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Interview of Pratik Saraogi from Actofit Wearables on Future of Smart Wearables Market

Smart Wearables Market

ICT | Jul, 2018

In an interview with TechSci Research, the CEO of Actofit Wearables- Mr. Pratik Saraogi said that there is a huge market opportunity for robust tech companies focused on fitness with a market defining product.

 

TechSci Research: What was your idea behind Actofit? How did you start your journey in this industry?

Pratik Saraogi: With the augment of fitness trackers in the market in early 2014, I often found myself wanting to own one, to be able to track workouts in the gym. Unfortunately, every product in the market was a step counter at the most, with no utility in the gym. Upon looking into it more deeply, I could find several others in every gym who felt this way. I decided to take the plunge as I believed the market gap here resonated with my passion.

 

TechSci Research: What are the daily lifestyle habits of a successful CEO? What encourages you to come up with innovative ideas?

Pratik Saraogi: In a start-up, I think the tag CEO is over-hyped and makes us fall into a sense entitlement. A start-up CEO should not be confused with how CEOs are percieved in general or how the lifestyle of a CEO in a successful company would be. That’s two complete opposite ends of the prism. A Start-up CEO has the privilege to get his hands dirty, execute everything, instead of just delegating or being responsible for an end outcome.

 

TechSci Research: Can you take us through the journey of Actofit since its inception? What have been the major roadblocks or challenges that you might have faced over the years?

Pratik Saraogi:  The idea to automate Workout Tracking has been the core problem Actofit has tried to solve. Over the period, we’ve developed an advanced motion tracking platform, that can track any activity in the 3D space and have found a lot more applications than just using this in the gym. That idea, technology and IP remains core to Actofit’s inception till date. The first prototype was a workout glove with embedded technology, but we moved to a wrist band form factor for manufacturing ease. We’ve retained the software and continued improving that to have it built for embedded, cloud or Application layers directly now, and this is now hardware compatible, and works as just an add-on App or middle-layer across various hardwares.

 

TechSci Research: Since Fitness Tracker is a highly fragmented market and you have been here for good four years, who do you consider your closest and distant competitors?

Pratik Saraogi:  Hardware is a commodity today. But we’re not in the “me-too” product space. Our USP and main differentiator remains our motion tracking platform and workout analytics, which is a software solution not provided by most of our competitors but there are Companies such as Google and Intel, which have working on similar technologies. However, the strength training tracking market remains largely untapped till date, without a clear winner.

 

TechSci Research: Who do you consider your target customers?

Pratik Saraogi:  People who believe that steps are an inaccurate way to measure fitness, since fitness involves more than just steps, are our target customers. This is a large community of 27% of the world’s adult population that practise some form of exercise, and more directly, the 150 million global gym members. We’ve also noticed, that it isn’t just the gym goers who’re attracted by our solutions, but also the audience that isn’t really a gym goer, but sees the promise, and has been wanting to get fit, or hit the gym.

 

TechSci Research: What is really moving fast in the fitness tracker market from a technology perspective and how is Actofit geared up for its business for 2019?

Pratik Saraogi:  The first wave of wearables had immense penetration globally and opened the consumers to a series of questions, rather than the right answers. But that is allowing the future wearables to integrate and develop the right technologies, across machine learning to able to identity and learn from repetitive actions, be that across sports, gym workouts, or even stress patterns, or AI to be integrated to understand human behavior to predict future outcomes, and make fitness and healthcare preventive rather than reactive, on a digitalised, non-invasive level. Open platforms in almost all major wearables have allowed developers to deploy consumer level software technologies. At Actofit, we’re confident of launching better software to focus on the niche of workout tracking. With upgraded technologies being launched both over our hardware as well as third party hardware, we’re looking at tightening our strength over the indoor workout arena, including strength training and crossfits and to make it the go-to wearable/solution for gym goers.

 

TechSci Research: With increasing internet penetration and smartphone users, players are planning to set their footprints in Online retail space. What opportunities and road-blocks do you see w.r.t. this trend?

Pratik Saraogi:  Online retail space is continuing to grow. The recent Walmart acquisition of Flipkart further resonates with the belief that a retail giant values the tremendous E-commerce opportunity in India. Majority of our business comes through online portals/ecommorce and we continue to expand on marketing and operations that can allow us to capitalize E-commerce platform, globally, before investing in retail distribution.

 

TechSci Research: What's your take on this whole new world of social media marketing and how are you looking to leverage the platform?

Pratik Saraogi:  Social Media Marketing is often underrated. For a Startup today, their social media is as good as their Press Release platform.

 

TechSci Research: What according to you will be the biggest trend accelerating Actofit’s business in 2019? Do you see new set of verticals in India?

Pratik Saraogi:  Adaption of Fitness and technology is inevitable. The growth of these two sectors is unparalled. We see this playing out to be huge market opportunities for robust tech companies focused on fitness with a market defining product.

 

TechSci Research: What would be your top 3 priorities for 2019 as one of the most trending fitness accessories brands in India?

Pratik Saraogi: 

1.   Currently only 1/3rd of the Gym members are regular at their gyms. This is majorly due to lack of motivation and accountability. By making our products mass adaptible with workout/fitness tracking/guidance capabilities, we intend to make workouts fun and repeatable and increase that number.

2.    Connect the entire fitness journey of a user on a single platform, from a consumer front. With a holistic analysis of each activity of a user and its in-depth evaluation right from body composition, football games, gym workouts or recovery.

3.   Integration with Gyms, other fitness platforms – We’re already integrated with several gyms and are integrating with more platforms on a tech stack level.


Based on the conversation with Mr. Pratik Saraogi and looking at latest trends in the Smart Wearables Market globally, TechSci Research predicts that the global market for smart wearables is projected to generate a revenue worth USD37 billion by 2020. Consumer electronics and healthcare segments have emerged as the major growth areas because of significantly higher adoption of smart wearables in these sectors. Presently, smartwatches and smart wristbands cumulatively account for a lion’s share in the global smart wearables market. Moreover, in response to robustly growing demand for smartwatches, luxury watch manufacturers are also foraying in the segment and launching luxury smartwatches to lure the high-income customers. Introduction of innovative products is expected to significantly influence the consumer interest in smart wearables in the coming years.

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