Friday 14 October 2016

Musical instrument etailers adopt a combination of tactics to keep the tone steady
Earlier singers would manually work on a Shruthi box to provide them with their pitch and tone. Today, it’s all digital, including veena, violin, and tanpura. So much so even the tabla beats are available in a box. It is therefore natural that technology delivers the products at the doorstep. Musicians, DJs and music students are also looking towards the internet to purchase their requirements.
Most established music retailers like Furtados and Radel, have launched their online stores to boost their visibility. While you can pick up entry level products at leading online marketplaces, young shoppers in the age group of 16 to 35 head to dedicated sites like,, or
Most offer EMI options, CoD and limited exchange. And it is growing phenomenally, says Joseph Gomes, Director, Furtados Music,
“The orders we get are a mix of those from metros and Tier II III cities.”
Gomes represents a 150-year-old family establishment based in Mumbai.

Necessity is the mother of invention

Online musical instrument stores came into vogue around 2005 – 06. Customers were willing to wait for the order and pick it up from a significant distance.
Ashutosh Pande, founder and CTO of Mumbai-based Bajaao feels that there is a steep gap between the demand and supply. He says,
“The logical way for us was to go online. We offer free shipping across the country.”
Bajao is one of the pioneers in the field.

Common taxing ailments

The major headaches are Octroi and other entry taxes. GST might be the solution. Pande says,
“When GST is implemented, we may have a flagship store in Mumbai.” Gomes voices a similar opinion, “Currently, we can’t ship to a lot of places, and we don’t have warehouses across the country; that is a challenge. When GST comes in, it will make a big difference to our online sales.”

Fusion striking a right note

Most retailers are looking at a combination of physical and online stores tutorials and exports to keep the ship afloat. Gomes says,
“This business cannot survive on ecommerce. Only 10% of our revenues are online.”
Customers are keen on the physical touch, says Suman Singh, CEO of Bajaao,
“We maintain a robust helpline for people to call and inquire about instruments they see online. Often a buyer takes all the information on the call and then goes and buys offline from a local store where he can touch and feel the product.”
The company is looking at introducing a marketplace for used instruments.
So combination is the key. A balance between offline and online selling will help instrument retailers to have a good run. Similarly, appropriate legislation and taxes will go a long way in extending their reach.

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