Abhilash Panda, CEO, DIZO India highlights how DIZO is trying to position itself as a differentiated consumer tech brand in a cluttered ecosystem; where tech brands speak the same language and consumers have precious little to choose from. He shares his vision for the company going forward, the lessons he has drawn from the pandemic and how DIZO is creating a niche for itself.
1. What have the key learnings at Flipkart been and how are you implementing these at DIZO?
Understanding the consumer psyche has always been at the top of my list. I try to understand evolving consumer needs and behavioural shifts - both in tech and lifestyle products.
My strategy at DIZO is to have a 360 degrees approach that places the consumer at the centre of our universe. This has ensured that we provide optimum product solutions and alongside that, consumer satisfaction. We bring the same rigour and thought process when engaging with our DIZO Squad through all possible channels for product designs, name suggestions, customization of watch faces and even their complaints. The plan is to increase this engagement manifold in future. Another important learning is that irrespective of the market being mature or new, the brand and product are both, equally important. Flipkart has a pan India presence, and it is excellent at managing supply chains, which is critical to our success. Therefore, our partnership allows us to focus on what is important for me, and likewise for DIZO as a brand – our products.
2. What lessons have you drawn post the pandemic? And how is this shaping your product roadmap and/or your marketing for DIZO?
The pandemic changed the whole game for a lot of brands. Fortunately, it turned out to be an opportunity for the technology industry. WFH fuelled the smart home, smart entertainment and wearables industry. People realized the need to digitize their surroundings to manage workloads, stay connected and stay fit. Result - the demand for smartwatches and earphones that was predicted to happen 6-8 years in the future, was realised just in 2-3 years.
In the less than one year that we have been operational, we have realized that there is an enormous opportunity in India - not just in tier-1, tier-2 cities, but even tier-3 and tier-4 cities. Therefore, we will keep expanding our reach in terms of product availability and service capabilities to the remotest place.
We understand that consumers are very intelligent and that they seek value for money along with the opportunity to engage with a strong and vibrant brand personality. So, we will stay focused on our mission of popularizing tech among the masses - bringing the latest premium technologies and top quality AIoT experience at aggressive price points. We know there are multiple brands out there, sporting similar specs and even design. At DIZO, we want to be different from the crowd. How? We want to attract those looking for personalized and unique experiences and solutions that complement their unique and different personalities. Along with our tech disruptions, we want to resonate as a different, genuine, cool, humorous and surprising brand.
3. The wearables market has low entry barriers and high competition. How is DIZO creating a niche for itself here and what will it take to emerge as a top brand?
A key differentiator for any brand lies in what the brand stands for and the personality it carries. DIZO is for those who choose to ‘Be Different’ and we come with a singular mission to offer a ‘Smart TechLife for Every Different You’. We want to provide differentiated design and product experiences to enhance the overall user experience. We also have the support of realme with regards to industrial design, supply chain and the AIoT experience.
We want people to try new innovations such as Game Mode, Bass Boost+ algorithm, ENC, Transparency Mode, Biggest AMOLED Display in sub-4K segment, Biggest screen in the 3K segment, metal frame, 600-nits high brightness, realme Link App and DIZO App customizations, etc. We want to cater to everyone, and we want everyone to consider DIZO every time they step out to buy a gadget.
4. What are the new categories that DIZO will consider entering in the future?
We have a huge portfolio of products being planned across the smart entertainment, smart home, smart care and accessories categories. Looking at the immense possibilities in the wearables space, our immediate focus will remain the audio wearables and smartwatches in our smart entertainment and smart care category, respectively.
5. There is a natural urge for consumers to move up the ‘aspirational’ chain and seek out more premium products. That is also a segment with better margins. Is this a segment that DIZO plans to enter anytime?
We are already present in the “aspirational” segment. Our aim is to always bring premium products and features to the mass market. We have been doing this consistently across all our product categories – and a lot of them are premium within their price segment, with the best value attached to their proposition.
6. What is your prophecy for 2022 in the consumer tech space?
The next 5-7 years will see significant growth in the wearables segment, with much deeper penetration and integration into consumer lifestyles. Smartwatches and AIoT products will increasingly be used not just for their primary usage, but also as a fashion statement. A day will arrive when people will have one or two smartphones and multiple TWS earbuds and smartwatches to mix and match with their look of the day. Within the next decade or so, I can see that the wearables market will be bigger than smartphones, by volumes at least.