Alcis Sports looks to cash in on the athleisure boom, eyes Rs 110 crore revenue by FY20

Indian sportswear brand Alcis Sports is looking to expand its retail presence across the country and will be aggressively expanding into the markets of tier 2, 3, and 4 cities with an aim to double its revenue by the fiscal year 2020.
Roshan Baid, managing director-Alcis Sports - Alcis Sports

Athleisure is a booming category in India’s fashion industry and is expected to grow at a year-on-year rate of 30 percent. It is currently valued at Rs 8,500 crore ($1.3 billion) and expected to reach Rs 54,000 crore by 2020. So it is no surprise that Alcis Sports too is planning to cash in on this boom by offering high-quality products at lower prices to take on the sportswear biggies.
The sportswear market in India is dominated by the big international brands and early entrants like Reebok, Adidas, Nike and Puma who have managed to establish a strong presence in the offline and online market. However, Alcis is unperturbed by the big brands as it feels it has already carved a niche in the Indian market due to its quality and affordable offerings.
Alcis Sports generated sales of Rs 60 crore ($8.7 million) for the fiscal year 2018-19 from its 750 multi-brand outlets and 14 exclusive brand outlets, apart from large format stores and e-commerce platforms.
It now aims to increase its EBO presence and up the sales from these outlets from 10% to 15-20% by the end of 2019. Alcis will also continue to associate with sports as it is helping the brand to be more aspirational for its customers.
Roshan Baid, managing director at Alcis Sports talks to about the company’s journey, challenges and growth plans. As a home-grown sportswear brand what are the challenges for Alcis Sports, and what makes it stand out from a host of other brands in the market?
Roshan Baid: Alcis Sports was incepted about two years back to tap into the emerging athleisure segment in the country as more and more Indians are getting health and fitness conscious. But the availability of products catering to this segment is only at the extreme ends of the spectrum - either expensive and high on quality or affordable but low on quality.
We wanted to hit that sweet spot between quality and affordability. Our products bring consumers technologically advanced products backed by innovation; is stylish and comfortable and at par with international brands at very affordable price points. 
The challenge I feel I am excited about is to ensure that the brand is aspirational for our consumers. I realise that brand building is a time-consuming process and we have taken our initial steps by signing up cricketer Shikhar Dhawan as the brand ambassador for Alcis Sports.
FNW: What is your target audience and which markets contribute the most to the company’s sales?
RB: At Alcis, our target audience is anyone who is looking for high-quality performance wear at affordable prices.  We make for both men and women and are targeting the 12-35-year-old segment aggressively.

People, particularly the youth, have become much more fitness conscious and are indulging in multiple sporting activities, giving a rapid fillip to the athleisure industry of the country.
Apart from the metros, we are aggressively penetrating into the markets of tier 2, 3 and 4 cities. And the response has been quite encouraging from across the markets. Still, if you want me to be specific, North India and North East India markets are contributing most to our company’s sales.
FNW: Alcis has made significant progress since its launch in terms of expansion and sales. Tell us about what helped the brand do well in the Indian market?
RB: We are witnessing a retail boom of sorts in the country, both in the offline as well as online mediums. The millennial consumers with high disposable incomes are cued into the trends around the world and looking for the latest that athleisure manufacturers have to offer.

The growth of Alcis Sports has surpassed all expectations. I am very happy with the way Alcis Sports has been received by the audiences. The love that consumers have shown for the brand underlines our belief that as far as the athleisure segment in India is concerned, consumers are looking for high-quality apparel at affordable prices.
FNW: Alcis has been diversifying its product portfolio since launch. Which is the highest selling category for Alcis ATM and what new additions can we expect going forward?
RB: Our Wonder Tee and Wonder Polo range, which is entirely made out of recycled plastic, has been received extremely well by customers.

We are now a complete sportswear brand as we have a complete range to offer to our customers with shoes for walking, running and training, sports accessories in caps, socks, and bags;  thereby giving our valued customers a full sports performance kit to help them achieve their personal fitness goals. We have added kids range to our portfolio too.
FNW: The brand has been expanding rapidly across the country. What do you look at before venturing into a new market and what is the expansion plan going forward?
RB: We are able to control our complete value chain and since we don’t have high marketing spends, we are able to pass on the cost benefit to our consumers. They get great quality products that are almost 40-50% cheaper than any international brand.
Alcis Sports is present in almost 750 MBOs and 14 EBOs, apart from large format stores and e-commerce platforms. Our major focus has been on distribution and MBOs. We want to increase our EBO presence and up the sales from these outlets from 10% to 15-20% by the end of 2019.
FNW: Alcis has been partnering and investing in sports sponsorships, be it kabbadi or cricket. Is this part of your long-term marketing strategy going forward? Is the association with sports helping the brand?
RB: Sports is one thing which is followed by youth and adults across the world irrespective of their country. Association with sports talks a lot about our brand. These associations have helped our brand to be more aspirational for our customers. Youth can relate more with our brand through this channel. We would like to continue with this strategy in the coming years too.
Alcis Sports has been the trusted kit partner for several high profile sporting events and teams across sports such as cricket, football, kabaddi, running, and more.

FNW: What is the current sales revenue of Alcis? How much of it comes from offline and online sales and what is the growth plan?
RB: In terms of revenue, last year we closed at Rs 24 crore, and will close at Rs 60 crore this year. For FY20, we are expecting revenue to reach Rs 100-110 crore.
Almost 30-35% of our business comes from MBOs, 25% from online, another 20-25% from large-format stores such as Central and Shoppers Stop, and about 10% from EBOs.

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