Outlook15

As part of our #Outlook15 series, we asked heads of IoT and Wearables companies – Goqii, GetActive and Netcore about their focus areas for 2015 and the challenges that the online education sector needs to address. Answers have been shortened for brevity.

Which according to you were the top developments and roadblocks with respect to the wearables & IoT segment in 2014? Why?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

– Top developments: The Apple Watch Announcement in 2014, Google Android wear and the GOQii launch which was the first in India and brought in the concept of services integrated with wearables.

– Roadblocks: Awareness. While the Wearable have become mainstream in the US, in India initially there awareness is low since none of the international brands were here. With the launch of GOQii we created awareness across the category.

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

mohammedhussain– On business front, key development was in market expansion. Awareness increased multifold, which has improved acceptance among consumers.

– On product front, we saw the emergence of “smart watch” in this category and on technology front, SoCs (System-on-a-Chip) for wearables are introduced by leading tech companies, which is encouraging more startups to participate.

– On business front, many crowdfunding campaigns in 2014 on wearables have been dubious, which has shaken the investor interest in this space. Further, investors have been weary on funding new startups in this space, fearing the onslaught of larger players jumping in the fray with deep pockets. On technology front, BLE implementation by Android is sub-standard, which has drained precious resources in making it work.

– Another issue plaguing the take-off is the battery technology, which has not been able to keep pace with developments in wearable tech in the past couple of years.

Subhobroto Chakroborty – Netcore

– The acquisition of Nest by Google. More than any other development be it on the Platform or the carrier side, this one development brought a lot of attention to the IoT space. The other major development was GE opening up its Industrial Internet platform to developers. These two developments from two of the largest Internet and Industrial giants shows the potential of the space.

– Lack of Uniform standards across the whole value chain has been an issue in the past and continues to be so. There are efforts being made in the direction with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC)  and the Open Internet Consortium ( OIC) involving players in the eco-system to come up with common standards.

What has changed from 2013 to 2014 and how?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

– In 2014 we saw the establishment of services along with the Wearable

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

– From the market perspective, in 2014 wearable tech has gained consumer confidence. Many large players including Apple, Samsung, Sony, Intel, Microsoft etc. have started participating in building the ecosystem. It is definitely a revolution in making, and not just a bubble. By end 2014, more than 100 million wearable tech devices are sold worldwide.

Subhobroto Chakroborty – Netcore

– Qualitatively all the players in the whole eco-system from Microcontroller/Microprocessor  Players, Carriers, Application Service Providers, System Integrators are all aligning their offerings keeping in mind the new Requirements in the IoT Space. This will have a huge impact on the depth of solutions that will be available across various Industries.

What sort of response have wearables & IoT seen and why? How much growth has the sector seen? What are your observations?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

VishalGondal– The response has been phenomenal in India with tens of thousands of people using wearables. The growth is explosive. Some key observations are in 2015 we will see the launch of Apple watch and many other mainstream watch  companies and hardware manufacturers launching their own wearables.

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

– While US has led the growth in wearable tech in 2014, with more than 50 Million shipments till Christmas, India is warming up to this new trend. We have seen an adoption of more than 100,000 units in 2014, which is 5 times growth from 2013. We still have very few players, who are indigenously developing the product for global market. However, awareness index has significantly improved, which will show the uptrend in adoption in coming years.

Subhobroto Chakroborty – Netcore

– IoT is not one industry and product that can be tracked year to year. The first thing that needs to be understood is the definition of IoT. A lot of services and solutions which have been in the market in the past involved various use cases that could be classified as IoT. Hence difficult to come with a definite answer. Growth will vary from industry to Industry and each country will have its own growth path.

What are the challenges in the segment that would need to be addressed in 2015?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

– The main challenge is that of creating awareness and overall awareness of health and fitness

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

– Consumer behaviour will be the top most roadblock in mass scale adoption of wearable tech.

– Other issues are – lack of standards in data communication, interpretation and exchange.

– On sensors front, while measurements are taken for various body parameters, its authentication & right interpretation for taking informed decisions is still a big question.

Subhobroto Chakroborty – Netcore

– Lack of Standardization and multiple technical standards is the biggest challenge in this industry.

What do you intend to focus on in 2015 and why?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

– GOQii’s focus in 2015 is to globally expansion we are targeting key markets in US, UK, UAE and South East Asia. We have also validated our business model of providing coaching along with the device which has been accepted by consumers and are finding it useful as they are able to understand the data better and make sense out of it.

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

GetActive will continue to focus on enriching the platform for consumer engagement plus building the ecosystem for consumer retention.

What are the likely trends that you expect to see in 2015? Why?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

-Establishment of services model complementing wearable

-With the launch of the Apple watch we expect mainstream Watch companies to enter the wearable segment

-We will see bundling of wearable with smart phones. In 2014 GOQii was the first one to partner with Microsoft and bundle its device with Lumia 830 and 920

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

– “Smart Watch” will become an important gear of wearable tech

– And, Activity Tracker will continue to expand and have an audience & use case

– Plus, applications will expand from health/wellness/lifestyle to more convenience and automation of tasks. Because each of these areas have been piloted, tested and have shown the promise from consumers to grow.

Subhobroto Chakroborty – Netcore

– Lot more wearable devices and cloud connected gadgets in the future. Transport sector will go for a lot of tracking tools due to security norms being made more stringent.

What was something in the wearables sector in India that surprised you in 2014?

Vishal Gondal – Goqii

– Key surprise has been the adoption rate of wearable in India is high. Secondly we are seeing demand from smaller towns along with the large metros. Health and fitness has become mainstream and part of everyday  life. More and more people in India are fitness conscious now than they were few years ago.

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

– Consumer uptake has been much better than what we expected in the beginning of 2014. Plus ecosystem players – Insurance companies, Hospitals, Corporates are seeing the benefit of wearable tech in client engagement.

– Competition has been missing – barring two to three players. And more importantly, very few invested in technology development, keeping India and emerging countries as a focal point.

What do you think will not happen in wearables sector in India in 2015?

Mohammed Hussain Naseem – GetActive

– Indian consumers will still not be in mainstream, adopting wearable tech, the way we saw the growth in US in 2013.

– While Fitbit will remain the #1 player, #2 will remain a question mark, with many players claiming that spot.

– VC’s will continue to stay away from investing in this space with Indian players