HRX – A Lifestyle and Fashion Brand to Aspire People to become the Best Version of Themselves
The brand focuses on active, fitness and lifestyle related products and draws heavily from Hrithik's work ethic, his incredible story of overcoming various setbacks and of course, his identity as one of the most stylish actors in Bollywood.
Afsar Zaidi Co-Founder & Chief Everything’s Officer at HRX
HRX, India's homegrown active wear brand was founded in November 2013 by Hrithik Roshan and Exceed Entertainment. The collections are a combination of style and substance, drawn from Hrithik Roshan and his lifelong dedication to achieve the fittest version of himself.
The name represents the X-factor, signifying one to push oneself towards the path of excellence to achieve the best outcome possible. An example of a successful ‘Make in India’ story, HRX aims to revolutionise the fitness scenario in India, as a value-for-money, high quality alternative to international brands. The brand offers a range of products including sports shoes, men’s joggers, t-shirts, backpacks and select womenswear (joggers, sports bras, t-shirts). Product categories across HRX Active Wear, HRX Casual and HRX Yoga and are available on e-commerce platforms including Myntra, Flipkart and Jabong.
BW Disrupt Interacts with Afsar Zaidi, Co-Founder and CEO, HRX and Founder of Exceed entertainment and Spoke to Him
Tell us how was an idea to establish the brand HRX conceived and tell us about your journey?
Exceed is a Talent Management agency. Round the clock, the sole responsibility of the team is to ensure the talent managed by us is growing in every aspect. Growth is in terms of creatively enhancing the talents repertoire, revenue increase year on year, newer commercial opportunities, and creation of long-term business propositions, PR and Image management. The basics are the same for every talent, now & then, you work with a talent who is different in the most quintessential way. Hrithik’s approach to work has always been to stretch the boundaries as an actor - the decisions are not driven commercially - a film is a journey with the audiences and his endeavor with every new movie is to stretch his limits as an actor and take the audience on a new journey every single time. We had been working with Hrithik since 2005 and have managed him for about 12years; there’s a lot of understanding we as a team possessed him. It was always about how we keep pushing ourselves into the managerial space taking the cue from his decisions on the film side.
Collectively, we dared to dream, to create a brand that would be a physical manifestation out of our Talents ideology and life’s belief systems. The intention was and is to create a platform to aspire people to become the best version of themselves and the Brand was to be the carrier for this transformation. The process we undertook was akin to any new brands launch - went through the rigmarole of understanding the market, getting a research company to highlight the attributes of the star Hrithik Roshan, understood the product categories, shortlisted the partners and on and on. HRX is on a mission to connect with each and every Indian - the two tools that we as a brand use are Fashion and Fitness.
Today we believe that we have set up a solid platform – HRX is invariably India’s Number one Fitness brand. Although we are far away from the dream with which we started – to touch our billion Countrymen – but we are sure that we will get there very soon.
The lines used by our brand are followed to the T by every team member and partner -on a regular basis in our everyday lives - To become better versions of ourselves we need to Push our Extreme and #KeepGoing and in the process to get where we want, we will Defeat.
The HRX and Cure.fit 100 crs partnership and the future plan...
HRX and Curefit have a strategic business partnership in the health and wellness space. As part of the collaboration, Hrithik Roshan and HRX are equity partners in Curefit and share a common vision to transform the Fitness and Wellness ecosystem in the country. Hrithik Roshan’s signature workout - ‘HRX Workout’, designed by him along with his personal trainer under his brand HRX, is available exclusively at all Cult.fit centers and eventually will be made available on the Cure.fit mobile app. Cult.fit is predicted to witness an exponential growth as a result of its association with Hrithik Roshan and the synergy of ideologies between HRX and Cure.fit.
To supplement the regime, an HRX Athlete Meal pack is also made available on the Cure.fit app, albeit in Bangalore only for starters. With the launch of the HRX Athlete Pack, the collaboration has moved beyond fitness to nutrition. An increasing number of people in India are advancing their fitness regimes to high-intensity workouts, and this new venture will be successful in catering to their specialized nutritional needs through expertly curated meal options.
Being an equity owner and at the helm of things, HRX and Cure.fit's strategy of introducing celebrity branded WOs is seeing fruition. Following the HRX footsteps, the Prowl WO has been recently announced along with specialized running with Milind Soman. KL Rahul has been brought on board for Cult gyms. As strategic partners, we will continue to grow this space for the overall growth of the business.
We will continue to see HRX presence across verticals that fit in with the overall brand ideology - any advocacy on fitness and holistic health care will be partnered with by HRX.
Your thoughts on celebrities' interest in fashion segment?
Celebrities are cult figures within the Indian society and there is a heightened interest in their everyday lives because today there is easy access to their fashion choices and lifestyle through proliferating social media presence. This along with the increased purchasing power of middle India, e-commerce penetration and a plethora of choices to consumers has created an opportunity for celebrities to tap into. This is not just true of Bollywood anymore but celebrities across all industries- fashion and sports are keen on riding this trend and creating properties for themselves today. However, the key is to ensure the right fit, match of Celebrity’s attributes to the Brand/product and bringing the right partners on board. Word of caution is that this is not up to everybody’s alley; the Talent needs to have a long-term passion in building an ideology or affecting some part of the Fashion space if that is of personal interest to the Talent.
