WeHear's ₹1,000 Cr hearing opportunity 🤔
And maybe the market does exist.
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Onto the WeHear’s story.
Most saw WeHear’s pitch at Shark Tank India. 6.3 Crore Indians have a hearing disability & the market seems promising. But, can this product make WeHear a ₹1,000 Cr business - let’s find out 👇🏼
Hearing aid devices have existed for a while. You have ₹500 to ₹50,000 options on Amazon India - many with poor customer reviews. Plus, most hearing aids have been designed for those with a physical ear since childhood.
The WeHear pitch focused on people with hearing disability and who have an absence of a physical ear since their childhood. But, this segment is extremely limited - exact numbers aren’t with even the deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) community.
Depending on the severity and diagnosis, the person can opt for surgery or a non-surgical solution like WeHear. But the catch is with basic health insurance - it covers surgeries but not hearing aids. Also, most consumers don’t even have an insurance plan in India. This stops most of the audience from buying a costly hearing aid.
At a national level, only 15.2% of the Indian population is covered with any type of health insurance. The rest just pay for their medical bills from their pockets
So what would make WeHear a ₹1,000 scalable opportunity? 👇🏼
1/ Split the consumer & hearing aid business 🤔
The consumer business competes with every single headphone company in India at this point. Brutal market to go after with limited capital to spend on distribution and building a consumer market play. The brand needs to be sold differently for the hearing aid Vs consumer market.
Think of it like what L'Oréal does - it has the retail/ consumer offering while has a completely different offering for L'Oréal Professional - the product line they sale only exclusively to salons.
2/ Push consumer play with preventing hearing ability 🙉
Conventional headphones and earphones have been around for a while. Earphones over prolonged use can cause ear infections (ask the airpod power users) while headphones are clumsy to use for prolonged periods.
This whole bone conduction headphones are interesting way to avoid both these problems & avoid ear discomfort from prolonged usage.
3/ Pricing on consumer segment isn’t built around a category 🥷🏼
If you spend some time on Amazon you will understand that for most of the best-selling earphones, the pricing is around ₹1,500. WeHear doesn’t have to drop down to it - it can be the compete in premium headphone segment but it needs to solve for positioning it as an aspirational piece.
4/ Choosing the right ideal customer first 🤝
If you go to their website you will see they list down potential use cases and they do talk about athletes. This needs to be doubled down and the reasons are out in the open.
The product market fit will be extremely faster with those using headphones during a mobility/ sports environment. Plus, existing players like SHOKZ also prove that the appetite to pay for a ₹9,999 bone conduction headphone does exist in that segment.
5/ Double down on the aspirational piece 🚀
Meta did something interesting a few years back. It built a VR play with Rayban glasses. WeHear needs to think of a play where it could potentially work with an ecosystem aspirational brand that allows it to borrow the positioning.
What is WeHear’s right to win? 🤔
The whole Shark Tank pitch talked about how the Utility/Design patent is of significant value. This is only useful if it stops a competitor from building what WeHear’s product is offering. I would keep a very low bar on the significance of this patent.
Creating the best bone conduction headphones manufactured in India & the ability to move fast in this segment is WeHear’s only advantage.
I would look at the brand “Ultrahuman” and see if they eventually get into audio - this whole bone conduction isn’t new but getting the due limelight for sure at the moment.
That’s all for now 🪄
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