Marking a first in the industry, fitness and sportswear brand HRX, owned by actor Hrithik Roshan, has signed on another celebrity as an endorser. Tiger Shroff, who made his debut with Heropanti last year, will now be seen as the face of HRX.
The brand started in 2013 with an e-commerce only launch on Myntra.com. It is currently available on Myntra and Flipkart, but will be seen in physical retail outlets by the next financial year. It currently has a range of sports and fitness wear (for men), footwear and launched a range of deodorants earlier this year. Shroff has been signed on for a multi-year contract at roughly Rs 1-1.5 crore a year. This is Shroff’s first major brand endorsement.
In its two years of existence, HRX has seen double-digit growth in terms of turnover. While he refused to reveal exact numbers, Kamal Punwani, chief financial officer and corporate development head, affirmed that the brand was inching towards a Rs 100-crore business. The brand is looking at more brand endorsers to highlight different aspects of the brand. It is also looking at a range for women under the HRX Women banner, which is currently in the testing phase.
Afsar Zaidi, director, HRX and founder and managing director at Exceed Entertainment (a talent management company), said, “When we came up with the idea of Hrithik co-owning a brand, we wanted it to be an expression of his journey as an artist and human. He has faced many challenges and the idea was to spread the message about how he overcame these and give inspiration through the brand.”
The idea of HRX germinated almost five years back in 2010. The next two and a half to three years were spent in carrying out research with IMRB about what will audiences relate to with Roshan and what categories he can explore as a result of this. Research showed things like fitness, dance and fashion resonate with Roshan in the audience’s mind and thus a fitness and lifestyle brand made sense.
In its two years of existence, HRX has seen double digit growth in terms of turnover. While he refused to reveal exact numbers, Karan Punwani, CFO and corporate development head, HRX affirms that the brand is inching towards a Rs 100 crore business. He adds that while the step of getting a brand endorser for the brand is a part of the larger communication strategy for the brand.
“As part of the marketing plan for HRX, we have taken certain steps till now. The association with MTV Himalayan Race and FC Pune were part of it. We are also involved with four athletes in the 2016 Paralympics to be held in Rio where we have pledged one day’s sales towards the atheletes preparation for the event and also helped in crowd-0sourcing funds. Getting Tiger is another such step as it helps us widen the scope of touch points the brand can reach out to,” says Punwani.
Going ahead, the brand may look at more television properties to associate with. It is also looking at more brand endorsers to highlight different aspects of the brand. In the meantime, the team at HRX is also busy rolling out brand extensions in the form of fitness equipment. It is also looking at a range for women under the HRX Women banner which is currently in the testing phase. The positioning for this will be sporty and fitness related, rather than fashion.