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Bitmore Reimagined:
Hoj Parmar, CEO, Interviewed

Peter Marshall (PM): Hoj, welcome to trunblocked.com. You have recently changed the name of your business as well as the direction. Can you please give some background to this.

Hoj Parmar (HP): On many occasions, but especially at the TFWA show in Cannes last year, I was asked the question: ‘what is the relationship between Nuwave and Bitmore? Does Nuwave own the Bitmore brand or is Nuwave a distributor of Bitmore products?’

There was obviously some confusion there for potential new customers. Plus, given the strategic changes made within the business over the last 2 years, I felt it was now the right time to change the name of the business to reflect the brand name. This is where the focus is right now – on our brand – and its recovery.

So, we are now called BITMORE LTD. But, having said that, for us the 2 years ‘Covid break’ gave us time to re-evaluate our strategy, vision, business values and, of course, our product offerings. These ultimately resulted in significant internal changes that have created a fundamental shift in how we are structured as a business and how we operate as a business going forward.

We are pending B-Corp status, which naturally puts a business framework in place that enables us to operate as a business with the social and environmental impact of what we do at the core of our business. This is very important to me.

PM: So, is it product innovation coupled with sustainability that will be the two core pillars of everything you will be building your business on from now? It’s an excellent result, of course, that you recently won the Hero award from TRB’s Sustainability Week. But where do you go from here? As you said, Bitmore is your lead brand. Will you reintroduce your sub-brands again soon?

HP: Winning the TR Business Sustainability Hero award was massive for us. It validated everything we had done and been working towards over the last 2 years. To get that recognition from 21 highly respected and regarded sustainability guardians from within the TR industry was an amazing feeling and I feel very proud.

But for Bitmore, I am looking beyond product innovation & sustainability. These two areas do play a significant part in what we do, but it doesn’t stop there. We are also conscious of other stakeholders that our business has an impact on, such as our employees as well as future employees, our local community, our environment, the planet, and the people on it. It’s not just about the shareholders of the business itself. I want Bitmore™ to have a positive impact in everything we do, so when we do look at re-introducing our sub brands and any other of the company’s brands for that matter, we need to ensure the products tick all of the boxes in terms of our company objectives and strategy.    

PM: On a more general point, Tech has never been viewed by the industry as being one of the more profitable categories – largely because there is so much domestic competition and that the category’s margins are generally nowhere as good as other categories. Do you see a change in the business mindset here – particularly as almost every consumer is now digitally focused and, perhaps equally importantly, because product choice is increasingly as much about the supplying company’s values and sustainability as anything else?

HP: Yes, I totally agree. We live our daily lives with gadgets and tech at the core of almost everything we do, which makes this category a ‘must have’ within airport stores and concessions. Coupled with the fact that a large growing % of today’s consumers are very conscious of their own personal impact on the environment and planet. Combined, these elements give way to the fact that there’s also a big commercial opportunity right now for retailers to be showcasing brands that offer sustainable and eco-friendly tech. Consumers expect brands to be taking action to support sustainability via their product offerings, business operations, and their support of social and environmental causes that have an immediate impact on the world we live in.

As a business owner, I feel this is the very minimum we should be doing. With so much supporting data in the public domain, which is backed up by ongoing research from companies such as m1ndset, that clearly states consumers will, the majority of the time, opt for an ‘eco’ option if it’s presented to them. And in some cases, would also drive impulse sales too. 

However, in terms of tech offerings within TR, most of the time consumers are still only seeing what I would call the ‘traditional’ or ‘legacy’ brands that have sat in TR for many years and served their purpose well. But times change.  Consumers just aren’t being given enough of a choice when it comes to ‘sustainable’ and more ‘eco- friendly’ tech & gadgets. 

PM:What more can the industry do to enhance the growth of your category? Do you see a re-imagining of its presentation in-store, for example?

HP: I think the category should take a look at what the InMotion stores are doing very well right now. They’ve re-imagined the consumers tech store experience, bringing in a little more theatre, with strong, clean product presentation which ultimately will drive a positive customer experience, and sales.  

PM: So, one final question, Hoj. if there were two things you wanted to say to the industry that would create an incremental income stream from the category, what would they be in your opinion?

HP: To encourage incremental sales, retailers could look at the use of more screens which show the products in action. ‘Live’ in-person demos, allowing consumers to touch, feel and use the products, could also help. Niche pop-up stores tend to work well in other categories, so the potential is also there for the tech category – potentially built around a ‘Tech Week’ promotion period.