Growing at a prolific rate, sportswear industry has seen a sudden surge in number of brands foraying into this space. However, given the lack of integrated end-to-end manufacturing process, India has not had any home-grown sports brand so far. Roshan Baid intends to fit into this space through his brand Alcis that has been official licensee for names like FIFA and NBA as well.
Talk to us about the inception of Alcis.
I started a company called Paragon Apparels back in 1995 just after finishing the college. Our major breakthrough was in 2001 when we started manufacturing for Adidas. From last 17 years, we have been manufacturing for brands like Adidas, Reebok and other international brands. If you talk about Indian market, there is no home-grown sportswear brand, though sportswear is the fastest growing category throughout the world. We decided to come up with a home grown brand with international quality standards but aggressive pricing.
How different are your offerings from the international brands?
If you see these international brands, they are quite expensive from perspective of a common man, plus have limited colour options. We are the only company in Indian doing end-to-end manufacturing right from yarn to final product.
Talk to us about your stint with Brand licensing.
We are brand licensees for NBA and FIFA. FIFA is a great property and that’s why we have associated with it. We are manufacturing fan merchandise for FIFA. We created the styles of our own and got them approved by FIFA team. The entire range has been manufactured by Alcis Sports, who is the exclusive rights holder to manufacture and distribute merchandise on behalf of FIFA in the Indian subcontinent. So far this brand has worked great for us. We are the licensees for FIFA till Russia world cup and further we may extend this agreement
What other brands are you looking at for licensing?
I was approached by some of the sports brands, but those were niche to be sold in Indian markets. Iconic brands like Under Armour are something that I would want.
What is your current retail distribution?
Today we have two EBO – one in Kochi, other in Mumbai along with two franchised stores. Also we are already present there at Central by Future Group, Shoppers Stop and Sports Station along with retailers across India. We also retail through brands like Sarvana, Pothy’s etc. In last 2 years we have scaled up from zero to almost 700 retail touch points. For now, the plan is to come up with five more company owned stores in each zone.
Suddenly we have seen a surge in brands foraying into this segment.
Athleisure is the fastest growing category worldwide and that’s why you see a lot of brands foraying into this space. But the problem in India is that nobody knows how to make material for sportswear, so they have to import. Even Benetton is successful because they converted complete sourcing out of India and so is being done by Levi’s for Indian selling. This is one of the reasons why we didn’t have a local sportswear brand.