Interview: Amkette's transformation to a lifestyle tech brand and its focus on innovation for the Indian market

Amkette gives us a glimpse of how the brand has evolved and shares its future plans on developing unique products for Indian consumers.

By Soham Raninga Published Date
15 - Apr - 2014
| Last Updated
28 - May - 2014
Interview: Amkette's transformation to a lifestyle tech brand and...

We interview Mr. Rajiv Bapna, Founder and Director, Amkette. Mr. Bapna takes us through the evolution of Amkette from a brand famous for floppy disk to a brand now focused on pioneering acoustics and offering unique lifestyle products.

Q: Amkette has transformed itself from being an IT peripherals company to a lifestyle brand, focusing on A/V entertainment. Why this shift and how has the journey been so far?
Amkette began its journey as a storage technology pioneer over 25 years ago and over the years transformed itself to meet the challenges of times yet keeping its core strengths alive. Since the beginning, Amkette had focused on R & D and innovations based on consumer insights.  Even today, they remain the core DNA of Amkette. No wonder, all Amkette products are defined by distinctive design, innovative technology, affordable pricing and satisfying customer experience.

Today Amkette specializes in 4 technology areas; wireless, audio, multimedia and storage. A year ago, we introduced a path breaking multimedia product, named EVO TV.  We have extended our expertise in multimedia to digital audio and are introducing a range of audio products for the current mobile-generation.  Some of the exceptionally successful products have been Amkette Metal Speakers and Free Spirit Headphones.  Our recent introduction has been a tangle-free earphones with metallic sound chamber to create superior bass.

We are enjoying what we do and so far journey has been encouraging.

Q: The EVO TV is probably the most popular product in your portfolio, are you planning to expand the line-up and offer more options?
EVO TV was one of the most well-received products from Amkette in the market. We are planning to expand the product line as we are planning to come out with two new variants of the product which are more advanced and better suited for the changing needs of our audience. Some special app products are also in the pipeline the EVO TV.

Q: Does Amkette have an R&D center in India? If yes, where is it and what kind of work does it focus on?
Yes Amkette has its R&D centres in India. Amkette’s focussed R&D operations happen at two places: Delhi and Bangalore. The design and development of the products happens in Delhi whereas the software is developed in Bangalore.

Q: What is Amkette doing differently compared to other competing brands to specifically cater to Indian audience? What is its USP?
All Amkette products are designed and developed after extensive consumer feedback.  Therefore, each product from Amkette has a unique story for consumers. This, coupled with our core promise of cutting-edge technology, contemporary product design and affordable pricing makes Amkette a unique brand.  This is particularly so in India, where consumers seek high quality products at a reasonable prices.  As an example, Amkette Atom Earphones are very reasonably priced headphones which offer not only tangle free wires, but also a superior Metallic Sound Chamber.

Q: From your experience, can you rank the following parameters that an Indian customer would look for in a technology product, please rank them in order of highest preference to lowest preference from the Indian customer’s perspective?
1. Design
2. Brand equity/perception (flaunt value)
3. Value
4. Innovation
5. Build quality (product life)
6. Support
7. Pricing

Q: What future trends do you see in the field of technology, particularly with respect to the market that Amkette is catering to?
Technology is moving at a fast pace.  We pride ourselves in moving with technology and always work on a 12 months product roadmap.  At this moment, we are particularly excited with portable audio and multimedia technologies on one hand and convergence of screens through wireless technology on the other.  In both areas, we have strong technological base.  Please stay tuned with many exciting products from Amkette in next 6 to 12 months.

Q: Most tech brands have entered the mobile phone business, attempting to cash-in on the explosive mobile phone (smartphone) market growth in India. Is Amkette planning the same, if not, why?
Since Amkette is in the convergence space, we do fall in the smartphone gambit. We are attempting to cash-in on the explosive smartphone market in India but as enablers and not as developers. We create equipment that enables convergence. We are the connectors of the screens. We help smartphones perform smarter with our high tech devices.

Q: The Amkette acoustics line of portable speakers is your latest range of audio products, how are they different from the very similar products available in India from other brands?
Amkette Portable Speakers fundamentally differ from other products in this space, because they are designed to provide big sound from small spaces.  For example, instead of using standard plastic or aluminium sound chamber which is used by many similar products, even by international brands, Amkette is the only company which is using metal alloy sound chamber.  This costs a lot more, but gives a powerful bass and big sound from such a small device.  No wonder several people have found it to be the smallest and the loudest speaker on Earth.  Our next portable speaker will be even more powerful and exciting. Stay tuned...

All responses are attributed to Mr. Rajiv Bapna, Founder and Director of Amkette.

Soham RaningaSoham Raninga