Here’s the transcript of the interview: –
Gizmore (Mr Sanjay Kalirona) x IT Voice (Mr Khushagra Taunk)
Khushagra: Starting off, share some insights upon Gizmore as a brand, and how its products are targeted at the users and customers in India?
Sanjay: We started our venture back in 2018, and the idea was to be one of the top brands in the technology and lifestyle segment. My partners and I have more than 20 years of experience in the space of Mobile, IT and tech accessories. Initially, we were focused on the fitness products and then branched out to the audio products category as well. As of today, Gizmore has a significant presence in personal audio, home audio and fitness (with the smartwatches) categories, and that has been our major focus in building up this brand.
Earlier we were only present via offline mediums. We started with the Northern part of India, then the Western, then the Southern and then finally expanded to the Eastern part of the country. Now we are operating on a PAN India level, available in more than 200+ cities, have more than 100+ people in our team and 200+ distributors and are available at more than 15,000+ retail points.
We are now in this business for over four years. Having established in the offline space, we are also present on online websites. A major part of our sales is still coming through the offline medium. Our aim is to make Gizmore’s quality products available to a large number of people including the ones residing in Tier 3 and beyond cities of India.
Khushagra: Gizmore holds a wide range of lifestyle products, what is USP for the brand?
Sanjay: Our brand’s key USP has always been producing high-quality products with the most up-to-date features at an affordable price and making them available to a wider audience. It’s because other competitors operate across numerous platforms, including the internet, therefore we keep a close watch on price fluctuation across channels. We believe in having uniform pricing throughout all our selling channels, including online, retailers, and storefronts.
As I have stated, our goal is to bring innovative products to the country’s last mile.
We believe that our competitive prices have allowed us to reach out to many individuals while also providing the finest after-sales support.
Khushagra: In this huge market, how competitive has the market been for Gizmore, having globally established brands too in the market?
Sanjay: Recently, the fitness and personal audio category have grown significantly.
So, instead of only national companies competing, there are undoubtedly far larger brands available on Flipkart and Amazon.
With global competitors in the category, I believe we are on our way to becoming one of the top five brands in the industry within India. But ultimately, I believe that it is the user that benefits the most. Since, with all these brands on the market customers can now easily acquire a wristwatch that includes calling, personal health, and other features for a very reasonable price. The battery backup has also been greatly improved day by day, resulting in a better product.
Eventually, every firm aspires to be the finest in the market, with reasonably good products and a pleasant environment. I feel, Gizmore have a solid presence in the market, and we are looking forward to forming an exclusive partnership with Flipkart for future sales.
Khushagra: How big the Make in India campaign has benefited Gizmore to expand their market to a bigger set audience and how is the process going?
Sanjay: As a homegrown brand, Gizmore has surely benefited since this programme, has been in place, with pricing benefits to both of us as a brand and to consumers.
When we first started in 2018, most of our products were imported, but when the Government of India announced the Make in India initiative, we felt it was the right time to initiate manufacturing of our products in India and become self-reliant. Soon after, the government announced the SKD regulations, as well as tariff benefits for accessory segments, so we began shifting to having our products manufactured in India.
So, we started with cables, earphones, chargers, and power banks, and then moved to speakers. Currently, more than 80 per cent of our speaker portfolio is Made in India. I am pleased to share that we debuted our Made in India line of smartwatches last month.
Khushagra: In an ever-growing market, how competitive is the market for you in terms of sales and customer retention, and what all challenges have you faced?
Sanjay: In my opinion, ours are high-usage and low-value products. So, because our products are now supplied through multiple retail outlets and other mediums rather than directly, we don’t have a precise measure or any form of a report for the same. However, our philosophy has always been to provide high-quality products to clients, and when you sell high-quality things, people become attracted to the brand and want to buy other and new products as well.
We believe that as a brand, we have an edge with this Make in India Initiative and operating from the heart of India (Delhi) and having an affiliation with various factories all around and near us has also aided us in our business and sales.
In about a year’s time, we plan to have all of our products manufactured in India.
Khushagra: Shifting from importing products from different countries to now producing them here in India, has there been any quality differences?
Sanjay: See there will always be concerns when you are changing the methods or adopting new ones. However, over time, the quality of the products we are making currently has significantly improved when compared to importing products from China. Practically all factories have all the equipment as well as skilled labour that is required to produce high-quality goods. As a result, there are no longer any issues, and the quality is also better than before.
Khushagra: Share some highlights on the need for and importance of R&D and as well as developing it in-house with the Make in India Vision into play?
Sanjay: With all the duty benefits now in effect, we can provide our products at a competitive price, and Research and Development have undoubtedly played a key part in developing a better and more innovative product with the most up-to-date features.
Overall, it has been made possible by the start of our government’s wonderful project.
Khushagra: What does the roadmap for Gizmore look like for the upcoming couple of years?
Sanjay: Every brand in this segment wants their products and brands to be at the top, and we want to be at the top of the line, too. With the market growing at 300%, our focus will continue to be on fitness products, with smartwatches being the first in line. We are also aggressively moving towards making our products available on both online and offline mediums.
Our products have been well received in the market, with positive feedback from our retailers and distributors. We will be expanding our fitness product line to capture a larger share of the market.
We are focused on the government of India’s “Make in India” initiative and have a clear goal for generating best-in-class technology products for the Indian masses. GIZFIT 910 PRO, our first ‘Make in India’ smartwatch, was recently introduced at an introductory price of Rs. 2,499. GIZFIT 910 PRO is the only watch in this price range with built-in calling and AI voice assistant functionality, aimed at health and lifestyle lovers.
Khushagra: Gizmore is planning to sell more than 7,50,000 neckbands, mostly to be made in India, what will be the benefits and implications for Gizmore as a brand?
Sanjay: When we used to import products from other countries, there were many elements to consider, such as rate hikes, import duties, and hikes in the same, and it was difficult to stay on a consistent business route.
We started with a few neckbands and are planning on adding seven more soon.
Later in the stage of developing our products in India, we have a better and smoother supply chain operation, these figures will be useful.
Khushagra: Are there any plans for global expansion for Gizmore as a lifestyle brand?
Sanjay: To be clear, we have already arrived in Nepal. We’ve been there for eight months, and things are going nicely in terms of sales.
In addition, we have several other nations in mind for our worldwide expansion strategy, with Bangladesh and the Middle East being top priorities.
Khushagra: Would you emphasize the “Make in India Movement by the Government of India”, and how important it is for all the homegrown brands to be self-reliant and for the overall national economy?
Sanjay: It will outperform all domestic brands in this category, with our own Indian names accounting for the vast bulk of the Indian market.
And, unlike the mobile market, in which brands from all over the world dominate, this segment is dominated solely by our own brands.
This market is always evolving, with room for progress for many years to come, and with Make in India in place, it will undoubtedly improve for all domestic brands.
As a result, the company with the best combination of high-quality items and excellent after-sales service will outperform the competition.
Khushagra: Some highlights upon Gizmore’s after-sales support?
Sanjay: We have over 200+ Service Centres across India, each with its own in-house CRM to keep track of everything, and with over 25+ service personnel, we can ensure that every complaint is handled and resolved with the appropriate solution.
And I believe that service has always been our strength, which we are steadily increasing.
Khushagra: What would like to say to all the young entrepreneurs out there trying to achieve success in business?
Sanjay: Whatever you do, first grasp the market’s needs and requirements, and if you have a solution to improve that market, go for it. Sales and all other aspects will undoubtedly follow.