The entertainment electronics startup boAt has been one of the leading providers of wearables and audio accessories in India over the past few years. The company, which also plans to go public with a valuation of over $ 1.4 billion, has been profitable, surpassing Rs 1,500 billion in revenue in FY21.
boAt saw a 2.2-fold increase in operating income that of Rs 700.44 crore in FY20 at Rs 1,511.7 crore in FY21, shows the financial statements with the MCA.
boAt sold in FY21. Headphones and headphones worth Rs 1,120
Wireless earphones and headphones formed the top-selling product line and accounted for 62.7% of operating sales in FY21. These sales increased 2.5 times to Rs 947.4 billion in FY21 from Rs 375.7 billion in FY20.
BoAt wireless speaker sales grew the most in the past fiscal year – an increase of 2.6 times from Rs 113.2 billion in FY20 to Rs 297.4 billion in FY21. At almost 20%, the wireless loudspeaker product line made the second largest contribution to sales in the last fiscal year.
In comparison, the growth of wired earphones and other accessories compared to the previous year (including cables and chargers) was relatively cautious with growth of 30.4% and 19.3% respectively in FY21.
boAt imports goods worth Rs 1,316 Cr in FY21, mainly from China
Headquartered in Mumbai, the company develops its products in India, while manufacturing and assembly takes place in China. The cost of procuring its trading inventory is the company’s largest single cost, accounting for nearly 73% of its annual spend.
These expenses increased 2.3 times from Rs 452.5 billion in FY20 to Rs 1.034.03 billion in FY21. Freight and distribution costs accounted for 8.1% of annual costs and increased 57.6% year over year to Rs 115.53 billion in FY21.
boAt is outsourcing its warranty claims and after-sales service to a third party, and its warranty claim expenses increased 93% to Rs.22.7 billion in FY21 from Rs.27.3 billion in FY20.
Plans to move production to India, use GOI’s PLI program
The company had $ 100 million raised in a round led by Warburg Pincus at the beginning of the fourth quarter of FY21 with plans to relocate its production to India. The consumer electronics brand plans to take advantage of the Government of India’s Production Linked Incentive (PLI) program.
The seven-year-old brand is focused on marketing its products heavily online, and their advertising costs have been the company’s second largest cost center, accounting for 10.3% of the boAt’s annual expenses. These costs almost tripled in FY21 from Rs 51 billion in FY20 to Rs 147 billion.
Advantages of a lean team with medium margins, profits up 61% in FY21
Since important operational functions such as production and after-sales are outsourced, boat works with a lean team of employees, whose personnel costs only make up 1% of the annual costs. Employee benefit expenses increased 125.7% year over year to Rs 14.31 billion (including executive compensation of approximately Rs 2 billion).
The Qualcomm-backed company also had a share buyback of Rs.140 billion during the fiscal year ended March 2021. The two co-founders, Aman Gupta and Sameer Mehta, were the biggest beneficiaries of this event, bagging just over 81% (i.e. Rs.113.6 billion or Rs.56.8 billion each) of the repurchase amount.
Overall, the company’s total annual spend increased 2.2 times from Rs 637.6 billion in FY20 to Rs 1,420.1 billion in FY21. At the unit level, boAt spent 0.94 rupees in FY21 to generate a single rupee in revenue.
Profitable since its inception, the wearable brand’s annual profit increased nearly 61% to Rs 78.6 billion in FY21 from Rs 48.8 billion in FY20. However, the EBITDA margin actually decreased by 237 bps in FY21 to 8.34% from 10.71% in FY20.
boAt showed solid financial performance in FY21 and was the first consumer electronics direct-to-consumer (D2C) startup to surpass the Rs 1,500 billion sales mark. Despite the pandemic, the company was able to scale quickly with a 61% increase in profits. Unlike most growth and late stage companies, boAt has generated this revenue with very little cost in employee salaries and other benefits – Rs 14.31 billion.