When it comes to sound, Danish brand Jabra has made a name for itself, specializing in audio equipment, and more recently videoconference systems. Jabra engineers, manufactures, and markets wireless, true wireless, and corded headphones for consumers and business customers. Over the last several years, Jabra’s true wireless earbuds under the Elite series have consistently earned positive response from users and are often at the top of recommendation lists for people. Jabra shares knowledge and expertise of GN Group – world-leading expertise in the human ear, sound & video processing, and wireless technology, having expertise for over a century. Dr Amitesh Punhani, Head of APAC, Consumer Marketing at Jabra, discussed more about the pioneering audio brand, its product categories and vision for the India market, in an interaction with Ramesh Kumar Raja. Excerpts:
How has been the journey so far for Jabra in India, which has grown to be a hyper-competitive market having innumerable brands at different price points?
India is a very dynamic marketplace, having huge potential for growth with highly competitive landscape. However, we have witnessed an exciting phase, right from the time we entered the market to where we are today. Over the years, within the true wireless category, Jabra has evolved from a mono headset consumer brand to one of the top leading true wireless brands in the country. Having a healthy mix of consumer and enterprise products at different price points, we target both consumers and enterprises who are modern, tech-savvy – demand gadgets for music, making calls, on-the-go need during workout or travel. Over the last 3-4 years, our focus in India has increased towards the B2C segment and we are amongst the top players in the premium wireless headphones market.
Jabra as a brand stands for the pursuit of the perfect sound, which allows us the leeway of understanding what Indian consumers think and demand in terms of premium sound quality. We are seeing steady growth in this segment, and our success in India has been achieved on the back of extremely high-quality audio products.
|“Jabra as a brand stands for the pursuit of the perfect sound, which allows us the leeway of understanding what Indian consumers think and demand in terms of premium sound quality. We are seeing steady growth in this segment, and our success in India has been achieved on the back of extremely high-quality audio products”|
You have a wide range of products in the hearables segment besides offering speakerphones and video solutions. How has been the response so far?
Jabra stands out as a world leader in intelligent audio solutions that transform people’s lives through the power of sound. We understand the need for best-in-class headset solutions to help our customers communicate clearly, while making strong footprints in both consumer and enterprise segment. Our consumer portfolio has different categories of products under the Elite series like true wireless earbuds – tailored to specific use cases.
Our enterprise portfolio is designed for people operating in challenging high-noise workplaces, helping them enhance productivity through improved concentration, conversation, and collaboration, with innovative offerings like the Evolve series, BlueParrott, PanaCast, and Speak series.
We have witnessed tremendous growth in both the segments so far and are vigorously working towards introducing products and solutions which can solve real-world problems.
What is the brand’s biggest differentiator, especially in a country like India where majority of people are price-conscious?
Jabra shares knowledge and expertise of GN Group – world-leading expertise in the human ear, sound & video processing, and wireless technology, having expertise for over a century. This combined expertise allows us to create intuitive solutions – making life sound better. Furthermore, we also share pioneering spirit of the group’s flagship hearing aid brand ReSound, which is why we have unrivalled sound capabilities. Thus, we proudly say that we understand sound better and this has been the biggest brand differentiator for the Indian market.
We have observed that the Indian consumers are well-researched and value quality over cost, despite having numerous products at different price segments. Users are now receptive to buying high quality headphones rather than just use the packaged ones which comes bundled with smartphones. Additionally, the recently-launched Elite range is a testament of our commitment to offer unique and innovative solutions to a wider audience with different needs at varied price points.
Which among the product categories yielded maximum business for you in India?
We are in unprecedented times, seeing unforeseen shifts in society that are impacting us all. For many, work from home has disrupted both work and personal lives. As a consequence, we have seen striking increase in the demand for our enterprise products & solutions like Evolve7 75, Panacast 20 to enable business continuity. We are happy to see the positive response for our high performing Elite series in India, which caters to varied customer segments.
