This Ahmedabad entrepreneur is betting big on his athleisure brand in a market dominated by Decathlon, Nike
When the boy from Ahmedabad Rohan shah was out for a morning jog, he realized he had dropped his phone somewhere while running. He returned to search for his phone, only to find its cracked screen.
This led Rohan to search for jogging shorts with deep pockets to carry his cell phone and headphones, but he couldn’t find anything in an affordable range.
Coming from a family active in the manufacture of indoor clothing, Rohan had knowledge of the sportswear and sportswear market. He quickly realized that there was a need for a good range of affordable hobbies for fitness enthusiasts like him. After some research, Rohan decided to launch his own brand Truerevo in 2015.
In six years, the company claims to have experienced 75% year-on-year growth, with Truerevo being “profitable since its inception”.
Launching a brand wasn’t difficult for Rohan, but delivering quality and affordable products in a market dominated by French sporting goods retailer Decathlon, Nike, etc. was difficult.
Rohan, 35, says building brand awareness has taken time and talks about his journey so far.
After months of brainstorming, Rohan launched Truerevo’s first product, a pair of smartphone shorts, specially designed to carry a phone while running.
He collaborated with a Swiss designer to design these two-layer shorts which solved the problem of carrying a mobile and incorporated functionality for keys and energy bars and also prevented irritation when running long distances and marathons.
In addition to the official launch in India, he enrolled the brand in a kickstarter program where he received approximately 1,200 to 1,500 orders which he shipped to 50 countries.
“I was surprised and happy to see such an influx of orders. It gave me reassurance that the product would be appreciated by the Indian public, so I started retailing it as a D2C brand and through e-commerce marketplaces, ”Rohan said. SMBShistory
Rohan decided to outsource manufacturing because he felt there were challenges in manufacturing all products on one production line. It outsourced manufacturing to OEMs in Ludhiana, Tirupur, Delhi and Mumbai, and also partially manufactured products in a small unit it set up in Ahmedabad.
In the first year of his business, Truerevo achieved a turnover of Rs 1.5 crore. Rohan claims the company reported sales of Rs 4.5 crore and received around 4,000 orders per month in FY21.
“The pandemic has been a boon for us. People were at home and the disease made them think about adopting a healthy lifestyle. We have seen more people training and the demand for our products has also increased, ”he says.
Athleisure started to grow as more and more people started working from home. According to Technavio, the sports entertainment market is expected to grow by $ 80.74 billion during the period 2020-2024.
Challenges and competition
Truerevo offers a range of sports, fitness and running clothing for men and women. The range includes t-shirts, shorts, leggings, jackets, sweatpants, capris, tank tops, tank tops, compression tights, etc.
The market is dominated by Decathlon, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, etc., which have pioneered meeting the athletic wear needs of people for years.
Rohan says Truerevo offers a range of quality at an affordable price to the masses and competes with new brands like KIKA and ALCIS.
“In India, you have to go back and forth with the prices to be on top. Before, people weren’t ready to invest in athletics. Now, they don’t mind buying comfortable and quality sportswear for their workouts, but don’t want to pay a high price. This is where we come in as a brand and meet their needs, ”says Rohan.
The sports leisure market has grown rapidly, which has allowed both organized and unorganized players to enter the market.
Rohan says the main challenge for the industry is that there is no barrier to entry and that it “is crowded with mixed players.” This increases the cost of brand awareness through marketing and differentiation.
The path to follow
Speaking about future plans, Rohan says the main focus right now is to expand into the offline retail market in India and globally.
Rohan is also thinking of “investing more in in-house manufacturing to have full control over product development.”