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Wearable gear-maker GOQii moving beyond fitness bands

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 08, 2018

Vishal Gondal, CEO & Founder - GOQii

Plans to tie up with insurance companies and gyms for healthcare offerings

From tie-ups with insurance companies to reaching out to gyms, wearable-maker GOQii is trying to evolve as a holistic healthcare and wellness provider rather than just an activity tracker.

The country’s largest wearable-maker, GOQii (pronounced Go Key) is planning to tie up with life insurance companies to have specialised insurance offerings depending on the insurer’s fitness level.

The company had announced a tie-up with Max Bupa Health Insurance for special (health) insurance packages, which are still awaiting regulatory approvals.

According to Vishal Gondal, CEO and Founder, GOQii has now initiated discussions with life insurance companies for similar offerings.

Awaiting approvals

“We are awaiting regulatory approvals from the IRDAI before making formal announcements,” he told BusinessLine.

According to market sources, the struggle for wearable companies is to move beyond health and fitness and convince consumers to spend more for utility. And that is exactly what GOQii is trying to do in India.

GOQii is actually a service on top of a wearable device. The ecosystem consists of personalised health coaches and so on, it helps users interpret their body data and make changes to their lifestyle.

“We intend to be a holistic wellness brand. The idea is to promote preventive healthcare and manage lifestyle diseases like diabetes and so on,” Gondal said. But, he wants to add more. GOQii is planning tie-ups with gyms for its subscription-based health programmes – health snacks, health supplements, and so on.

Payment options

According to Gondal, the wearable-maker is also adding payment options, gaming and “more and more” smart services to its platform.

The company has already launched its services in the UK in collaboration with Modality Partnership to manage and prevent chronic lifestyle disorders such as diabetes, hypertension.

The wearable market globally is expected to grow from 113.2 million shipments in 2017; to 222.3 million in 2021 with an annual growth rate of 18.4 per cent, according to the IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wearable Device Tracker

For GOQii, its main revenue stream continues to be the subscription (health) package that users opt for. And, not sale of hardware/devices. Subscriptions start at ₹1,999 for three months ($ 32).

In terms of price, market sources say, the sub-$50 segment continues to dominate the category accounting for 73 percent of total wearable shipments.

This entry level segment is dominated by fitness trackers from vendors such as GOQii and Xiaomi’s Mi Band. The other major players being: Fitbit, Nike’s FuelBand, Jawbone and so on.

An IDC report points out, the wearable market in India saw total shipments of 2.5 million units in 2016.

The most popular wearable to date have been basic wristbands, but IDC, in one of its reports released in December, anticipates low single-digit growth in this category.

However, watches (both smart and basic) are on track. Fashion brands and cellular connectivity built into smart-watches are helping drive growth.

Published on January 04, 2018

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