Aman Gupta is a household name in India today. Thanks, in part, to the sensation that was of Shark Tank India and his many witty one-liners on the show that became fodder for countless memes. Gupta is also the brains behind the brand that revolutionised the audio and wearable tech industry in India. With a shrewd business sense and healthy attitude towards balancing the pleasures of life with work, his demeanour and drive are a breath of fresh air in today’s cut-throat realm of entrepreneurship.
HELLO! tunes into his world, as he shares with us his love for sports and Bollywood, his mantra for encouraging employees and the attitude that’s helped boAt, the company he co-founded, grow into one of the world’s largest audio tech and wearables brands.
HELLO!: How was your experience on Shark Tank India?
Aman Gupta: “It was crazy! My overall experience on the show was amazing. It was an honour to meet and interact with such sharp minds, who are an integral part of the gigantic entrepreneurial wave that India’s witnessing. We have become a hub for startups and entrepreneurs, and the show provided them with a great platform. Also, it was not just about the participants; Shark Tank India was a great source of entertainment for viewers and made them learn about financial terminologies, new technologies and the innovations of today. The experience was insightful for all—the participants, viewers and also us judges.”
H: What keeps you driven?
AG: “Customer behaviour has been ever-changing through the pandemic, and the dynamic market we deal in comes with its own set of challenges. And I’ve always loved a challenge! I never wanted a mundane profession but something exciting. I enjoy creating and launching fun campaigns and products. I feel there are a lot of new things to be done. I look forward to innovating with my team every day.”
H: Who is the one business leader you look up to?
AG: “It would be difficult to name one because there are some amazing business leaders and entrepreneurs who have truly inspired me in ways I can’t describe. But if I had to name one, I would say Jeff Bezos. Amazon has always been great at taking care of its customers. In fact, I learned about customer obsession from them.”
H: What would your advice to aspiring entrepreneurs be?
AG: “I always say it’s better to try than cry. Believing in yourself and your idea is paramount to build a successful business. If you can’t sell your idea to yourself, it’ll be a challenge to sell it to the end consumer. Focus on building a sustainable business idea; being frugal and spending wisely is crucial. Last but not least, an entrepreneur should have customers at the heart of their business.”
H: What’s in the pipeline for you?
AG: “Personally, I’d like to focus on my health and become a fitter version of myself. I think a good work-life balance is vital and health should always remain a priority. Apart from this, I also want to keep myself updated with the latest trends that millennials and the younger generation are following. On the professional front, I really want to expand the house of brands under our parent company Imagine Marketing, with boAt, Misfit and RedGear. We have been doing a lot on boAt and recently set up our R&D department, boAt Labs, in Bengaluru. Tech is an important area for us this year, and our recent acquisition of KaHa is a step in that direction.”
H: What do you do to unwind at the end of a busy day? Tell us about your interests outside of work.
AG: “Even though I absolutely love and enjoy my work, I believe switching off is necessary. Taking a break helps you be more productive the next day. I love playing badminton with my friends post work; it makes me feel refreshed after a long day. I also appreciate some ‘me time’, so I go for long drives late at night. The roads are empty then, which I find quite calming. I’m into sports; it helps me detox from my monotonous work schedule. Badminton and cricket are two of my favourite sports, and I grew into a confident player over the years. I like to spend time with my family and always look forward to our family dinners. And if the IPL is on, it’s the icing on the cake. I watch a lot of movies with my kids and my wife. I’m a through-and-through filmy kid; I love Bollywood and light-hearted comedies.”
H: What pushed you to take the plunge and co-found boAt?
AG: “boAt started as a mobile accessories brand at a time when the market was dominated by global brands and cheap knockoffs. We saw a gap because the products weren’t priced logically and didn’t resonate with the needs of Indian consumers. This motivated the idea of bringing cool, fashionable and durable products to the Indian audio market under boAt.”
H: You’ve described yourself as an erratic entrepreneur. Could you elaborate?
AG: “In the industry in which boAt exists, it’s essential to be dynamic and erratic. We have to be adaptive to consumer needs and diversify our product offerings and promotions accordingly. I also have a similar belief in myself. It’s vital for me, as an entrepreneur, to be open to change and experiment to keep my brand at the top. As an entrepreneur, I’m passionate yet paranoid at the same time.”
H: How well did you and Sameer Mehta work when you started boAt?
AG: “The mutual zeal to disrupt the industry and our faith in each other drove us to build boAt. We’ve always had our own set of responsibilities and a similar vision for our brand—to be frugal and capital-efficient. In certain situations, I trust Sameer more than I trust myself. The conviction I see in him is commendable and inspiring. I can pompously say this is what made the ‘boAt sail smoothly!’”
H: As the CMO and co-founder, how do you keep your colleagues motivated?
AG: “I try my best to create a safe space at work to keep them motivated. We have an incredible office, full of colour and quirky elements. I think building a great workplace and allowing certain flexibility in their schedules helps tremendously. We also try to keep the conversations open and try to give rewards for a good performance.”
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in Hello! India’s May 2022 issue. To read the full interview, get your hands on the latest issue right here!