Home-grown accessory brand pTron, offering a bouquet of mobile accessories at aggressive pricing, is ramping up its manufacturing in India. pTron’s aggressive pricing caused a disruption in the non-organised accessory market and helped the company cross Rs 100 crore net revenue in FY21.
“There are different categories in mobile brand accessories. The first tier has players like Apple and Beats. The second tier is dominated by players like Sony and Vivo. The third one is dominated by players like Xiaomi, boAt, Noise amongst others. And then there is the unorganised sector where we compete,” says Ameen Khwaja, Founder & CEO, pTron.
Catering to masses with a limited budget of up to Rs 2,000, pTron’s accessories are priced very economically. pTron’s neckband starts from Rs 500 and the true wireless earbuds from Rs 800. “We came in this segment and made sure our product quality was good,” explains Khwaja.
But offering a good quality product at such an aggressive price is only feasible if one knows the product inside out. And pTron has cracked the model by not just purchasing it from manufacturers and importing the product into the country. “We work with component suppliers and supply these parts to the assembly line. Even though manufacturing is in China, a lot of R&D happens from our side. So that's how we were able to crack this. Because if you just go to OEM or ODM at a lower price range, it's very difficult to get a good product,” explains Khwaja.
The company’s close control over the component supply has helped pTron start assembly in India too. While the majority of pTron’s accessories are manufactured in China, the company is ramping up manufacturing in India. “Unlike many other players, who buy products from China and bring them into the country, our know-how and knowledge about the products and connection with component suppliers have helped us with our next vision of assembly in India,” says Khwaja. Currently, only 6-7per cent of pTron’s total accessories are assembled in India, however, the company plans to ramp up manufacturing to 25-30 per cent in the next one year.
Available in online and offline retail, pTron expects to double the net revenue at Rs 180-200 crore by the end of this financial year. While Amazon contributes up to 75-80 per cent of the sales, offline isn’t that big for pTron at present. “We are available in Reliance and Croma. We are talking to DMart right now. If I take large format retail and general trade with Udaan, they contribute around 11 per cent in volume. However, we would like to take it to 25-30 per cent of our total business,” adds Khwaja. Instead of the conventional model, pTron is partnering with a platform like Udaan. "That's where disruption is happening. For a brand like ours, the price point is very important. There are multiple layers of margin -- distributor, sub-distributor and retailer,” adds Khwaja. And as the company is directly selling on Amazon, the traditional offline model does not look sustainable.
With the chip shortage impacting an increasing number of industries, pTron hasn’t experienced any challenges yet. But Khwaja is anticipating some hurdles in the future if the crisis persists. He explains: “Continued shortage of chipsets can lead to an increase in the prices of the chipsets by 10-15 per cent at least, which can further impact the prices of the actual product in the retail market.” However, pTron is already geared up for the upcoming festive season and hasn’t faced any chip souring issues.
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