| 17 Jul 2024
Vikram Mehra shares about how Carvaan brought back radio to living rooms

MUMBAI: Riding on the success of Carvaan, Vikram Mehra, Managing Director, Saregama India, unveils about how Carvaan brought back the entire radio era, and brought the concept back from automobiles to living rooms.

“During 2015, we studied across the country to understand the music consumption behaviour of people above the age of 40 the biggest listener base of catalog music”, says Vikram Mehra. Saregama had old retro music and neuro concepts. They wanted to understand how people consume retro music, so they went to the 40+ age group and try to understand the consumption behaviour and they realised that outside the retro most people were finding it difficult to discover and listen to music on a digital app. They found the world of digital scary because they feared technology. And hence they felt that maybe the better way is that “we people give our entire retro music catalog in a physical format to them”. He quotes, “There was a lady in Kanpur who said, ‘Our era was good, I used to turn on the radio early in the morning, cook’s food while listening, children study through it and also make evening tea along’”.

They realised that maybe there is a big hole here, unlike the younger people who like to control their music consumption, who want to decide which song they want to listen next, who search for their songs as they grow older, people like to listen to music in a lean back fashion. They don’t want to decide every time on what song they want to get next. “If I’m interested in listening to Kishore Kumar songs, I just turn on Kishore Kumar, don’t ask me after every song what’s the next song I want to listen to, surprise me and that’s the Genesis of Carvaan”.  

Carvaan is about listening to music in a lean back fashion. “It’s people who value convenience over control. These are people who go back home after a hard day’s work and say I want to relax. they want to turn on Carvaan and the music automatically keeps on playing without any advertising break. For hours together without anybody having to control anything, randomly selected songs keep on playing, you don’t need to connect to the Internet, Bluetooth speaker, to choose from your phone, or an app. Everything keeps on playing one after another”, expressed the Managing Director.

Innovation is more about anthropology than technology. Innovation comes out of your understanding of your customer. If you understand your customer better you can innovate better. Technology is just a means to deliver that Innovation technology on its own doesn’t not result in big innovation, understanding of the customer helps you create the bigger innovation Carvaan has the tips by all the marketing gurus, strategies gurus as the biggest product innovation.  

It was started with the larger Carvaan in one language, now we have Carvaan today in Hindi, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil, Bengali, and Malayalam. Then smaller variants of it were launched which are known as Carvaan mini, it has got Rabindra Sangeet, Bhagavad Gita, devotional music, Tamil, Hindi, Bengali, Malayalam, Kannada, Theru, in every language we have now launched this mini-Bluetooth speakers.

Then the product got big, they launched a variant called Carvaan Karaoke. This is a first product which is very relevant in a COVID world, more people are partying at home rather than going out, so this is a great way to not only listen but also sing along. Within Carvaan itself the lyrics of the song pops on your screen. “We also provide two microphones so now you can have a singing competition going at home”. Then they launched the product which is the extension of Carvaan Mini called Carvaan Mini kids. “During lockdown we were talking to a lot of our customers and we realised that a lot of parents are getting very stressed out that the children are spending too much in front of screen during lockdown and parents wanted to keep their children engaged but they did not want them so much on screen time and hence we realised that for younger children if we launch a Carvaan mini variant that has got nursery rhyme, love stories both in Hindi and English, musical tables, children songs and Mantras, so it is compiled in a single small box on a Bluetooth speaker called Carvaan Mini kid. This is the best gift you can give the young child and keep him or her entertained without using a screen.

Radio plays music in a random fashion. Somebody else decides what song is going to come next. That's a life you have created once again for people that this idea was filling in people's mind. Carvaan now supports broadcast and gives you the latest stories, programs coming on cooking, parenting, there are kids content so for whatever radio use to go back and do for you as an individual in the card, they are now able to provide such contents for the people sitting at home. Carvaan also supports the microwave radio so whether it’s BIG FM, Red FM or any you can access all of them through Carvaan. It is a one-stop for the people.