“Audio industry really rode well on Bluetooth wireless technology.”-Mr Sukhesh Madaan, CEO Blaupunkt Audio India.

Mr Sukhesh Madaan, CEO Blaupunkt Audio India.

IT Voice:-Share details about the inception of Blaupunkt?-.

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-BLAUPUNKT was incepted in 1924 in Germany as a pure Audio brand. In India Blaupunkt is present from last 20+ years as a strong Car Audio brand and has built up a premium brand reputation correlating with our German heritage.

In 2017Blaupunkt decided to further extend its portfolio by getting into Home Audio category when they tied up with Envent World wide Pvt Ltd to handle their product portfolio. After testing success in this category, the next round of expansion came in 2019 when Personal Audio product range was also launched in India. Envent handles Blaupunkt Audio business across South Asia

IT Voice:-Your thoughts on the current lockdown in India has how it has affected your business?

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-Well we can see it as both pessimistically and optimistically. One way of it, it has practically completely washed off our Q1/Q4(Jan-Feb-March) revenue. We were earlier struggling in February due to its outbreak in China and our factories couldn’t fulfill our orders and when they were coming back to work, the demand side completely tanked in India. We are sitting on Zero sale from last 20 days now and it’s getting tougher by the day.

Well on the other side and if I look at it optimistically, this happened in the months which are generally not too big from demand and sales perspective. Any such incident happening in season time say in the months starting from August to November would have really broken our backs. Also, since there were new year holidays in China, we were enough stocked up to handle supply shortages in February.

All said and done, these are extremely testing times of our country and we are firmly standing behind our prime minister to sail out of it together.

IT Voice:-How do you see the growth of Offline and Online Retail with respect to the current market scenario?

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-In recent past, Online Retail has made serious inroads into the market and took away a lot of market share but if you really look at it deep down, the main erosion has happened in Personal Audio space where they the ASPs are lesser and product life cycle is also shorter. The key examples are earphones and headphones and power banks etc. Home Audio market, where the product life cycle is long and customer wants to experience the product, the offline market share is still going strong.

Coming to the recent development due to Covid-19, I think offline will be further impacted for some time since Government may open online sales channels first before opening retail and high traffic streets but in the long terms which is between 4-6 months time frame, things will settle down back to normal where Offline will hold edge in Home Audio domain and Online retail will hold edge in Personal Audio space.

IT Voice:-Brief about your product portfolio.

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-We broadly divide our entire portfolio into 3 broad categories

  1. Home Audio: which includes Soundbars, Tower, Party Speakers and Multimedia speakers

  2. Personal Audio: which includes Earphones and Headphones across wired and wireless category

  3. Bluetooth Speaker: Which covers Bluetooth speakers as well as Boomboxes etc

IT Voice:- How do you see your Growth in the Indian Market in the next 3 years?

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-With the flourishing of digital content coupled with world’s cheapest data from the service providers, we have seen a boom in consumption of contentand an exponential growth in the personal entertainment domain. This is just the beginning and we expect this to carry on for next 5 years during it will make deep inroads across all SEC of people. This is what is fuelling demand for Personal Audio devices like earphones, Headphones and Truly wireless earphones etc. This is also well supported by technology advancement in wireless(especially Bluetooth) technology which ensure the battery of these devices last long enough for people to use for them longer duration.

On the other hand, TV industry has completely shifted to LED TVs and one of the key aspect is to get a slimmer TV and first impact of that is, the speakers have to move out of the TV units. This is fuelling the demand of Soundbars and TV. Again the digital content helps a big time. You have HD content directly streaming into your home and with right set of Home Audio devices, you can really take the entertainment to the next level

IT Voice:-How has Wireless Technology Revolutionized the Audio Market and what will be the future trends defining the same.

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-Yes, Audio industry really rode well on Bluetooth wireless technology. From practically as an expensive option, it has become a mandatory feature in less than 3 years. With always improvising BT versions which lead to even lesser battery consumptions, Personal Audio category really capitalize on this.

As we are going forward, we are believed Audio will take the center stage in IoT scheme of things. All the devices in your smart home will be commanded by earphones or BT speakers. This will lead to our Audio devices leap onto to the wifi technology which will help them connect not only with all the devices but also pick and play digital content directly from the internet.

IT Voice:-What are your Future Plans? 

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-Blaupunkt as a brand in India has 3 key verticals of 1)Car Audio 2)Home/Personal Audio and TV’s.

Globally: We plan to increase our presence in South America and Asia. Expand in the new product categories such as e-mobility, smart home, etc.

India: We want Blaupunkt knowledge and success in Home Appliances, automation and modern communication devices to India.Blaupunkt in India has 3 major verticals = Blaupunkt Home Audio, Blaupunkt TV & Blaupunkt Car Audio. Our investment plans are combined of all of them together

In our category specific, we will be working on 2 key levers. We will

  1. Further strengthen our product portfolio by offering product across various price points in both personal and Home Audio category. Home Audio category will get special focus in the remaining months of the year!

  2. We will be launching a lot of smart devices which will not only be Siri & Google enabled but also Alexa enabled and will try to establish ourselves strongly in smart device category.

IT Voice:-What were the key achievements of Blaupunkt in Year 2019?

Mr Sukhesh Madaan:-Blaupunkt entered India market as a pure Home Audio brand and we established ourselves as a lead player in soundbar categories. In 2019 we decided to expand the portfolio to Personal Audio category and not many brands in past have able to do this transition effectively. But we did it so well and our able to create a niche for Blaupunkt specially in high ASP Truly wireless category. We decided to focus on expanding our portfolio in Home Audio segment and give customer a choice to choose from and with all this we been able to grow our business by around 50% year on year!