GOVO bets on bass and style to capture India’s personal, home audio market

GOVO, with its innovative designs and a focus on bass performance, aims to achieve a turnover of more than Rs 100 crore in FY24.

GOVO bets on bass and style to capture India’s personal, home audio market

Monday August 07, 2023,

5 min Read

In December 2022, GOVO GOSURROUND 900—a soundbar from audio electronics company GOVO—emerged as one of the best-sellers on Amazon with a 4.6-star rating. Barely a year old back then, GOVO found itself alongside popular brands such as boAT and Zebronics, both of which took years to crack the audio market in India.

Launched in January last year, the Bengaluru-based company has seen early success. “We experienced a 10% increase in revenue from June 2023 to July 2023. In comparison to January 2023, the revenue has grown 6X,” Varun Poddar, Co-founder, GOVO, tells SMBStory. During FY23, its revenue stood at about Rs 15 crore-Rs 20 crore.


GOVO GoSurround 950

GOVO has now set an ambitious target—a turnover of more than Rs 100 crore in FY24. 

The right note

Founded by Poddar and Piyush Jalan, GOVO has found itself a sweet spot in the Indian audio solutions market. 

The Indian wireless audio market is expected to grow rapidly over the next five years, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.22%, according to an industry report by Mordor Intelligence. This growth is being driven by several factors, including the increasing popularity of smartphones, the falling cost of internet connectivity, and the growing demand for portable and versatile audio devices.

Top players in this market include Samsung, Apple Inc., Sony India, Bose Corporation and Imagine Marketing Limited, which is the parent company of boAT.

India is an important market for both personal audio devices (like headphones and earbuds) and home audio devices (like speakers and soundbars).

Surprisingly, when compared to other wealthier Asian countries like Singapore, the Indian audio market has a higher demand for both TVs and home theatre systems, Shohei Toyoda, Head of Audio Business at Sony India recently told The Indian Express. 

The beginning 

GOVO’s Co-founder and COO Jalan, who is Poddar’s brother-in-law, has a family-owned company that manufactures railway equipment whereas Poddar's family business was involved in manufacturing plumbing pipes via a company called Ashirvad Pipes, which was sold to a Belgian firm in 2018.

“We both were seeking new opportunities at the same time. Hence we collaborated and it lead to the birth of GOVO,” says Poddar. The company was initially started with a Rs 20 crore investment from the family. 

Poddar and Jalan’s quest to enter licensing business led them to discover an opportunity in India’s audio market, especially in the personal audio and home audio segment. 

“We recognised gaps in the market related to design trends and bass performance. These were the areas where we aimed to add value for our customers,” the co-founder says.

Differentiating factors for GOVO

GOVO is differentiating itself in the audio electronics market by focusing on the bass output of its products and incorporating global design perspectives.

"We want to serve the Indian market first, but we also plan to grow in the international market. So, we decided to have our products designed in Europe, considering our brand's global aspiration and also making them stand out in India," Poddar says. 

GOVO's design team, based in London and Greece, aimed to bring a unique perspective and global sensibility to the products. This helped the brand establish a distinct visual identity.

The brand collaborates with third-party manufacturers in India to manufacture and assemble the products. “Design trends are changing very fast. The tie-ups help us in introducing new products. This helps in growing without investing in fixed assets,” says the founder.

“Currently we are a team of around 30 people, with 20 to 25 based in Bengaluru and the designers based outside,” says the founder. 

The brand’s product range spans from wired earphones starting at Rs 399 to soundbars priced at Rs 10,000. While soundbars presently lead in sales, the team is working to strengthen the earbud offerings, recognising their potential as an entry point into consumers' homes.


GOVO GoBuds 577

“Earbuds, starting from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,200, is an easy purchase for a customer and can help in building trust for the brand,” says Poddar. 

One of GOVO’s newly-launched earbuds—GoBuds 945, priced at Rs 1,199—sold out in three weeks. Over the next six months, the company plans to expand its earbuds portfolio. 

GOVO’s products are targeted towards the 18-30 year demographic and their price matches those of competitors. For instance, boAT offers earbuds starting at around Rs 1,000. In the soundbar category, rival brands like boAT and Zebronics have products ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 30,000 on Amazon. GOVO's best-selling soundbar is available at a price of Rs 6,000.

Its products are primarily through online channels, including its own website and platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. It has also entered physical retail spaces such as Reliance Digital stores. The brand is also present offline through offline distributors in regions like Gujarat, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Kerala.

The founder says that the brand is experiencing greater growth in Tier II and III cities compared to metros. South Indian states such as Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh drive a majority of its sales.

Future plans

As part of its expansion plans, the brand’s immediate focus remains on India, with ambitions to further penetrate the speakers and soundbar market. “We are considering entry into smartwatches and other categories based on requests from channel partners,” says the founder. 

It also aims to extend its presence to regions with limited online sales by partnering with offline distributors.

The founders are also exploring export opportunities in Latin American markets, including Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico. “Our first container has already sailed,” says Poddar.

As for revenue, GOVO’s target is to achieve Rs 100 to Rs 150 crore by FY24, building on its current projections.

Edited by Affirunisa Kankudti