Black-i is an Indian-owned Audio-Visual Brand headquartered in Bengaluru. It is managed and operated by Blackcat India that has had a presence for over 25 years in the industry. The company is a leader in the manufacturing of Audio – Video Cables & Converters. Recently, Team IT-Voice interacted with Deepak Kothari, Managing Director of Blackcat India. He answered questions about the organization, the journey of the company, and the industry segment. Here is an excerpt from the interaction:
Prateek: Tell us about the journey of Black-i.
Deepak Kothari: Black-i was born in the year 2019 started by two different mindset personalities which resulted in a great combination of traditional and modern methods of business. The founders of Black-i, Mr. Bimal Kumar Kothari, who believed in traditional ways of business policies, handles all the major strategic planning of the company’s growth and the second founder Mr. Deepak Kothari, who believes in improvisation of products in this industry handles the sales, development, and marketing of products through modern methods. We started this brand with minimum SKUs as less than 5 products and currently, we have more than 70+ SKU’s and by the end of the financial year 2021-2022 we have a projected number of up to 150 SKU’s.
Black-i is an initiative to serve consumers with high-quality products which are reliable and serves their requirements at the most priority. In the sector of audio & video accessories such as HDMI, VGA, DVI, Display port, Type-C, etc., there are a lot of cheap goods which end up with no warranty or guarantee and the consumer ends up struggling with connectivity issues. This gave an idea to research and design products where the customers are served with superior quality products which are made using high-quality raw materials and chipsets.
Prateek: How has the pandemic affected the business? What policies did Black-i adapt to cope up with the change?
Deepak Kothari: As we all know that pandemic was a great depression period for any business but due to our tie-ups with the government and medical industry we could still survive and also help our dealer channel and distributors to generate some revenue.
Black-i has opted a lot of policies to cope up with the change, the one lesson we have learned is to go online, and hence we have taken the necessary steps to serve our customers through the online marketplace and will be launching our own e-commerce website which will make consumers purchase goods sitting at the comfort of their home.
Prateek: What will be your marketing strategy to penetrate deeper into the Indian market?
Deepak Kothari: Black-i is coming up with their e-commerce store and will also be available on amazon.in, this two will majorly be concentrated towards our B2C market. For B2B expansion we have planned to increase our dealer channels in the cities and states where our presence is less. We shall be starting up with the expansion of our brand in South India first and by the end of the year, we shall increase our channel towards cities like Delhi and Maharashtra. As Black-i is based in Bangalore which is the IT hub of India, we have a really strong base but Pan India expansion is also really important for the brand to serve every city of the country.
Prateek: Are there any futuristic products ready for launch?
Deepak Kothari: Black-i launches approximately 6-10 products every month, in the month of September we have plans to launch our new products such as Type-C to Lightning Cable, which is certified by Apple, the major advantage is the customer’s trust. Obtaining this license makes the customer trust our brand. In the same way, we will be coming up with HDMI fiber optical cables which are affordable and made of high-quality raw materials. We have a line-up of 15 products to be launched in the month of September 2021, which will add up a great value to the brand with the feasibility of choosing one single brand for all their connectivity requirements.
Prateek: Has the demand for your products increased in the last year?
Deepak Kothari: Yes, due to work from home everyone had some issues and Black-i exactly knew the issues and provided solutions to their consumers. The major issue for anyone would be connected to the internet, sometimes the Wi-fi speed isn’t sufficient and consumers preferred the traditional way of connecting their laptops through internet and as a consumer-oriented brand we bought them the right solution i.e., the USB to Lan and Type-C to Lan converter in two different variants, one is the 1000 Mbps / 1Gbps variant and the other is 2500 Mbps / 2.5Gbps variant and let the consumer chose as per their convivence. With this solution, we have served 1000’s consumers to overcome their day-to-day technical issues and made their work from home hassle-free.
Prateek: Which product or product section brought the most traction for Black-i?
Deepak Kothari: Most of our product segments are based on our previous years’ experience, with so much data related to the customers we have chosen our products very carefully. Most of our products are used by companies till a common man. If we have to particularly highlight our product segment we would give all the credits to our USB converters, HDMI Cables, and Type-C segment. But all our products have added a great and significant value to our brand.
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