“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”, said Plato.
There existed a time when music was not portable. There was no way one could walk with a band playing in their pocket. But over the last few decades, thanks to technology, music is mobile, accessible and listened to way more than ever, and much of it through headphones or tiny earplugs. Celebrating the importance of this extremely important gift of technology, here’s a startup that dedicatedly sells headphones and earplugs on its online platform.
Founded in 2011 by Raghav Somani, HeadphoneZone started out as an exclusive headphone and earphone offline retail store which eventually shifted to a hybrid model to cater to more audiophiles in the country. The company went online on 1st January, 2015.
The stores operate from Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Delhi with a core team of seven working out of our Andheri office in Mumbai. Besides this, Headphone Zone is supported by 25 operational staff across the country.
What’s So Special About this Startup?
Headphone Zone is India’s first exclusive online store for headphones, earphones and personal audio devices featuring headphones from a large number of brands known for their sound, design and style.
Some of the brands associated with Headphone Zone are FiiO, V-MODA,Comply, RHA, Jaybird and the likes. The company is constantly adding new brands from time to time. Jaybird Bluetooth wireless headphones are the latest to be added to the stable.
The primary differentiator of this startup is the fact that it is an exclusive portal for earphones and headphones. Brands which aren’t available easily in the country, can be found on the portal. According to Raghav, India’s growing community of audiophiles wanted a platform on where premium brands could be showcased. That’s precisely what Headphone Zone strives to create.
While there are many eCommerce portals who are in a similar line of business, they can not be considered as its direct competition owing to their horizontal models and product offerings.
What Problems is it Trying to Address?
Initially, the company had partnered with marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart and Snapdeal to cater to the requirements of the online buyers. But eventually, it realized that the partnership failed to render a good online buying experience to the customers, for the level of services and support provided to them by those companies were not adequate enough to drive their buying decisions.
But as an independent portal, the company takes care of all the customer queries, thereby eliminating the knowledge gap between the buyer and the product.
Monetization and Traction
The company is bootstrapped presently, and runs on an online retail business model of procuring products from international brands and manufacturers and fulfilling orders by partnering with various logistics companies. The website sees over 4,000 visitors each day and the current monthly turnover of Rs. 50 lakhs.
Headphone Zone plans to remain focused on Headphones, Earphones and related accessories as a category and maintain its niche while making several new prominent high-end international headphone brands available in India.
As eCommerce ecosystem evolves in India, it’ll pave way for niche product stores. They can scale up with a light inventory model, and focus on variety and quality within that vertical itself. Companies like Healthkart, Lenskart, FirstCry etc. have created a stable base for themselves in the market. Needless to mention, there is good scope for vertical eCommerce companies in the market. However, they need to be extra careful about their products and models to make sure that they are truly responsive to the Indian consumer.