India is likely to become a big market for wearable technologies: Vishal Gondal, GOQii

Today the world is undergoing a massive digital revolution. Everything around us is digitalized or in the process of getting digitalized. Healthcare is also stepping in the array of this revolution which will in turn help in making a million lives simpler and easy to track and which will further help in preventing existing diseases in the long run by promoting and maintain a better and healthier lifestyle. Also, over the past year, the wearable market has witnessed a quick movement in the Indian market and other growing countries. Gartner predicts that by 2016 smart watches will constitute about 40% of wearable devices for the wrist. Wearable’s has created a good market share and is being widely accepted by consumers all over. To get more insights about the wearable devices, Dataquest interacted with Vishal Gondal,CEO & Co-founder of GOQii. Excerpts
GOQii-Device

How is your wearable device different from others?

The most essential feature of a good wearable device is consumer-savvy output, ease of use, and technology. These devices need to deliver data that’s not just informative, but also prescriptive-giving consumers a clear guidance of what is to be done.

At GOQii, we have not only taken these pointers into consideration while designing our hardware, but by integrating human coach for every user who has been tackling the age old issue of sustained usage.  We operate on a unique and innovative coaching platform, where in users pay subscription of services from qualified coaches who can access entire data generated by a user through various technologies like accelerometers, GPS, mobile network, etc, and use this data to help them achieve their health and fitness goals.

Can you give a brief on your product line?

GOQii is a unique and innovative combination of a wearable and a personal coaching where users pay for personal health and fitness coaching service, and a fitness band is provided along with the subscription pack for free. The latest GOQii band comes in a sleeker & slimmer design offering superior battery life ranging between 10-12 days. Additionally the band comes with a metal lock for a firmer fit and special laser engravings for more comfort and grip.

How do you compete with other fitness wearable makers?

The key factors that makes GOQii stand out from rest of the wearable technology players are:

GOQii requires consumers to subscribe for the band with which the GOQii band comes free of cost. It takes the data generated from various devices and various apps and then this data is given to a fitness coach, who analyze the data and works with the user to get fit and live a healthier lifestyle.

Secondly, GOQii also launched the world’s first ‘Coach’ marketplace model. The other key differentiating factors for GOQii lies in the fact that while other health apps and wearable gadgets only provide simple data collection tools or diet logging apps, leading to short-term results, GOQii integrates the ‘human factor’ via a GOQii personal coach, where in the coach provides personalized advice to each user to keep them motivated to meet their goals.
It also inter-operates with various brands of bands and fitness apps as the aim is to provide the coaching service. And finally, GOQii Karma. Based on the activity level of users they earn GOQii Karma points which is is their virtual currency to donate and support a social cause of their choice. GOQii has partnered with various charitable organizations which in lieu of this virtual donation provide actual on ground and financial support to grass root organizations.

What challenges did you initially face?

Over the past year, the wearable market has witnessed a quick movement in the Indian market and other growing countries. Gartner predicts that by 2016, smart watches will constitute about 40% of wearable devices. It is estimated that seven out of the top ten smartphone vendors have either entered or are planning to enter the wearable space. Wearables have created a good market share and is being widely accepted by consumers all over. The variety of slick and trendy wearable devices which are more appealing to consumers have been increasing day by day with new players coming in and increasing competition for the existing ones.

One of the biggest challenges we faced in India was the low awareness and knowledge about the wearable technology. There is a need for these market players to come together and raise awareness about the benefits and viability of these products. Even though there is an increase in understanding and adaptability in the western market, there remains an air of hesitancy around the devices.

How do you see the market in the near future?

The wearables market will maintain its momentum and witnessed a growth of over 173% during this fiscal, according to an IDC report.  In India, the market currently is at a nascent stage, however, it is likely to become a big market. According to a Digital Consumer Tech Survey 2014, consumers in India are ranked the highest in buying such products. 80% of Indians were most interested in buying fitness monitors for tracking physical activity and managing their personal health followed by smartwatches (76%) and Internet-enabled eyeglasses (74%).

Wearable technology market has been continuously and progressively growing all over the world and is moving towards becoming huge hit. The future of technology lies in this space in the next coming years.

How do you see the adoption of such devices in healthcare in India?

Today the world is undergoing a massive digital revolution. Everything around us is digitalized or in the process of getting digitalized. Healthcare is also stepping in the array of this revolution which will in turn help in making a million lives simpler and easy to track.

It’s extremely crucial to monitor our body movements like distance covered, calories burnt, sleeping patterns along with tracking water and food intake and calories consumed for better fitness outcomes and results. This data collected needs to observed and analyzed in order to move towards a healthier and fitter lifestyle. This is only possible when we have a technology to monitor us all the time. Research by IDC Insights indicates that by 2018, 70% of healthcare organizations worldwide will invest in consumer-facing technologies, including apps, wearables, remote monitoring, and virtual care.

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