made a brilliant move by tying up with top Chinese manufacturers to sell smart bands at a mouth-watering rate of Rs1,999. There was an established and successful playbook created by the likes of Micromax and other desi hustlers—‘import from China, and then brand and sell in India—which Kishore was trying to ape. So the strategy was presumed to be a sure shot blockbuster.The band, though, didn’t have much elasticity over the next five years. The reason was simple. India was in the midst of a heady smartphone revolution, Chinese brands like Xiaomi were breathing fire and there were not many takers for smart wrist bands from Fire-Boltt. As the market dynamics remained heavily loaded in favour of phones and bands from the Chinese biggies, the ‘Gully Boy’ didn’t stand a chance.

How Fire-Boltt is playing it smart with smartwatchesKishore, though, didn’t give up. “I knew our time will come,” says the founder and chief executive officer of Fire-Boltt. Though the business stayed muted for years and Kishore didn’t have any reason to stay optimistic, the chartbuster from Gully Boy in 2019—‘Apna time aayega’ in 2019—kept the fire in his belly alive. Interestingly, a year later, India was in the midst of a pandemic-induced lockdown and Kishore thought it was the right time to take a leap of faith. He launched smartwatches in October 2020—the starting range was Rs2,999—and ended the year with a minuscule market share of 0.3 percent. Kishore continued to keep a close watch on market trends.

In 2021, he fine-tuned his strategy. He rolled out the Ninja series of smartwatches at a tempting tag of Rs1,699, roped in a battery of celebs—Bollywood actor Vicky Kaushal in June, cricketer Virat Kohli in October, and his teammate Shubhman Gill followed suit—to endorse the brand. He loaded his smartwatches with industry-first features such as Bluetooth calling, heart rate monitor, and better and bigger screen display. The move also coincided with the trend of bands losing popularity. From 0.37 million bands shipped in the second quarter of 2021, the numbers dipped to 0.13 million during the same quarter this year. Meanwhile, Fire-Boltt saw a massive jump in its fortunes as market share leapfrogged from 0.3 percent in 2020 to a staggering 11.6 percent in 2021.

How Fire-Boltt is playing it smart with smartwatchesThe good times continued to roll in 2022 as well. In the second quarter this year (April-June), Fire-Boltt pipped Noise to emerge as the biggest smartwatch brand in India with a market share of 28 percent, according to the latest data by Counterpoint Research. Increasing offline presence, a flurry of launches, and rolling out features at affordable prices helped the brand to take the lead, underlined the research agency in its assessment of the brand’s performance.

I am sure that in the coming time fire boltt is going to be a really tough competitor for other companies in the same business.

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Parmish Singh

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Advertere- The Marketing Society of MSI


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