Today, HRX is a Rs 100 Crore Brand

Published On: 2015-08-10

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Today, HRX is a Rs 100 Crore Brand: Afsar Zaidi, Exceed Entertainment

Source: Ad Age
Date: September 15, 2015
By Devesh Gupta

Launched in November 2013, HRX is a celebrity brand owned by Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan and Afsar Zaidi, Founder and MD, Exceed Entertainment. The brand sells accessories, footwear and apparels (including casual wear and active wear). It has recently added deodorants to its product lines. Since the time of its launch, HRX products have only been available on Myntra and Flipkart app.
Recently, HRX made news headlines in the entertainment and marketing circles after it roped in Bollywood actor Tiger Shroff as the brand's maiden brand ambassador. It was an interesting move, as till now, HRX has been synonymous to Roshan, both as an owner and endorser.

It is important to note that Roshan is a veteran and established actor, while Shoff is a new comer and has just done only one film. So, why HRX got Shroff on board? AdAge India decided to speak to Afsar Abbas Zaidi, Founder and MD, Exceed Entertainment, the firm that handles HRX, on the subject.

Q. To begin with, what is the positioning of brand HRX?

HRX has a very disruptive model. Firstly, it is owned by a Bollywood celebrity and a talent management agency, secondly, it was launched online at a time when people did not think of launching a brand online in India, and finally, despite having a Bollywood celebrity owner, HRX has roped in another Bollywood celebrity as a brand ambassador. One may call them disruptive or industry firsts, but its only HRX, which has done that in India.

The brand aims to empower people to push themselves to a limit that they create a life for themselves, which they always wanted to. The brand aims to create heroes. These are the basic principles laid down by Roshan, who himself had struggled in his life and has gone the tough ways to change it. For example, a doctor had suggested Roshan that he could not dance, and need to drop the idea of being a Bollywood star, but the latter proved it wrong with his hard work. Today, he is known for his dancing skills.

Q. Why did you rope in Tiger Shroff, when you already have Hrithik Roshan for the brand?

With Shroff, HRX has just added another ambassador. As we progress forward, we will be adding more ambassadors to the brand. It is not possible for Roshan to be everywhere. Hence, we decided to rope in Shroff who defines fitness and movement in a way that Roshan does. At this point, within Bollywood, there is no other star that represents the HRX' DNA, the way Shroff does.

When we roped in Shroff, we clearly mentioned him that he has to align himself to the ethos and culture of the brand.

HRX is a celebrity brand because Roshan is one of the owners. And, even if If Roshan wasn't a Bollywood actor and in some other profession, he still would have launched HRX.

Q. What advantages does Shroff bring to the table?

Shroff is a great visual representation of movement and fitness. He represents - how fit an individual should be. And, that is the idea we will exploit to the fullest to connect with our audience. Shroff is a great inspiration for the hardwork and commitment that goes behind such flexible movements.

With Shroff on board, we have two fold objectives of increasing awareness and engagement and brand recall. Once people will be aware of HRX and its values, they will buy it.
We want HRX to be a part of people's lingo.

Q. What are the marketing and advertising activities planned for HRX in coming days?
As our roots are strong now, the time has come for HRX to adopt a 360 degree approach to marketing and advertising and reach out to a larger audience. We have been working hard to reach this milestone.

There are three big initiatives, one is a campaign with Shroff, second with Roshan and third is an innovative television show. Other than that, HRX campaign will roll out in October as Pune FC begins playing in ISL. It will be a majorly print and television campaign.

Shroff will be engaging with audiences via multiple vehicles. Fitness and dance are two pillars of our content, which will focus on moves.

We are also planning a slew of social media activities and planning to rope in some key people for it.

Q. What has been HRX's marketing and advertising strategy so far?

The brand focused only on digital medium in past to reach out to its audience. It decided to initially make some money and then go for the traditional advertising.
Earlier this year, HRX launched its debut campaign with a two-and-a-half minute online film titled 'Defeat Defeat'. It was the first time when Roshan interacted with people and conveyed his thoughts. HRX is also the associate sponsor of the Pune Football team that participated in Indian Super League. In yet another association, the brand raised a fund of Rs 20 lakh for the training of four differently-abled athletes by committing a day of its sales to them. HRX also associates with mountain biking. It is the sponsor for MTB Himalaya Challenge.

Q. Which advertising agency is HRX working with?

We have roped in Chlorophyll as the brand consultant and Sam Ahmed as the creative director for our campaigns. The digital agency for HRX is Digi Osmosis. However, we are still in the process of finalizing a media agency.

Q. So, what is the way ahead for HRX?

We are planning to go for the physical stores but have not finalized upon a partner yet. We will partner with someone who is available all across the country. We will continue to stick to online sales (Myntra and Flipkart) and if in case we plan to go beyond them, it will be done in consultation with these platforms.

HRX is also planning to enter women wear. We are hoping to close the financial year with a turnover between Rs 150 and RS 175 crore.