The brands' annual growth and the strategy behind the consistency
HRX is growing at 100% YoY and we intend to undertake a 100% growth target for this fin year as well.
The strategy is simple- Best products at the most affordable prices. Our focus on quality remains constant and unparalleled. As a brand, we have evolved in product design, styling and quality and have come a long way to becoming No.1 in sportswear category on Myntra. Our focus this year is on building women’s category, footwear and offline stores.
What has been your market strategy for it and what are the marketing tools you have used?
Through our communication strategy, we will continue to tap into every possible group of engaging audience. We are building a strong association with the running community by partnering with the marathon franchises in our country. HRX provides a live experience through pop ups at these marathon expos, it helps in extending the live HRX experience to a captive audience who is willing to engage. Our Influencer program is undoubtedly the most organic today. Thoughtful customization, a great in hand experience and a good outreach gets us responses, which unlike others are unpaid and most genuine.
Our core focus continues to be Digital Marketing and all our marketing and communication content will serve the purpose of keeping our consumer motivated to Becoming the best version of himself.
The brand currently stands being valued close to 200 Cr. How do you plan to take the story forward?
HRX is looking at investing in an enhanced retail experience through the use of technology. Product and design innovation with a continued focus on new category introductions will drive the sales. Introduction of new products to the portfolio will fuel the growth. Continued focus on women’s line to make its contribution grow up to 45% from current 35% is a part of the growth strategy.
Partnership with MI for HRX fitness band
HRX and Xiaomi; both brands came together to create an affordable fitness accessory, the Mi Band HRX edition, that brings in the discipline of following a regime and being active. In today’s fast paced life, it definitely helps to track one’s moves and plan the fitness routine for the day. A lot of commitment is required while keeping up a healthy regime therefore Mi Band HRX Edition is the first step that can help in maintaining discipline. With this belief and with the intent of creating a fitness movement, Mi Band HRX edition was HRX’s clarion call for all the fitness enthusiasts sitting on the fence about taking an initiative and of course tracking the results and their progress in an ongoing way.
What is the yearly marketing budgeting for HRX? Does the brand thrive on experiential marketing campaigns?
It is usually kept comparable with the monies incurred by other e-commerce platforms on this category to ensure we have enough for new customer acquisition, the visibility that translates into sales and sufficient buzz during the big events and campaigns. Our objective is to get maximum ROI from our marketing bucks, which translate into increased traffic and in turn, into consumer conversion.
HRX is currently an online brand and we are constantly using high-level data mining and analytics for improving the consumer experience algorithms. We will continue to innovate to ensure we stay ahead of the game in terms of offering a unique experience once we make ourselves available in offline retail in this year.
Additionally on ground HRX provides a live experience through pop ups at the marathon expos, it helps in extending the live HRX experience to a captive audience who is willing to engage with product and communication.
Tell us about Exceed entertainment and how you manage both the brands?
The core of the organization is Managing Talent. There are different verticals responsible for the Talent - revenue generation, strategic partnerships, long-term planning, creative content synergies, and brand consulting, new avenues of growth. Since inception, the thought of the company has been to focus on the long-term growth and have the short- term goals clearly defined. Similar thought process we bring in our management of the artist to ensure the balance is maintained at all times wherein we achieve the revenue targets and yet managed to have our sights on the long-term projects. Our company is at the forefront of establishing the talent management business in the country - we have been fortunate to have a team so young in age and yet so experienced -ultimately it’s the team that matters. When work becomes a way of life and when we do what we love - then we know the roller coaster of being an entrepreneur is on its way to providing a fun ride.
Managing the two brands and more is a way of life and Inshallah more work - completely dependent on the team. They provide the fuel to ensure we go full throttle on all fronts.
The clientele of exceed entertainment?
As a talent management agency, the core of our business stems from the fact that every artist needs to be looked upon as an incorporation. There are companies of all kinds - Blue Chip, MNCs, SMEs, startups etc. The objectives are very clear - Solid business model and Profitability. The approach has evolved over the years and has proven beneficial with the artists whom we have managed over the years....be it Hrithik, Ajay, Saif, Sonakshi, Priyanka, Kajol, Bipasha, Shilpa, Malaika, Dia Mirza, Amit Sadh and many more; Geographical expansion is a Given in this calendar year - physical presence in North and South. New business extensions with few key artists in the space of Fitness, Fashion, Data Analytics, Grooming, Content for Web and Digital platforms, E Gaming, New Technology, Setting up Content producing Vehicles- These are going to be revenues shared models, equity-based structures, MG driven financial modules.
Learning on the job and being aware of the developments in the industry will drive our newer products and services. In certain areas we are ahead of the herd, in some we are at par with the trends and in few, we are incorporating changes to match the industry growth. Planning, Implementing, Executing, Learning has to be done day in, day out.
Around The World