India has quite become the market hub for many mobile vendors, in addition to attracting companies associated with making accessories for smartphones. Now, a premium thing like Wireless charging might not prioritize the shopping list of majority of Indians, However, to this Kartick Bakshi, who heads Belkin in India and SAARC regions, added that, the market is evolving now, thus adding to it that, “We’ve taken the wireless charging category in India by storm. Now the challenging part is how to keep growing and to make sure that the customer keeps buying our products and enjoys the experience of wireless charging”.
To delve deep, Belkin is one of the early names in the world of wireless charging solutions for smartphones. To persuade buyers, the company has also offered two years of warranty on its wireless charging pads as well as a connected equipment warranty under which it provides up to ₹1,60,000 if any damage occurs to the connected phone. Here Bakshi stated that “Most people don’t even use certain products for two years. People often change their phones every year. But we believe in our product.”
The strategy of following a step-by-step process in launching new products helped Belkin as its 5W charger had been out of stock for the first four months. To this Baksho added with pride that, “Every time when we arranged some stock, it had gone in a short time”.
After enjoying the initial success, Belkin plans to expand its lineup in India. Bakshi revealed that the company is all set to launch its Boost Up Wireless Charging Stand that uses a shelf to support both portrait and landscape charging and a fast-charge supporting 10W wireless charger around September this year, while wireless charging-supported car mounts are planned to reach the country sometime in the next six months or so.
In addition to the models that debuted earlier this year, Bakshi added that Belkin also has plans to launch wireless power banks sometime early next year. For the users, he explained here that, “You just need to put your phone on the wireless power bank and it will be charged”.
While Bakshi is quite optimistic about the growth of wireless charging accessories in India, he does consider that the lack of smartphones offering wireless charging support is something to worry about.
Here he added that “The phone vendors should not only target premium phones. They should try on affordable phones as well. There is indeed some cost involved in it. That is something vendors have to work out with the wireless consortium. But overall, when more and more phones will start supporting wireless charging, the more awareness will happen.”
Belkin has worked with all the top retailers in India, including, Reliance and Croma as well as top Apple Premium Resellers (APRs), to make people aware about the benefits of wireless charging through the retail channels. Bakshi stated that out of the total 150-160 APRs across the country, the company exists at over 100 APRs.To this, he added that “We are not opening our own stores, but we are working with our partners to create that experience within their stores. We want every customer who has a wireless charging-enabled phone to have a wireless charger”.
Apart from the lack of smartphones offering wireless charging support, another prime reason behind the slower adoption of wireless charging solutions is the high cost of entry. Though Bakshi admits that the price plays a crucial role in the adoption of any new technology, he says that it’s high time when the quality that outshines the price.
To conclude, despite its aggressive plans for India, Belkin has no plans to start manufacturing in the country just yet. Here he added that “Never say never; right now we don’t have any plans for manufacturing in India. But definitely, as time goes on, we do want to look into it because there will be a duty factor that will help us price the products more competitively”.