Amidst this, ensuring supply chain and re-doubling the efforts to expand productivity and reinventing call technology has been our primary focus in these difficult times. Jabra, with a longstanding belief in the benefits of working from anywhere, is committed to create integrated tools for contact centers, offices.
Is Jabra’s TWS, the Elite series, doing well in the market and why?
As per Counterpoint report, the true wireless (TWS) segment has registered 68 per cent growth in Q2 of 2021. Over the years, the TWS segment has grown exponentially owing to dependence on smart gadgets and lifestyle changes, rise in work from home scenarios, hybrid working, etc. Last year, we saw a high number of launches in the TWS segment in India which backed this significant growth in the region.
The Elite series is a family of headphones and earbuds engineered for superior sound to provide the best combined voice and music experience. It comprises Elite 65t, Active 65t, Elite 75t, Active 75t, Elite 45e, Elite 85t and the reinvented new Elite series launched last year – Elite 7 Pro, Elite 7 Active, Elite 4 Active, Elite 3, and Elite 2. While the Elite 65t was widely acclaimed as the best true wireless earbuds, we redefined the true wireless range by announcing the new era of earbuds – the Elite 7 Pro as a revolutionary product that features Jabra MultiSensor VoiceTM technology, offering best-in-class call performance. The Elite 7 Active comes with pioneering ShakeGripTM coating, perfect for those active lifestyles. The Elite 3 and Elite 2 caters to a much wider audience at an affordable price point, offering fantastic sound while on-the-go. Lastly, the Jabra Elite 4 Active is engineered for those who love an active lifestyle, including popular workouts like yoga, boxing or running.
Over the last several years, Jabra’s true wireless earbuds have consistently earned positive response from users and are often at the top of recommendation lists for people. It is appreciative that our products are being praised and loved by our audience, worldwide. Meanwhile, we will continue to offer such unique propositions for our customers to enable top quality sound experience.
Jabra has a strong product influence in B2B market world over. Has it been achieved in India as well?
We believe that our India market share is consistent with our global market share. Our customers embrace our vision, design approach and quality of products thereby patronizing our products. India is an important growth market, and we have our attention focused on this.
What would be your next or the natural phase of product expansion?
At Jabra, we take our many years of experience to push the boundaries of technology, and the new Elite range is a result of our commitment to offer unique and innovative solutions. Not too long ago, we announced the launch of new Elite true wireless line-up – the Elite 7 Pro, Elite Active and core Elite lines, which is versatile, offering exceptional audio experience, MutliSensor technology, and stand-out design for varied customer segments. Very recently, we added Elite 4 Active to the range bringing the Elite Active range to a broader audience – for those who love an active lifestyle.
Our endeavor is to provide best in class products as per consumers growing needs and demands given the varied circumstances, and we will continue to work towards offering premium sound experience for customers across segments and launch exciting and innovative products every year.
|“Our endeavor is to provide best in class products as per consumers growing needs and demands given the varied circumstances, and we will continue to work towards offering premium sound experience for customers across segments and launch exciting and innovative products every year”|
What is your approach to the “after sales service” that majority of Indians are concerned about?
We, at Jabra, believe in empowering our customers to get the maximum value of the product, and not just support them in resolving issues. We have Customer Online Support enabling customers to get instant support to resolve any technical queries on any of the Jabra products. Moreover, we want our users to have seamless music experience.
Please tell us something about R&D and innovation at Jabra?
As part of GN Group, we’ve been dedicated to sound for over a century. By delivering improved experiences, we design products that are engineered for one’s audio needs, making life sound better. Thus, we know sound well. For example, users have different needs, some are desk workers, some need to move within office to conduct their work, some travel outside the office, some need to concentrate in a noisy office environment, some work from home, some need active lifestyle, etc. While a true wireless earbud is a common requirement for all this, our “Engineered for purpose” design caters to these specific needs. We extensively use advanced AI, cutting edge computing technologies, etc. in many of our products to suit the changing ways of working in the new normal.