Companies

HRX, co-owned by Hrithik Roshan, diversifies into gym equipment, bicycles, wearables

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on June 14, 2021

Afsar Zaidi, CEO and co-founder of HRX

The brand is looking to position itself as a one stop shop for sports and fitness goods

Hrithik Roshan co-owned HRX – that has so far focussed on apparel, footwear and accessories – is positioning itself as a “one stop shop” for all sports and fitness products, as it forays into categories such as home gym equipment, bicycles and smart-wearables.

Hrithik Roshan, Afsar Zaidi and Exceed Entertainment together own brand HRX, which is now one of the largest home-grown activewear players. It also has a strategic investment in gym-chain Curefit.

The brand looks to compete with the likes of Nike, Puma and Decathlon in categories like sportswear, while establishing itself in the home gym equipment segments such as dumbbells, barbells, yoga and gym mats, resistance bands and skipping ropes.

Apart from Decathlon and some local players, there are no major players in the retail end for home-gym equipment.

According to Afsar Zaidi, CEO and co-founder of HRX, the company has already launched smaller equipment like dumbbells, barbells, yoga mats and resistance bands through Walmart-owned Flipkart, while entry into larger items – like treadmills and other cardio equipment – is expected soon. In line with recent trends, it is expected to come up with multi-terrain bikes towards the year-end.

A year back, it had expanded into accessories such as audio and small devices such as headphones, headsets, wireless neckbands, earbuds and portable speakers.

Plans are also afoot to enter the wearables segment that includes smartwatches and fitness bands over the next few months. Launch plans have been deferred on account of the pandemic.

“HRX is looking to be a one stop shop for all things related to fitness, including activewear and sports equipment. The journey began with apparel and footwear, a segment where we are profitable. And then, (we expanded) into accessories. The intention is to be present in all sports and fitness verticals,” Zaidi told BusinessLine.

HRX typically operates on the licensing model. In apparel and footwear, Myntra is a joint-venture partner; while Flipkart owns the licence for audio and sports & fitness equipment. In the case of Curefit, it operates on a revenue-sharing model.

According to Zaidi, HRX saw an 84 per cent growth in 2020, driven by apparel and footwear. The audio vertical gained traction as new SKUs are being considered.

While in 2021, consumer sentiment was down with the “pandemic hitting at close quarters”, the company is anticipating a 60-65 per cent growth over last year, while the “focus on a healthy lifestyle” is expected to drive growth in new verticals.

“In the last two to three months (April onwards), warehousing operations were hit by the regional restrictions on delivery of non-essentials. However, we are hopeful of recoveries and new verticals driving growth, as people opt for healthier, more active lifestyles,” he said.

Published on June 14, 2021

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