Ex Starkey Labs MD Rohit Misra launches earKART to hustle hearing aid online market in India
Early profits impress BharatPe Co-founder Ashneer Grover, invests angel round & bets big on the startup
Only digital platform offering global brands, lowest-price-buying of hearing aids
Company profitable since Day 1, registers sizeable profit in August 2021
Online portal – earkart.in
After 15 years of highly successful stint with Starkey Labs India, a leading global name in hearing technologies, Rohit Misra has decided to move on, venture out, help people with hearing deficiency and stigmas by being an instrument of change in their lives and lead them to regain the power of hearing with earKART – a digital platform featuring state-of-the-art hearing aids in association with global and highly renowned brands.
BharatPes Ashneer Grover, angel investor in Rohit Misras earKART
In a first-of-its-kind offering in the hearing aid online market, earKART is delivering first-in-class service, facilities to the customers with an aim to bridge the gap between a patient’s hearing problem and the services delivered. It is the only online platform that allows all hearing aid dispensers and patients to have access to all varieties of products from global manufacturers with guaranteed transparency, fairness on price and quality. In India where 120 million people need hearing aids, unfortunately, only 0.6 million buy it, making the adoption rate of only around 0.05%. The endeavour of the company is to increase the adoption rate to 1% over the next 3 years, smoothen and simplify the buying process with easy access as well as availability of world-class hearing aids.
Commenting on the launch, Rohit Misra, Founder, earKART, said, “There is a clear, visible but bridgeable void in the hearing aid industry. Being in this industry for 15 years, gave me access to all the factors at play in matters like social stigma, lack of awareness, lack of positive advocacy from patients, small distribution channels, tech dilemmas faced by patients, financial challenges coupled with inability of manufacturers to collectively work towards industry growth. This needed a player, like earKART, who can bring all synergies together from manufacturers while bringing dealers across India on a single platform to drive a massive growth story this industry deserves.“
earKART is already attracting keen investor interest and the startup has raised an angel round of funding from BharatPe’s Co-founder Ashneer Grover.
“I am always keen on supporting startups in new categories where there is an opportunity to be the category leader. More importantly I am always investing behind the Founder. Rohit is an industry veteran in the hearing care industry and leaving an extremely comfortable CEO role to put his career behind earKART – which gives me extra comfort,” Grover said.
“It’s a profitable business from day one. In August, the company made a decent profit. Positive unit economics, good ticket size, good margin, no credible online competitor and an established Founder with expertise in the industry. It was an obvious investment decision for me,” he shared.
“The response has been tremendously encouraging and if the initial trends are to continue, earKART will have the largest network of 1500 plus dealers with the most solid algorithm based patient approach platform in India by the end of next quarter. The beauty of earKART is that it does not depend on manufacturers or partners for success. In fact, it’s the other way around. This gives earKART direct control in ensuring a fair and transparent patient journey,” Misra added.
Predicting earKART’s success and massive potential, Grover said, “My expectation from earKART is to become for hearing care what LensKart is for the optical/eye care industry. earKART should be the profitable market leader and category creator in hearing care over the next 3 – 5 years. I will be supporting Rohit in further rounds as well if the company keeps delivering as per plan.”
Misra said, “Hearing industry is very similar to the optical industry. A recent study from Statista showed that about 27% of the population wear spectacle at about 70% plus adoption rate in India. At earKART we believe that with just about 0.05% adoption rate, the hearing aid industry is sitting on a volcanic growth opportunity, waiting for the right triggers and approach.”