Afsar Zaidi, Founder & Managing Director of Exceed, a company that began as a consolidated talent agency promoting the international profile of stars such as Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan and Bipasha Basu before diversifying into live event management, sports hospitality, licensing and merchandising, entertainment projects and creating business ventures for artists, together with Sid Shah of The Wild East Group, focused on building new businesses for iconic brands such as Playboy, Times of India, Paul Frank, and Kolkata Knight Riders, conceptualised and launched Hrithik Roshan’s active lifestyle apparel and casual wear brand HRx, which will be sold and manufactured exclusively by Myntra.com, a leading e-commerce platforms in India for fashion and lifestyle products.
Signifying the exquisiteness, the brand logo is inspired by Hrithik Roshan’s initials ‘HR’ and ‘X’ implies the ‘extreme’ touch which has been given to the clothing range. HRx epitomises fashion, fitness and flair, which the stylish and suave Hrithik Roshan is known for, across the globe. HRx together also represents an extreme state of mind that inspires one to be the best version of themselves. The lightweight product range includes comfortable casuals as well as leisure sportswear teamed with sports footwear for men. The products are made of premium fabrics crafted with a contemporary slim fit and dominated by vibrant colours.
The model Exceed and The Wild East Group have conceptualised for HRx, has positioned it as the first celebrity brand extension in India, thought-through and built in the same way heritage brands are in Western Countries, where licensees will be appointed in different categories bringing in specific expertise. Cases include Jordan, Jay-Z who experience annual retail sales of $700 million USD, to Li-Ning, the second largest sports company in China and Britney Spears Fragrance which has had over $1 billion USD sales worldwide.
Commenting on the launch of the brand, Hrithik Roshan said: “I always envisioned HRx to be a platform that could inspire people to bring out their best and to never give up. My team, Afsar Zaidi from Exceed and Sid Shah from The Wild East Group have taken my philosophy and turned it into a brand."
The acute planning and launch strategy for HRx reflected the findings of a market research report conducted by IMRB on 10,000 people across India and represented the general zeitgeist of the Indian consumer. Some of the macro-economic trends the report unveiled included the fact that the Indian consumer placed growing importance on wellbeing and fitness and there was a need for quality products that encompass a true-to-message philosophy they could identify with.
Speaking about the launch of HRx, Afsar Zaidi, Founder and Managing Director of Exceed, said: ‘We are thrilled to be pairing with Hrithik Roshan on the launch of his new clothing brand HRx. Exceed together with The Wild East Group have been at the forefront of driving forward the brand creation, strategy and development of Hrithik’s new brand and initiative, which will be centered around fitness and fashion. We have worked in partnership with Hrithik all the way through and all involved are very happy with the end results. We have started off with the active and casual wear apparel market and HRx will be diversifying into other areas that lend to the Brand DNA and its motto of Push Your Extreme.
The men’s apparel market size in India is estimated at circa $32 billion USD with the sports and active wear market size being circa $1.2 Billion USD, experiencing a year on year growth of circa 35%. Currently four international brands control 80% of the market share however HRx has the potential to tap a fast growing market segment, its unique selling point being its design and pricing to make the brand aspirational yet affordable for the masses.
The HRx range has something to suit every taste, and combines film star chic with versatility and affordability. These are just some of the reasons why HRx has the potential to attain a market share.’
Bringing a combination of eclectic style and extreme passion, the HRx brand aims to reach out to the masses with the admirable objective of inspiring people to be the very best that they can be, and to conquer new heights every day. To further extend the brand philosophy of HRx, plans are underway to spread awareness about fitness and well-being through a range of grass-root campaigning and synergies such as with schools, government bodies and other institutions.
Afsar Zaidi added: “Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives will also be introduced, forging partnerships with various charitable institutions across India to ensure the HRx product range reaches individuals who reside in impoverished areas of the country.”
HRx marks the second prominent initiative by Exceed in the merchandising and licensing space in India, the first being the model devised for India’s highest box office earner Krrish 3 in association with Dream Theatre. Ten different licensees were granted across various product categories, a first for any Indian film.