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BW Businessworld

M&A: Vaping, The Future Of Nicotine

Founder and CEO of Evolve Vapors Nitesh Rastogi exlains how vaping is a global phenomenon now and that India needs to be educated about this alternative to move towards a lung-cancer-free society

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Founder and CEO of Evolve Vapors Nitesh Rastogi is all set to rid the society of tobacco. Talking to BW Businessworld, he exlains how vaping is a global phenomenon now and that India needs to be educated about this alternative to move towards a lung-cancer-free society. He informs that Evolve Vapors will soon be organising on-ground experience zones and holding one-on-one interactions with customers to help them make the switch.

What was your thought behind bringing Evolve Vapors to India?
For the past two years, we were focused on launching US Patented, high-end luxury devices for advanced and intermediary vapers, to the US and European markets, under the brand Pivot Vapors. Since India is unfamiliar with the global phenomena, we knew the challenge in introducing vaping and educating would be enormous. Prudent financial logic led us to put all our technical expertise gained with Pivot to create Evolve. We specifically created the Guaranteed Switching ExperienceTM just for smokers and a perfected transitioning experience for intermediary vapers. The range of devices, flavors of liquids and business model are all synced to ensure that we help people make the educated choice and lead a healthier lifestyle.

What is the core brand philosophy behind Evolve Vapors?
I’m deeply inspired by the concept of value creation, which I was introduced to while I worked at a Charles Koch company. Vaping is a serious business because we have the opportunity to prevent lung cancer. We work tirelessly to deliver a perfected 360 degree vaping experience; so we do our own designing, research, technology development, flavor and liquid manufacturing and have our own bottling plants . We cut no corners and spare no costs because nothing is more important to us than consumers’ safety.We believe in selling only directly, and maintaining a one-to-one contact with each and every customer, to ensure they are able to make the switch successfully. What we are selling is peace of mind, not a product.

What is your core target group (TG) and how can this device stop them from smoking?
Anyone who consumes tobacco in any form. The Explorer device with its controlled airflow simulates the cigarette drag/inhaling experience, and our Red and Traditional tobacco flavors (in varying nicotine strengths) simulate the flavor of tobacco, so the switching experience is seamless and instantaneous. Vaping is about two things: deep lung hits (large clouds) and consumption of sweet and savory flavors. The Brute device is designed for intermediary and avid vapers, which will also satisfy Hookah users.

Have you faced any scrutiny from brands like ITC or other cigarette companies?
Evolve and Pivot were born in the heart of the vaping culture in Orange County, California. Pivot’s ultra-high-end devices, Evolve’s entry-level and intermediary devices, our liquid lab in the US that produces flavors for both brands, the bottling plant in India, and a perfected contract manufacturing supply-chain make us a complete package. We are already light years ahead. Tobacco companies on the other hand continue to invest in e-cigarettes, which is a failed technology because these cannot help smokers make the switch. Vaping is a proven concept with 45 million ex-smokers in just two years.

How is vaping different from an e-cigarette or an e-hookah?
E-cigarettes are a failed seven-year-old technology, whereas vaping is a novel and advanced technology that employs the same basic engineering principles. Vaporisers are significantly more powerful; the coils are made of cotton, the tanks are refillable, and the liquids are made from high-quality components, which make vaping a 360 degree sensory experience with thousands of delectable flavors, deep lung hits and large clouds, thereby completely and totally satiating anyone who wishes to smoke. Vaping is not a compromise, it is an upgrade. E-cigarettes are usually disposable, underpowered plastic devices with little vapor and heat that use fiberglass wicks. Smokers try these to adapt to a healthier lifestyle, but end up going back to smoking with a more fervent addiction. There is no such device as e-hookah. This term is used and promoted by those who do not understand the concept of vaping, and are selling these devices simply for monetary gains.

Your products are designed in the US and assembled in China. When China comes into the picture, the perception of the product changes. Do you agree?
The scale of economies in China are far advanced. There, we audited over 200 component manufacturers, and selected only the ones with industry-leading certifications. Every component is tested and manufactured to our exacting specifications and we follow the strictest quality controls. In the end, the factories that manufacture Apple products in China don’t determine Apple’s quality. Apple does that.

What is your marketing model? What are the different marketing channels you are using?

Nobody started smoking by themselves. They were introduced to it. We are already in the process of evaluating partnerships with national Food and Beverage establishments and large corporations where we can share the experience with our potential target base and retail only the liquids. All device sales will be executed only from our website, as customer interaction for us is key.

What is the future of vaping in the country? Where do you feel your brand would fit in the system?
Vaping industry is projected to hit the $800-billion mark in the next seven years as predicted by Bloomberg. Susan Cameron, president of Reynolds American, in a Wall Street Journal interview said, “In ten years we could have people only vaping.” India will be no exception to the global phenomenon. Our focused customer service, perfection in devices and variety in flavours will ensure our success as the leader of the vaping industry in this nation.