RadioandMusic
| 12 Nov 2019
At UBON, we focus on values over revenue: Mandeep Arora

Boasting of core traditional values, UBON India was introduced to the world of mobile phone accessories industry a decade ago. With quality being their ultimate mantra, UBON was ‘Born To Be Free’ the world of mobile accessories from the shackles of low-quality products. The company manufactures over 125 accessories including Headphones, Bluetooth Speakers, Surge Protectors, Car Accessories, and Chargers etc. Co-founder Mandeep Arora takes us through the idea behind the launch of UBON, its vision, products, traditional ways and its core values, in an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic.

You have been in the market for 10 years now. Has your vision behind launching UBON fulfilled?

We launced UBON, 10 years back, with a target of being in the top five brands in the mobile accessories market and we have achieved the milestone.

You aim to go wireless with UBON. Any specific reason?

Yes, going wireless is our mission. We at UBON basically wanted to break free the mobile accessory market from cables with the tag, ‘Born To Be Free’. We don’t want our consumers to use cables at all. Hence, we have been launching innovative products like wireless power banks, speakers, wireless headphones and earphones. Also, we are soon launching a wireless solar power bank also.

What’s UBON’s financial investment plan for 2019?

2019 is going to be great year for us and we are looking aggressively at it. We are planning to launch 100 products under the rupees 10,000 tag. We plan to take our business to at aleast 150 per cent from where we were last year.

Is there a large amount involved?

Actually, it is a family owned business. Hence, we don’t need to pump in a lot of money from outside. Secondly, it is a gradually evolving business and we are earning good money. We re-invest from the profit earned.

Any specific reason for not having share-holders/investers?

Basically, it is all about the ownership and we don’t know how an external investor will behave towards our traditional business. Also, we adhere to the values, we have with UBON brand.

Can you tell us about your manufacturing plant?

As of now, we have got one factory. IAbout300 people work for us, and are manufacturing only UBON products. It is based in Ashok Vihar, Delhi.

Then how things work?

We are actually a very old brand. We have one of the oldest distribution networks in India with more than 100 distributors PAN India. You name a city, UBON is already there. So, we have a traditional distribution system.

When it comes to the graphic designing, we have our own designing house in Mumbai with four-five designers working 24 hours. Media Corridors is our PR agency while we also have our creative agency in Mumbai.

Is the cost incurred on final product, feasible for common man?

UBON brings one of its strongest values forward. We never push our customers with the heavy envelopes, but try to make them really cheap. When I say cheap, I don’t want to sound like any other Chinese brand. We actually make them affordable so that they don’t have to spend a lot of money on our product, which is already there in the market.

Let’s talk about the revenue generated

I will really be honest, we have had never thought from this aspect. At UBON, we focus more on values rather than revenue. Revenue always is the last point, we have ever thought of. We think about, how we can add values to the products, trust in the customer and brand relationship.

How has been the customer response?

The response has been good. We have worked very hard for it.

Being a traditional company with traditional distribution network, don’t you feel the pressure of competition?

I take it rather as a strong point, we call it our forte because our distributors enjoy the co-ownership of the brand. We give them exclusiveness that we are not going to offer UBON in their area or at least 200 kilometres from their territory.

If you happen to visit any of our cities, you will see UBON is prominently present. I am talking about the wholesale market. We are focussing only the tradition model of selling. We are based in two and three tier cities.

Milind Gaba is the brand ambassador of UBON and the company had also collaborated with Yo Yo Honey Singh for ‘Makhna’.

People follow music icons crazily be it Honey Singh or Milind Gaba, their target audience is almost same as ours. So, we preferred musicians.

Are there more collaborations happening?

Yes, we have more names. We are in a gradual process of signing the contract and therefore will be releasing their names soon.

Is GST tax incurred, is it feasible for the produced

The GST tax we pay is 18 per cent. It is a very good move by the government to have a uniform taxation PAN India. It is really helping us a lot as a brand because we don’t have to bother with a different tax levied in different states. Instead of complaining, UBON is looking forward to it.

Is there any technology when it comes to mobile accessories/gadgets, which is yet-to-be-explored or dream project?

Right now UBON is working on how to wirelessly charge mobiles without even placing them on the pad or power banks either they can keep them anywhere on table or anywhere and charge wirelessly.

Actually there a lot of blocks from the government as well because we are yet-to-receive a go ahead.