It was the dearth of a home grown fitness brand that gave birth to HRX – an extension of actor and celebrity Hrithik Roshan who has been synonymous to both fashion as well as fitness, said Afsar Zaidi, Co-Founder of HRX during a tête-à-tête with Gargi Bhardwaj of License India.
Talk to us about the brand HRX. How is it different from other celeb-endorsed brands?
The contemplation of brand happens on multiple levels – it’s the ideology of preparation, consideration and cognition and the commercial aspect of course. The longevity of proposition and credibility was there with HRX as it was based on the attributes of the individual called Hrithik Roshan. On the creative aspect, his persona has been the essence and that’s how we started. In our lingo, HRX is an extension of Hrithik Roshan and we wanted to position it as the first fitness brand in India. The other fitness brands we know of are Reebok, Nike, Puma, Adidas, but I can proudly say that HRX has occupied the space of India’s first fitness brand while being in competition to all these brands. When it comes to creating a brand, Hrithik Roshan and Exceed Entertainment co-own the brand HRX and in the process to own this, we had to take calls of Hrithik not endorsing certain categories. When we did apparel, Hrithik decided not to endorse any other casual apparel brand and the same for shoes. So, we chose to let go off a lot of opportunities in the financial sense to create HRX. We wanted to create a legacy that could redefine fashion fitness. It is a service that we provide to the consumer. It is a creative endeavor that we have embarked upon to make it the first of its kind brand of India created around a celebrity. There is no comparison with any other brand of this stature and HRX is a quintessentially unique brand.
How have you fused the persona of Hrithik Roshan with the merchandise?
HRX is an amalgamation of fashion and Fitness. Fortunately Hrithik himself is a fashion icon and the fitness symbol in our nation. We focused on the key aspect that is footwear and apparel. The actor himself is very particular about the kind of footwear he uses in the gym. Taking that cue, we created HRX shoes with special focus on high standards of performance and the actor himself uses the same shoes during workout. There have been commendable efforts by Myntra team and constant feedback by the actor himself. Caps and footwear are two difficult categories to be manufactured given the best quality standards we pursue
Are you looking to be available at online platforms other than Myntra as well?
Myntra together with Jabong and Flipkart owns close to 70 per cent of the online fashion space in India. Myntra is our co-partner in the fashion apparel space, so that decision of moving or extending to other platform is a collaborative call. Offline stores are 100 per cent a part of our plans! We have already started envisaging the same with Myntra. Very soon one would be able to walk into HRX stores.
Would those be exclusive brand outlets or shop-in-shop?
From business point of view, there would be two aspects. One would be shop-in-shop and other will be an exclusive brand outlet. How Myntra decides to formulate that is yet to be decided and the business mechanics and need of the industry will further drive our touch points. Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai are the key locations for offline stores.
What are the plans to scale up? Are there any new categories in pipeline.
We operate in fashion space where we have Myntra as a partner. Very recently we have got into a partnership with a company called CureFit which has presence in Bengaluru where they’ve set multiple fitness centres known as Cult. Termed ‘The HRX Workout’, it is a specific workout which draws inspiration from the regime personally followed by Hrithik, available at the Cult gyms for people to subscribe to if they are looking at high intensity interval training modules. It is designed by the actor in conjunction with his fitness trainer. Also we are looking to integrate all the partners together to create an enriching experience for the consumers.