After its recent launch in Dubai, bootstrapped wearable watchmaker Fire-Boltt plans to take its operations to the US, Europe and Africa within the next six months. Back home, the company also aims to raise its market share to 30% by the end of this financial year, its co-founders Arnav and Aayushi Kishore told FE.
In Q1 2022, Fire-Boltt became the leader by grabbing a market share of 24.6% in the wearables watch category, up significantly from 2.9% in Q1 2021. That customer inflow came primarily from its major peers like Noise which saw its market share decline to 23.4% from 27%, boAt who also saw a fall to 15.1% from 22.1% and other companies whose share dropped to 36.9% from 48% on a year-on-year (y-o-y) basis during the same period, data from International Data Corporation (IDC) showed.
“We came from being an underdog company to being the market leader and we’re only going to get better from here. Fire-Boltt is planning to expand operations to the US, Europe, and Africa as these are promising markets for us with tremendous opportunities. We will also expand our business to other countries soon and have already set up our local teams in multiple regions. The aim is to grow 5X of our India business from these international markets,” said Arnav Kishore, co-founder and CEO, Fire-Boltt.
Explaining the reason behind the company’s rise, Upasana Joshi, principal analyst, wearables, IDC India said, Fire-Boltt “has strong backing from Savex – which is an established and well renowned national distributor (ND) for brands like Samsung, dealing in a variety of electronic devices like smartphones and tablets. Thus, establishing strong footholds in the offline distribution. They (Fire-Boltt) have had multiple launches in Q1 2022. Aggressive marketing, strong promotions and competitive pricing helped the brand to lead in Q1 2022.”
Fire-Boltt intends to sell 12 million units (MU) in FY23, a 380% increase from the total of 2.5 MU it sold in FY22. So far, it has sold 3 MU in the first two quarters of this fiscal year, the company said.
A bulk of those products are currently manufactured in China, with some contribution from Vietnam and others, but within the next three months, 50% of its manufacturing base will move to India, CEO Kishore said. The company expects no major change in its price points from that shift.
Currently, its website (direct to consumer), e-commerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart and offline retailers, account for roughly 10%, 40% and 50% of its sales, respectively. Going forward, “Our skew will be more towards the offline model and we plan to drive 60% of our total sales from physical stores in the next three months,” the founders said.
Those channels in total will help the company triple its revenues to `1,500 crore in FY23, from `500 crore in FY22, they added.
Less than 30% of its overall revenues come from the top 50 Indian cities while majorly the non-metro cities make for 70% of Fire-Boltt’s total sales.
While it dominates the wearable watch space, in the overall wearables category — which includes even audio devices like wireless earphones — Fire-Boltt was placed fourth, after boAt, Noise and OnePlus, with a market share of 6.6%. The other three enjoyed a market share of about 22.9%, 10.9% and 7.4% respectively in Q1 2022, IDC data showed. Other companies together account for the remaining 45.6% of the market.
That thin share in the broader market was primarily because Fire-Boltt does not yet majorly concentrate on audio devices and 99% of its revenues come from just watches presently. The brother-sister duo said that was likely to change as they plan “to launch audio devices in a very big way over the coming three months.”