Carvaan’s Bengali notes

Saregama Carvaan now has a Bengali version

  • Published 9.02.18


Device: Carvaan (Bengali)

Music collection: 5,000 songs

Features: Songs come preloaded, Bluetooth, USB, FM radio, rechargeable battery

Price: Rs 5,990 onwards

Kishore Kumar

It’s not easy to market nostalgia. But Saregama has managed to cut through technical jargons to deliver a top-end device that gives one a feel of listening to Vividh Bharti. Carvaan, the digital music player preloaded with 5,000 songs, has come a long way since May 2017. In less than one year the device has been successful enough to get a Bengali version. Yes, on February 8, Saregama launched an edition that comes preloaded with 4,000 Bengali songs, plus 1,000 Hindi gems.

Here’s more from Vikram Mehra, managing director of Saregama India.

This time Carvaan contains Bengali songs. Tell us about the selection that’s available.

Carvaan Bengali comes with 4,000 Bengali songs from legendary artistes. Plus, it contains a selection of 1,000 evergreen songs from Hindi films. The Bengali collection includes Rabindrasangeet sung by Suchitra Mitra, Sagar Sen, Srabani Sen, Sumitra Sen and others. There is a huge catalogue of Nazrulgeeti too. There are also songs from icons like Hemanta Mukherjee, Manna Dey, Arati Mukherjee, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, R.D. Burman, Shyamal Mitra, Bhupen Hazarika and Nachiketa Chakraborty.

Manna Dey

How did you come up with the catalogue?

Data and research have been the cornerstones for the selection available. Each of the 5,000 songs is the result of ‘Big Data’ analysis on music consumption across platforms, like our YouTube channel, music streaming platforms, caller ringtone, apps, websites and radio playouts. Almost 17 billion data points that are generated annually have been evaluated to curate the songs. These have been further curated by a robust in-house content team. 
If somebody already has a Carvaan, why should he or she buy another unit to listen to Bengali songs?

It primarily targets the regional customer. However, if there is a customer who has a Hindi Carvaan, he or she can also opt for Saregama music cards that easily plugs into the existing Carvaan’s USB port.

Hemanta Mukherjee

Why do you think the device has been a huge success in an era of chord cutters?

The device’s simplicity, convenience and lean-back listening experience make it a success. Every aspect of Carvaan emerged from extensive customer research that confirmed the need for such a product, validating the cliched statement that no technology, no packaging can match the power of consumer insight.
That brings us to the genesis of the device.

We conducted an extensive research in early 2015. The older age group was unanimous that they found it difficult to consume music of their choice in an easily accessible way. People who have grown up on old film songs… who unfortunately with the death of cassettes and then CDs find themselves unable to listen to these songs the way they would want. This is a generation that’s not as digitally savvy as the younger generation when it comes to downloading apps or searching for songs.

The other consumer insight we tapped into is that young working people — living away from parents — want to gift something different, something more personal, more emotional on their parents’ birthdays, wedding anniversary, Diwali, New Year….

This is our attempt to give the  “uncomplicated ’70s Vividh Bharti” music listening experience. It is a right mix of technology and attractive retro form factor.

Music on Carvaan is randomly played. Why?

It’s the experience of listening to the radio in the old days. You never knew which song would play next… there was an element of surprise.

There is one edition of the device that’s priced at Rs 5,990 and comes with 5,000 songs. The Mini edition is priced at Rs 2,290 but features only 251 songs. How do you justify the price?

The Mini is a potent Bluetooth speaker, which competes on sound quality and features in its category. What makes it unique is that no other Bluetooth player in the field comes with the rich variety of Hindi film songs preloaded. It also has USB capacity.

Mathures Paul

What’s the one retro gadget you want back and why?