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Hubballi boys’ path-breaking work in audio engineering

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Rapture Lab is a startup that holds lots of promise

Man always wanted the Theatrical experience (both visual and audio) at home and is ready to spend money to get that. This has created a market that every Audio-video (AV)  product maker wants to tap into. Though over the years billions of dollars have been spent by competing companies on building perfect audio products, they (products) remain out of reach for many audiophiles.

This is where startups like Rapture Innovation Lab, founded by Navajith Karkera and Jagath Bidappa, fit in. 

Mind-boggling innovation by the Rapture team

The Deshpande incubated,  Hubballi-based audio-tech company claims to have done real path-breaking work to build and patent “Hybrid driver acoustics”. The technology was perfected as a result of 3 years of back-breaking research work done by the team 

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According to the founders,  their product uses a new concept to create sound through the patented “air and bone-body conduction” technique for emulating a full range of audio drivers and subwoofer systems in a headphone for the first time. This can bring a theater-quality audio experience without any compromise to the headphone. With the headphone on, the listener can enjoy Beethoven, Bollywood, or any Bass music just the way he does inside movie theaters.

The entire subwoofer is miniaturized inside the headphone

With a subwoofer inside, the founders claim no thunders, gigs, or concerts will ever be ordinary again. The sound is loud and clear, and the listener will feel immersed in the concerts and gigs and may endup dancing in ecstasy. 

With Sonic Lamb – their hybrid driver coupled with earpads can emulate the subwoofer to deliver the highest, deepest, and most powerful bass for bringing an unparalleled experience, especially for bass heads.

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Sonic Lamb started selling with a bang

The company had a soft launch of its first product, Sonic Lamb headphones, recently. The product received 570 pre-orders from 50 countries. According to the founders, more than 60 percent of the orders have been from the US.

The entire design and development of the product is done in-house, except for a few imported components. For manufacturing, the startup works with a vendor in Delhi and packaging is done in Chennai. Currently, the team hopes to send all the pre-ordered products by the end of July 2023.

Competition is fierce

The sonic lamb will have to take the established audio giants like  Bose, Sony, Sennheiser, and JBL among others, head-on. But the market is always open for newbies who can disrupt the current trend. It is always their product that talks and silences the critics by instilling fear in the competitors. 

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The founders are confident that they would soon open experience centers in Metro cities and also in Tier 2 cities to introduce their products. If the company quickly establishes good distribution and after-sales services network, it can increase sales in India and elsewhere within a short time frame. Of course brand building task is important too.

Premium quality products at affordable rates

The founders claim that the fidelity or the clarity of the sound they provide is on par with the best headphones their competitors are selling for $300. 

That means, the Sonic Lamb headphone can give the same kind of high-end immersive experience at a low-end price of $199, which is very interesting.

According to the founders, their target is to manufacture and sell 5000 units by the end of this year post which, the production and distribution would be scaled up.

Talent in India is not relegated to Metro cities

In India, there is a bias towards Metros and other big commercial centers when it comes to locating engineering centers of MNCs.  This bias has made wealth accumulation in a few Indian big cities and talent has to go to any of these cities for work, thus adding to the chaos.  The success of companies like Rapture Innovation Labs will certainly make CEOs sit back and take a fresh look at Tier 2 cities with a lot of optimism. 

With unhindered broadband connectivity and 5G mobile tech, jobs will go where the talent is. Not the other way around. Companies will start opening mini engineering centers at the most promising Tier 2 centers like Hubballi, Mysuru, Mangaluru, Kalburgi, and Belgaum in Karnataka. This works out cheaper for Organisations, as skilled individuals may not be ready to move to any Metro city, as the quality of life is not good there. When the jobs shift to Tier 2 cities, the wealth also be distributed throughout India.

A little brief about Designed in India

India is a hub for engineering and innovation

How many of us blindly buy products by looking at the brand name? – all of us. The higher the brand equity of any product, the higher the product acceptability quotient for us. We assume that most MNC products, that invest billions in marketing must have been designed, engineered, and manufactured at places where quality is perceived to be above everything. 

However, little do we know that almost all MNC product-making companies have their design/ innovation centers in India.  Their products are most likely engineered and innovated here by Indian engineers. 

With so many IITs, IISC, RIEs, and Engineering colleges, India makes it very compelling for the MNCs to have their engineering centers based here, as we have the highest concentration of English-speaking technical talent. 

Time for Indian companies to take center stage

The time has come for Indian product companies to bring to the world India-designed, engineered, and made-in-India products. The quality of (Indian products) is second to none and for the world to accept Indian products, they should be accepted and made HIT in India first. This is how Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese products captured the word after they were “RUN AWAY” success in their homeland. We have to do the same for Indian products too. 

Distribution and customer services are the keys to success

To capture foreign markets, Indian companies must utilize established distribution and customer service channels to efficiently distribute their products and give worldwide good after-sales support. We have to do what Japan did in the 70s and 80s and what Koreans & Taiwanese did in the 2000s.

In this context, the success of startups like Rapture Innovation Labs is very important in the whole scheme of things for India. 

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