Companies

Jabong’s former MD switches attention to wearable smart devices

Priyanka Pani Mumbai | Updated on January 29, 2014




Manu Jain, co-founder and former Managing Director of one of India’s leading fashion portals Jabong.com, is all set for a new start.

Jain, who quit the Gurgaon-based online retailer last week, is going to venture into a business segment that is still new to the Indian market. The venture, named Gynjer, will design, develop and sell wearable smart devices, such as smartwatches and smart glasses.

The company will also develop smartphones and phablets. However, the devices will be made by third-party manufacturers in China and Taiwan.

Jain told Business Line that he had started work on the new venture a few months ago and will launch it officially by this June.

“There is a huge opportunity in the smart devices segment and it has not been explored yet. What we get in the market is either too expensive or bad quality. We are planning to make these devices affordable and to focus on quality,” Jain said.

He refused to divulge details about the products but said they would hit both the Indian and overseas markets this year. He also said that these devices will not necessarily be cheap but can be made available to customers by providing bundled services and easier EMI options.

Gynjer will develop high-end, high quality devices as against most other Indian players, who operate in the lower end of the spectrum, Jain said.

The company will also take to the direct selling route by offering customised solutions to buyers. It is also investing a lot on providing after-sales service, the lack of which is a big irritant to Indian consumers, he added.

The company will focus on selling “self-branded” devices online but will consider brick-and-mortar stores as well.

According to data provided by market research firm Flurry, India has about 19 million active smart devices.

Among developing countries, China is in the sixth spot with 209 per cent growth in smart devices while India is ranked eighth with the total number Android and iOS devices growing by 189 per cent.

Jain has been talking to four venture capital funds, including one based in Singapore, over the last one week.

He expects to close a funding deal for a million dollars in the “high single digits” within a fortnight.

The 32-year-old serial entrepreneur, an alumnus of IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta, has already created a team of four which is working on the design and development of these futuristic devices.

More will be hired once adequate funds are raised, Jain said. Jain, who has previously worked with McKinsey & Co and Tata Administrative Services, started his career with IT company Headstrong as a software developer.

He was with Jabong for over two years and created the company along with its three other founders.

Jabong is now the third largest online shopping site in India, according to a report by Comscore.

Published on January 29, 2014

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