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boAt’s Aman Gupta on what it means to be a celebrity founder

During the recently concluded TiECon 2023 in Delhi, Aman Gupta, SharkTank India judge and Co-founder of consumer electronics brand boAt, shared his thoughts on building a D2C brand in a crowded market and what it means to be in the public eye.

boAt’s Aman Gupta on what it means to be a celebrity founder

Tuesday March 21, 2023 , 3 min Read

A household name with his stint at SharkTank India, and Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at consumer electronics brand boAt Lifestyle, Aman Gupta believes that new direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands can create a market presence, even in a crowded category.

“My line on SharkTank, hum bhi bana lenge (we too can create a brand) is not a mere statement (sic),” Gupta told YourStory Founder and CEO Shradha Sharma, in a fireside chat at the recently concluded TiECon 2023 in Delhi.

He added that this was more a reflection of boAt’s mindset. “When we entered the (audio) category, there were 200 brands and it was highly commoditised in India, including brands from Germany, Japan…If we can get into it and build, I don’t think others can’t do it.” 

The company, founded in 2016 by Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta, had shelved its plans of going public by October 2022, citing turbulent times. Recently, boAt announced the elevation of Co-founder Sameer Mehta to the role of CEO and Managing Director. 

Vivek Gambhir, who joined boAt in February 2021 from Godrej Consumer Products as CEO, has been moved to the position of Chairman and will lead strategy, organisational development, culture, and future at the company. 

“We don’t want to run a big company. We decided to get a professional team who can run a company the way they do best,” Gupta responded to the question of the company’s management. 

Tiecon Delhi

Shradha Sharma and Aman Gupta at TiECon Delhi

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“Vivek also wants to move into different things and he wanted to lead us to IPO, and we had to withdraw our IPO due to turbulent times. We have learnt a lot and there are professional people managing the company, and in six to nine months’ time if we find a good candidate who can takeover, we will continue doing what we do best (sic),” he added. 

The boAt brand has been associated with headphones so far but is now focusing on growing its wearables business in the coming year, said the co-founder. The company raised $60 million in October 2022 to grow its smartwatch segment and has also made two acquisitions in the space—TAGG and KaHa Pte Ltd.  

“We did audio for the last four to five years. We will be investing a lot more in the wearables space this year. We don’t want to open more areas or categories,” said Gupta. 

The brand also claims to produce over a million units per month in India, and has been focused on growing its manufacturing in the country. 

During the fireside chat, Gupta added that it was as important to celebrate failures as it was way more common than success. “I have failed five times but you need only one success to do well,” he added. 

Edited by Kanishk Singh