Aman Gupta thinks he has Gen Z to thank for the success of his electronics accessories company, boAt. “Youngsters these days change earphones every three to six months,” says Gupta animatedly. And it is this sort of hyper-consumerism that has led to boAt being a success in a space with only a handful of other organised players, most of which are established international brands like Sennheiser, JBL and Sony.

It isn’t just Gen Z customers though. If there is one sector that has benefited from the smartphone boom, it is accessories. From earphones and headphones to charging cables, power banks, and the like. High replacement cycles, search for variety and the growth of e-commerce have also contributed to the growth of accessories.

According to Research Nester, a research consulting firm that provides market intelligence services across sectors, the market for mobile phone accessories will be worth $3.54 billion by the end of 2024. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.5% between 2017-2024.

Despite the potential the space holds, however, succeeding within it, is no small feat. It’s a dog eat dog world, with an endless array of competitors and a low entry barrier. Experts say that for a homegrown brand to routinely be among the highest rated audio accessories on Amazon, therefore, is commendable.

Indeed, boAt is an exception. It has carved out a niche in a crowded market by appealing to youth and marketing itself as a brand that offers quality at an affordable price.

A ride on Delhi’s metro is enough to gauge boAt’s popularity. Scores of youngsters sporting boAt headsets dot the crowded platforms and coaches. The colourful nature of boAt’s accessories catch the eye—reds, blues, and greens; all emblazoned with boAt’s branding—adding to the wearer’s style.

This popularity has helped the brand—co-founded by Gupta and Sameer Mehta in 2016—become profitable just three years on from its inception. Imagine Marketing Private Limited, the company which manufactures boAt, posted a profit of Rs 6 crore (~$856,000) for the year ended March 2018, according to company research platform Tofler. Its revenues for the same period stood at Rs 108 crore ($15.3 million), up 300% from the previous year.

Though the company has not filed its results for the financial year ended March 2019, sources within the company say its revenues have almost doubled, potentially crossing Rs 200 crore ($28.4 million). The company claims to sell more than 6,000 units daily, with a 30% repeat rate.

BoAt’s success has made the sector’s incumbents sit up and take notice. Japanese major Sony, for example, may follow the upstart brand’s strategy. While it may not expressly say so, Hidenori Hino, operations incharge for Sony India’s mobile and audio marketing department, says as much. “We understand that customers are looking for value for money and that’s why we are looking to lower prices in some of the categories,” says Hino, adding, “This does not mean that we will compromise on product and sound quality.”

“One of the major issues cited by investors is that entry barrier is too low.



Vandana is based in Delhi. She covers vertically focussed startups in consumer internet space and also writes on travel tech and smartphones for The Ken. She has spent 13 years in journalism covering a wide range of subjects- equity markets, mutual funds to education and skilling, working at organisations such as Business Standard, CNBC TV18 and The Week in the past.

View Full Profile

Available exclusively to subscribers of The Ken India

This story is a part of The Ken India edition. Subscribe. Questions?


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 200+ stories, archive of 800+ stories from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 2,750


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 60+ new stories with 3-months worth of archives from our India edition. Plus our premium newsletters, Beyond The First Order and The Nutgraf worth Rs. 99/month or $2/month each for free.

Rs. 1,750


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

Rs. 500


Annual Subscription

12-month access to 150+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 120


Quarterly Subscription

3-month access to 35+ stories from Southeast Asia.

$ 50


Single Story

Instant access to this story for a year along with comment privileges.

$ 20



What is The Ken?

The Ken is a subscription-only business journalism website and app that provides coverage across two editions - India and Southeast Asia.

What kind of stories do you write?

We publish sharp, original and reported stories on technology, business and healthcare. Our stories are forward-looking, analytical and directional — supported by data, visualisations and infographics.

We use language and narrative that is accessible to even lay readers. And we optimise for quality over quantity, every single time.

What do I get if I subscribe?

For subscribers of the India edition, we publish a new story every weekday, a premium daily newsletter, Beyond The First Order and a weekly newsletter - The Nutgraf.

For subscribers of the Southeast Asia edition, we publish a new story three days a week and a weekly newsletter, Strait Up.

The annual subscription will get you complete, exclusive access to our archive of previously published stories for your edition, along with access to our subscriber-only mobile apps, our premium comment sections, our newsletter archives and several other gifts and benefits.

Do I need to pay separately for your premium newsletters?

Nope. Paid, premium subscribers of The Ken get our newsletters delivered for free.

Does a subscription to the India edition grant me access to Southeast Asia stories? Or vice-versa?

Afraid not. Each edition is separate with its own subscription plan. The India edition publishes stories focused on India. The Southeast Asia edition is focused on Southeast Asia. We may occasionally cross-publish stories from one edition to the other.

Do you offer an all-access joint subscription for both editions?

Not yet. If you’d like to access both editions, you’ll have to purchase two subscriptions separately - one for India and the other for Southeast Asia.

Do you offer any discounts?

No. We have a zero discounts policy.

Is there a free trial I can opt for?

We don’t offer any trials, but you can sign up for a free account which will give you access to the weekly free story, our archive of free stories and summaries of the paid stories. You can stay on the free account as long as you’d like.

Do you offer refunds?

We allow you to sample our journalism for free before signing up, and after you do, we stand by its quality. But we do not offer refunds.

I am facing some trouble purchasing a subscription. What can I do?

Please write to us at [email protected] detailing the error or queries.