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BW Businessworld

We Are Fine Even Without An IPO

Aman Gupta, Co-founder and CMO, boAt opens up on the brand’s next big pivot and why he is not banking on the public money. Excerpts

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boAt’s sales jumped over two times in FY22. What factors helped you achieve those numbers?

We are not fly-by-night operators, we make products that are tuned in to the Indian customers, so it's a magical combination of the right product for the right consumer that has worked for us.

boAt has captured the Indian market well, what about expanding footprints to international markets?

People often tell us why we don't look outside India, but for us, India itself is such a big opportunity that we are not able to see outside India for now.

Nobody expected an Indian brand to be the top brand in the world. boAt is now the second-largest wearable brand in the world, which is a proud feeling for us. 

If you look at the smartwatch market, which is our next big frontier, that is growing even more. In fact, I believe India will become the world’s largest smartwatch market in the coming time, so domestic growth is something which we are focused on at the moment.

What has been the most difficult moment for you at boAt till now? How do you manage to stay the course despite the highs and lows?

Challenges are always there, it's only the type of challenges that keep changing.

If you ask me how I stay grounded, well there are people around me who keep me grounded. As a person, you cannot change me, staying humble is a core belief that I practise and that comes from the middle class upbringing that I have. There is a thin line between attitude and arrogance and I hope I never cross that.

What are the big shifts taking place in the startup ecosystem?

The era of free money is over, the time of unprofitable and unsustainable companies is over. However, if you have a good product company, money is still available. People may call the current startup scenario as a funding winter, but we still managed to raise Rs 500 crore in funds.

In October last year, the company deferred its public share sale plans amid continuing concerns over the volatile stock market. What is your plan ahead?

We have just got new funding and it would be another one or two tears when the markets will be in a better position that we will look at it. We are also building our wearables business and there will be growth levers on all sides. Honestly there is no hurry as we don't need those funds, so we are fine without an IPO.