Popular landline phone maker Beetel made its foray into mobile accessories market with the launch of Flix brand last year. Since then it has diversified its product portfolio from earphones and Bluetooth speakers to mobile chargers, power banks and data cables, and to even smartwatches. And now, Flix wishes to make it big with its plan to achieve an audacious goal of 500 crores by value by the end of 2022. Puneet Gupta, Business Head, Flix, in a conversation with Ramesh Kumar Raja, speaks more about the brand and its strategy to be a prominent player in the ever-growing accessories segment, similar to what Beetel has achieved over the years. Excerpts:
Flix is a very new player in the smart accessories segment. How are you positioning it in India which already is a hyper-competitive market having innumerable brands at different price points?
Flix has been positioned as a value for money brand catering to the needs of the GenZ, alongside making modern technology accessible and affordable. Our products are high on technology and style in sync with the needs of today’s generation.
We concur with your statement that many tech brands are operating in India, be it the fly-by-night operators or the much-entrenched foreign players. Instead, we have seen a vacuum for an Indian brand in the smart accessories space, and with our experience and legacy, we can fill those gaps and fulfill the aspirations of the Indian millennials and GenZs. The biggest differentiator for us is our Made in India products with undisputed quality. We have a grip on the pulse of Indian consumers, deep trade knowledge, and technical know-how of the mobile accessories space that genuinely helps us stand apart from the market.
What role does Beetel play in giving impetus to Flix?
Beetel has a legacy of more than three decades and has strong brand equity amongst the customers. Beetel has been synonymous with its quality and durability and has been the leader in its category. With Flix coming from the same stable, we will continue to take forward the same value, quality, and trust to our consumers in the smart accessories space. This would be a big plus point for Flix to establish its standpoint in the industry.
You have a very limited number of products to offer. How has been the response so far and what’s your product-expansion plan to make Flix large?
Flix has very recently entered the Indian markets, and in this short period, we already have close to 45 SKUs, which is not limited. The response to the product range has been encouraging. It’s overwhelming to see the positive response we have got from the consumers and trade alike – it’s a testament to our commitment to product quality, durability and affordability. Our products have been readily accepted and appreciated, along with the packaging that stands out in this competitive market. By the end of 2021, we look forward to having over 200 SKUs across the verticals, however more focused on audio and power.
Which are the areas you are targeting and whom do you consider your potential buyers?
In a country like India where the demographics change every 100kms, a Swiss-knife approach is required and hence we will follow an omnichannel strategy. We expect 60% of our revenues to come from offline channels consisting of Modern Trade and General Trade, both and remaining from online platforms. We already have existing relationships with the duo of Amazon and Flipkart.
A product is as good as its distribution, and our target is to reach more than 10,000 retailers in the offline channel, which will help us expand. For most other brands, their revenue depends heavily on online sales (>65%), and general trade is the weak link in their business. We are going to follow a contrarian approach.
Flix is based on three tenets 1) technology to be accessible 2) interface to be interactive 3) design to be delightful. Our bouquet of products includes earphones, headphones, TWS (Truly Wireless Stereo), Bluetooth speakers, bar studio, power banks, chargers and cables. All our products are targeted at millennials and Gen Zs. We aspire to be a mass-market brand with our value for money product line.
|“A product is as good as its distribution, and our target is to reach more than 10,000 retailers in the offline channel, which will help us expand. For most other brands, their revenue depends heavily on online sales (>65%), and general trade is the weak link in their business. We are going to follow a contrarian approach”|
What is your approach to the “after sales service” which remains an issue for majority of electronics companies?
We are offering an industry-first 400 days warranty on our products and have a simple no-questions-asked over-the-counter (OTC) replacement system for Flix products, making sure that the consumers don’t face any challenges. For us, the customer is undoubtedly the king.
What are your outreach and investment plans for India? Any idea about the market share you are eyeing?
Our made-in-India lineup for 2021 includes power and audio category products. The required CAPEX plans are in place for the same and significant investments have been made already. We plan to achieve an audacious goal of 500 crores (by value) by the end of 2022.
Which platform you are going to exploit more- online or offline?
As said earlier, we expect most of our revenues to come from the offline channels consisting of Modern Trade and General Trade, i.e., about 60% and the remaining 40% from online platforms. We already have an excellent existing relationship with the duo of Amazon and Flipkart. We aim to reach more than 10,000 retailers in the offline channel, which will help us establish our pan India level footprint.
Since you are a Make in India brand, can you please tell us something about R&D and innovation at Flix?
As a brand, we aim to offer the best in technology at the most prudent prices. Understanding that, there is immense focus on R&D and innovation. We would keep on working on new products and the latest features. With the same thought in mind, we have already made a significant investment for boosting manufacturing and plan to drive the newest technologies in sync with the needs of GenZ.
There is a parallel grey market in India thriving on counterfeit accessories and devices. How do you deal with them and what is your advice to the people to do away with those fake products?
With the tough stance taken by the government and new BIS regulations from 1st April’21, these counterfeit operators will be out of the game. Only genuine players will operate. Although the network of these players is powerful, we advise end users to look at the warranty/guarantee along with the quality and durability of products and then take a final call.
Do you have any plan to venture into other markets besides India?
Not as of now. We are currently in-depth focusing on the Indian markets and looking forward to exploring the smart accessories space. We aspire to be a brand known for its technology and value for money product line. However, we would explore such opportunities at the right time.