Pebble is growing at an annual rate of 100% and is aiming to become the industry leader by 2018 with a projected annual turnover of over Rs. 100 crore in the mobile accessories industry.
Pebble was founded and driven by the father-and-daughter duo: Mr Ajay Aggarwal and his daughter Ms. Komal Agarwal. Mr Ajay Agarwal, Director of Pebble is a stalwart with a long and in-depth experience in the electronics industry. In an interaction with Mobility Magazine, Ajay Agarwal and Komal Agarwal share Pebble’s vision and mission.
Mr Ajay Agarwal reveals, “No other brand in India in mobile accessories can disrupt our market share and brand, because we have a wide and varied product portfolio for mobile accessories, which few others in India have. The most important thing is that Pebble is specialized in mobile accessories, whereas for many other brands selling mobile accessories is a secondary business whereas other products such as mobile phones as their primary business. We are specialized in providing mobile accessories where we focus all our attention and resources. We do not see any noteworthy competition to our brand in the mobile accessories segment at present.”
Today, Pebble is the only brand in India that is well-placed and established across all the possible channels including General Trade (Retail stores), Modern Trade (Retail Chains), Online, In-Flight & Corporate Gifting. As a brand, the key philosophy of Pebble is ‘Convenience with Quality’ which is well reflected across all its products such as power banks, USB cables, Bluetooth speakers and others. For instance, Pebble power banks are among the most efficient in terms of output and quality, and sleekest in terms of design which makes them extremely portable and thus consumer-friendly. Pebble has also won the award for the Most User-Friendly Power Bank Brand in India.
“We have been in the electronics market since 2000 with our state-of-the art manufacturing plant, design, R&D and QC departments in China, where we have been designing and manufacturing UPS systems and supplying to the customers under our own brand name and also supplying to other OEM brands as an ODM. Though we source most of the mobile accessories from other proven manufacturers, our R&D, QC and technical teams and our own experience help us to get the best mobile accessory products designed and manufactured by our suppliers. In India, we are already one of the top providers of mobile accessories,” adds Mr Ajay Agarwal.
Ms. Komal Agarwal, Director–Marketing, Pebble, is a B.Tech graduate in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from NTU Singapore and MBA from IIM. Today, guided by the professional management of the Father and Daughter duo, Pebble is growing at an annual rate of 100% and is aiming to become the industry leader by 2018 with a projected annual turnover of over Rs. 100 crore in the mobile accessories industry.
Ms. Komal Agarwal shares, “I always had a determination to be different and not just another brick in the wall. After finishing my MBA at IIM, unlike others classmates who had the inclination to join some MNC or big corporate as employees, I chose to carry forward the legacy of my father by founding Pebble to provide reliable and premium mobile accessories with high quality and safety standards at an affordable price to the Indian customers. Our brand’s USPs include better look & feel of the product, advanced features and multiple & special functionalities. Next our products are ergonomically built to give the best comfort in addition to top-class features and functionalities. Our products deliver whatever we state or claim as features and specs. For example, many providers promise 10000 mAh capacity as a feature of their power banks, but actually their capacity may be only 6000 or 7000 mAh. In our case, we mention the actual performance and capacity while giving product specs. Others providers in the market rarely match our products when it comes to the look and feel, all at affordable prices. For instance, while carrying a power bank, customers do not want to carry a heavy brick; they want it to be as slim and light as possible with capacity as high as possible. This is what we exactly focus while designing our products and then, all our products are reasonably and affordably priced. And Pebble is one of the few brands to provide pick-and-drop 6-month replacement guarantee on all its products.”
Today Ms Komal Agarwal, being just 28-year young, energetic and dynamic, is aiming to take over more and more responsibilities from her father. With her professional education, dedication, determination, diligence and ability to deeply analyze customer needs, Komal wants to develop Pebble into No. 1 mobile accessories brand in India. Today, Pebble’s wide product portfolio includes entire range of mobile accessories starting from power banks, chargers, cables, charging cases, BT speakers, headphones, headsets, earphones, OTG pen drives, fitness bands to VR headsets, with more than 60 SKUs. These products are available online, at in-flight shopping and at retail stores across 18 states in India. Growing at a rate of 100% Y-O-Y, Pebble is all set to cross Rs. 100 crore annual turnover in mobile accessory industry by 2018. Pebble leads the market in organizing and branding in the highly cluttered unbranded Mobile Accessory Industry that has no clear quality standards until now.
While talking about challenges in the industry, Ms. Komal Agarwal reveals, “The biggest challenge at the moment in the accessories segment is the competition from the fake/ unbranded products in both offline and online channels. These fake products falsely claim to have state-of-the-art features such as high mAh capacity of power banks, high output of speakers, etc. Thankfully, categories like power banks have been declared under BIS which has substantially helped in eliminating fake brands and products from the market.
Our product portfolio is created based on customer needs and wants, the upcoming innovations and trends in technology and the market that we serve. For instance, the products that we offer at Airports/Airlines need to be more travel-friendly and multi-functional, whereas the online market demands more price-sensitive product range. Similarly, for corporate gifting, we need to innovate and create exciting product combos that would make excellent gifts.”
Today, Pebble’s extended product portfolio has 60 SKUs covering 10 new product categories. The brand has associations with The Mobile Store, one of the largest Mobile-retail chains in India and with the in-flight shopping arm of Go Air and Air-Asia. Pebble has tied up with Ingram Micro, the world’s largest technology distributor and a leading technology sales, marketing and logistics company. The partnership with Ingram Micro as its National Distributor, Pebble has expanded its pan-India operations on a large-scale across different states and will soon foray into LFRs and Modern Retail giving further boost to the Pebble’s presence.
Mr Ajay Agarwal adds, “We will continue to upgrade our existing products and add new products to the line with the latest technology and current customer preferences. We have been following this procedure since the inception of our company and we will continue to do so. Every quarter we review our product portfolio to ensure that they meet the latest requirements. BIS has improved conditions by limiting the grey market where low-quality and illegal products which are infused into the market.”
Pebble’s channel strategy includes extensive digital marketing campaigns across social media and e-commerce platforms and from time to time, creating strategic partnerships to increase brand visibility (for e.g. Pebble tied up with travel partners like Yatra, Makemytrip and RailYatri, to provide special offers on our travel accessories to their customers). On the other hand, Pebble is also into large-scale branding in more than 1000 retail stores for PoS push. The brand sponsors large-scale University Fests and Corporate Events to widen the target segment, regional ATL campaigns in print media and radio in Tier 1 & 2 cities and BTL campaigns across various malls in Tier 1 cities.
Ms. Komal Agarwal adds, “The mobile phone market is almost saturated with margins shrinking and there is little scope to maneuver. But accessories market still has a big scope and the positive conditions are expected to continue for 4 more years. Wireless products and power banks market in particular will continue to enjoy good scope for the coming years for which we have entire range of products. Next, corporate gifting seems to be one of the best markets, where we already have over 500 corporate customers. Customers today want durable products and that is where our brand stands at the front. The BIS and the recent demonetization are further restricting the cash-based, black and unorganized mobile accessory market, offering increasing opportunities to the branded providers like us who operate in the white market.”
Pebble, founded in 2013 and based out of New Delhi, is a prominent mobile accessories brand in India. Within a short duration of 3 years, Pebble has emerged as a leader and has set new benchmarks in quality and functionality in the India’s mobile accessories market, which is otherwise cluttered with many unbranded and low-quality products.