“The only piece of brilliance around Carvaan was listening to the consumer, blindly implementing what they want rather than trying to outguess them,” admits Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, Saregama, the creator of Carvaan.
The product, which is priced between Rs 6000-7000, was initially available on Amazon and has now increased its reach to large electronic outlets like Croma. It has also been penetrating into class I and class II towns and will eventually be available across urban India. It has been launched in the United States as well. The demographic is anyone who has grown up with Hindi music and is a fan of the classics.
Understanding that retro has a ‘forever’ taste to it, Saregama, launched the Carvaan. A conventional transistor-lookalike device pre-loaded with 5,000 soundtracks dipped in a modern avatar is what makes the Carvaan speaker what it is.
Empathy was at the core of building Carvaan. The genesis was research in 2015, where the company found many older consumers couldn’t locate the music they liked even though it was available on all streaming portals. Targeted for the older demographic; the aim was to provide them with a way to hear their favourite songs without launching an app, navigating a tiny screen and worrying if the entire exercise would leave them dealing with an unnecessary bill. Vikram Mehra summarises, “They wanted an old world laidback listening experience.” Consumers longed for a not-so-long-ago past when the radio was always on, issuing a constant stream of music.
Primarily designed to play the 5000 pre-loaded songs, the portable speakers also lets you play your personal favourites over Bluetooth or through a USB drive. It also enables you to tune into any local radio station in your city. It also has FM, Bluetooth and USB buttons to switch between sources. The USB port to connect your flash drive is on the back along with the micro USB port for charging, and a reset button. On the right of the speaker, you will find the old-school styled volume rocker with a 3.5mm auxiliary port to connect external speakers, in case you want to use it for a larger audience.
With 250,000 units sold, Saregama is gunning for 750,000 by next year. Says Naveen Talreja, Founder, The Womb, the agency that worked on Carvaan, “In a market where everyone wants to target the young and create meaningless apps and tech, comes a meaningful innovation fulfilling a specific need of a target segment nobody creates anything for: the 50+. It is something people have a special emotional relationship with.”