BigPhi Technologies to launch menswear apparel range that protects against Covid-19

Sangeetha Chengappa Bengaluru | Updated on June 18, 2020

Rameswar Misra, co-founder and CEO, BigPhi Technologies

BigPhi Technologies, an angel funded start-up that owns and operates intelligent menswear brand Turms, is gearing up to launch a collection of anti-germ apparel, including masks, that have antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

The start-up is planning to launch unisex masks in the next 25 days, followed by a ‘work from home’ collection including round-neck tees, polo-neck tees and shorts. This will be followed by shirts, jeans, chinos in the final phase along with seamless innerwear and socks, a top executive told BusinessLine.

A pack of three soft cotton, breathable masks will be priced between ₹300 and ₹350 and can be used until 20 washes with 99 per cent bacterial filtration efficiency. Tees will be available at ₹899, shirts at ₹1,299, jeans at ₹1,899 and chinos at ₹1,699.

The Bengaluru-based start-up, which was founded in December 2016 by Rameswar Misra, Alok Sharma, Rohit Gupta, Subhraneel Saikia, Sandeep Kataria and Anil Dhondalay, has been raking in ₹3 crore per month in sales pre-Covid, with the top six metros contributing 50 per cent of its sales. It has sold over 4.5 lakh units to date at an average order value of ₹1,400. At any point in time, Turms offers shoppers a choice of 130 SKUs spread across all its categories, said the firm.

Tech-enabled brand

“Turms is a tech-enabled brand and we started with everyday menswear which had anti-stain, anti-odour, anti-fungal and cool-tech properties that can be worn 3-4 times without washing. With the Covid outbreak, we refined the technology to add an anti-germ agent that is capable of protecting against gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria and a wide fungal spectrum. It can also protect against enveloped viruses like SARS-COV and non-enveloped viruses as well. The active components in the anti-germ formulation contain fatty oil and esters which are natural and safe,” said Misra, co-founder and CEO, BigPhi.

“We have tested the anti-germ products in our R&D laboratory in IIT-Bombay successfully and found that 99.99 per cent of viruses get killed in 15 minutes,” said Misra.

Murali Sastry, former Chief Innovation Officer of Tata Chemicals and CEO of IITB-Monash Research Academy, is an investor and advisor to BigPhi Technologies. Ranjan Pai, Sujeet Kumar, Girish Mathrubootham, Subrata Nag and Bijou Kurien are some of the start-up’s angel investors.

Asked about the demand potential for its anti-germ collection, Misra said, “Our target audience is the 22-40-year age profile, including millennials, who understand technology and want to experiment with new products to match their lifestyles after going through product description in detail. These are people who are well educated, travel to work and want to look good and feel protected too. With work from home becoming the new normal, I see robust demand for our work from home collection, which is available at affordable price-points compared to big brands that may offer one or two of these intelligent apparel like anti-stain, anti-odour or anti-wrinkle at 40 per cent higher price points.”

Published on June 18, 2020

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