This Bengaluru-based startup focuses on safety with self-defence products
Vishal Saurav was always keen to solve real-world issues. Women-related crimes dominated the news and social media when he was contemplating the idea of starting up.
After a lot of research, he felt there was a huge void in the self-defence space and awareness among the people was “highly disappointing”.
“When I interacted with many of my peers and locals, even the existence of self-defence products was shockingly alien to them. Those who knew had no clue where to get these products,” Vishal says.
Vishal, a software engineer, left his job at Trianz, Bengaluru, and in 2015 bootstrapped Xboom, a one-stop ecommerce platform that offers self-defence, anti-theft, and GPS tracking products with an initial investment of around Rs 4 lakhs.
Headquartered in Bengaluru, Xboom has offices in Delhi and Goa and offers safety-centric, high-quality solutions at competitive prices. The products can be used by children, women, pets, organisations, logistics companies, and others.
Safety on the mind
The list of products that Xboom offers includes self-defence products like pepper spray, stun gun, baton, knuckle, personal and safety alarms; trackers such as vehicle GPS tracker, asset/personal tracker; anti-theft systems like smart padlocks, shutter security system, door security system, ip cameras, dash cams; military and tactical equipment like walkie-talkies, spy gadgets, knee pads, gloves, helmets, and bulletproof jackets; and other personal protective equipment.
The company outsources the manufacturing for the products and also imports some from different countries. More than 200 products are listed on the Xboom website.
“We basically function on the basis of customer needs. It begins with problem analysis and leads to research on the best available products that will fit their needs within their budget,” Vishal says.
The founder says everyone should have access to self-defence and safety equipment without it pinching their pocket. XBoom’s prices range between Rs 100 and Rs 200,000 to meet the “requirements of almost everyone in society”.
“We ensure that the quality of our products is high and the price is competitive, so we can cater to a larger segment of society. A wide range of products makes it easier for consumers to choose the best fit, based on their requirement,” Vishal says.
The startup sells its products on its website as well as on Amazon, Flipkart, and Indiamart, and follows up with cross-selling and marketing. “Sales are made via the website, B2B and B2C clients, and our resellers’ network,” the 30-year-old founder says.
Xboom has acquired a large customer base of more than 80,000 through various sales channels. With a team of 15 people, the startup is serving more than 50 corporates, 25 security agencies, and law and enforcement agencies like police departments in more than four states.
It has also collaborated with over 100 dealers across India.
Under the B2B category, the target audience includes corporates, law enforcement agencies, and logistics companies.
Xboom’s client list includes corporates like Vedanta, Apollo Pharmacy, Siemens, Mahindra retail, Medlife, TCI, Little Millennium, Concentrix, Vorion, Cab10, and Zibcabs.
“We have also partnered with some of the top NGOs working on women’s safety like NirbhayaJyoti and SWF. Our products have also served Andaman Police, Crime Branch, Bangalore, Delhi Police and Kolkata Police,” Vishal says.
The lone player
According to Grand View Research, the global self-defence products market size was valued at $2.4 billion in 2018 and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 5.9 percent from 2019 to 2025. IBEF says the Indian ecommerce market is expected to grow to $200 billion by 2026 from $38.5 billion as of 2017.
Although there are few players in the “pepper spray category”, Xboom claims to be the only brand providing a wide range of self-defence gadgets.
“We don’t have any direct competitor in the Indian market, which is another challenge for us. We are constantly in competition with our own performance and growth,” Vishal says.
The platform claims to have seen a 3x year-on-year growth. Its current revenue is approximately Rs 1.5 crore and the startup is targeting revenues of around Rs 10 crore by 2023 with a growth rate of 3x per annum approximately.
Vishal says the biggest challenge is raising safety awareness among the people.
“We are trying to make constant efforts to create awareness through seminars at colleges, schools, corporates, and industries. We collaborate with NGOs and corporate safety trainers along with using marketing strategies to spread awareness,” he says.
The team aims to create a strong distribution network across India, and “to set up Xboom retail stores for safety solutions by 2023”.
(Edited by Teja Lele Desai)