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Homegrown active wear brand, HRX, backed by actor Hrithik Roshan, is launching Sports and Fitness Equipment category on Flipkart as home workouts gain traction with gyms remaining shut due to state imposed lockdowns.

Co-owned by Roshan and talent management firm Exceed Entertainment with e-tailer Myntra as a joint venture partner, HRX started out with active wear, casual and a yoga line of clothing and accessories available on Myntra and Flipkart. In 2020, it also launched wireless audio devices for fitness enthusiasts and music lovers.

“Despite of the impact on the ongoing pandemic, we have not degrown in 2020 having clocked a revenue of 375 crores. HRX is now a 500 crore-strong brand. However, unlike last year, the second wave has a much deeper impact on our business which will become clear in the coming months," said Afsar Zaidi, co-founder and CEO, HRX.

Under the new category, the brand will launch bicycles and treadmills in the third quarter of the year even as it starts selling dumbbells, kettlebells, yoga mats and skipping ropes beginning June.

HRX competes with select offerings from global sports brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma as well as other celebrity brands such as MS Dhoni’s ‘Seven’ and One 8. With the new category launch, it will also compete with sports retailer Decathlon that also sells gym equipment range.

“The pandemic has shown new trends, with gyms being shut across cities people who aspire to stay fit are looking for resources that they can buy online and start home workouts. We have witnessed a surge in demand for home workout products which motivated us to launch this category," Zaidi said.

HRX is also focusing on racket sports as well as sports like kickboxing.“We are planning to launch football, volleyball and badminton accessories which will be available in form of a set for customers," Zaidi said.

In terms of revenue, the bigger markets for HRX continue to be Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Gurgaon, Lucknow, Indore, Noida, Kolkata, and Hyderabad. The brand is planning to target smaller markets through gym equipment category where the demand is high.

HRX also has a strategic investment in fitness and gym-chain start-up Curefit.

With uncertainty looming large on when people can resume workouts at gym, there’s a considerable opportunity for brands to serve fitness enthusiasts that are looking to do home workouts, said Sreedhar Prasad, internet business expert and former partner at KPMG.

"There is a big opportunity specifically for convenience based or light "personal" gym equipment that support floor, chair and wall based activities, which don’t take up space like a treadmill," he said.

“There are no large Indian brands catering to this category therefore there is an opportunity for a mass market brand to provide affordable options to customers. I believe what Boat did to the audio requirements of Indians, another homegrown brand can do for the gym requirements of the customers," he noted.

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