Startup

Alcis Sports | The Sports brand of India

“I wanted to make an Indian brand that could go across the world”-Ravish Nanda

In an exclusive interview with Startup Story Media, Co-founder Ravish Nanda talks about his venture Alcis Sports and the vision behind it.

Ravish Nanda, a textile engineer with an MBA in Marketing, started his career with Vardhman Group. He has worked for organizations like Vardhman, Monte Carlo, Reebok and Adidas. He started Alcis Sports with the idea to provide India with good quality sportswear at an affordable price. Alcis Sports was started with his friend Roshan Baid who owns Paragon Apparels which is the biggest sportswear manufacturer of India.

During his employment at Reebok, Ravish had this opportunity to work with the top Indian athletes. He has worked on projects like 2010 Common- Wealth Games, Asian games, Olympics, IPL, Formula one, Davis Cup. Having accumulated such vast experience over the course of his career, he thought of starting off a sportswear brand which was made in India and give India a good quality product.

Alcis, the Greek God of Physical Strength

Becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t an easy decision for Ravish because after leaving Reebok he got job offers from best of the companies, but he left those opportunities and ventured into starting something of his own because he believed that he had the capability to create something big and do something for the sporting fraternity of India.

Since Ravish had the opportunity to work with international brands, he witnessed that there was no competition from any of the Indian brands. He wanted to start an Indian brand which could go across the world and that’s how Alcis Sports was born. Ravish wanted the name to be related to sports and fitness and Alcis is the Greek god of physical strength.

When he started his entrepreneurial journey someone told him, if you can get your product listed in “Lifestyle” ( Landmark Group ), then you have made a successful brand. Last year, Alcis Sports started off at lifestyle and today they are everywhere in India. Their reach has grown with every passing year. In offline, they are present at the majority of the LFR’s in India like Lifestyle , Shopperstop , Sports Station , Brand Factory , Central , Unlimited etc . Apart from that they have a huge distribution network and 22 EBOs across India. In online, they are present at all major portals along with their own website.

International Plans…At present we are in Dubai and are looking to expand in other countries.

 

Sustainability, Innovation and Affordability is What Sets Alcis Sports Apart

Alcis stands out as a sportswear brand due to its international level of quality and very affordable rates. We have a completely integrated unit and do everything inhouse. The width that we provide to our customers is unmatched.

Alcis is focusing very hard on sustainability. Ravish says, “As an entrepreneur it’s our responsibility to contribute towards the environment. We started off using recycle bottles. Now our focus is to increase the sustainability factor in our portfolio as much as possible. We say that we make equipment not apparel because all of our products are loaded with technology and we keep on creating something new every season.”

The Team and Customer Experience

Alcis has a team of end to end professionals managing the execution.  Ravish considers patience, innovation and teamwork as key leadership traits. “The biggest achievement of our brand is that whenever a customer comes to our store for the first time, they never go anywhere else, we have a lot of repeat customers due to our product quality and price. Customer loyalty is the key point and that’s where we are focusing.” Explained Ravish

Brand campaigns and The Alcis Family Run

When it comes to brand campaigns, Alcis Sports has a myriad of associations with sporting events like their tie up with IPL team Rajasthan Royal, association with Premier Kabaddi League, being the official merchandise partner of FIFA Russia world cup in 2018 etc. The company chose cricketer Shikhar Dhawan as their brand ambassador as he is one of the fittest guys in India, a fitness icon who has been with them for four years now.

Alcis Sports has also launched a family marathon called Alcis Family Run. Talking about this fitness initiative Ravish says, “All the marathons are basically focused on individual fitness so we started this concept called Alcis Family Run where the whole family participates. It is a fitness cum entertainment event for the whole family.”

Challenges Faced in the Journey

The biggest challenge during and after Covid-19 was to retain their staff and keep the team intact and motivated owing to the sales and profitability pressure.

Ravish explains how creating a brand is not easy. The entire generation goes into making a brand and then the next generation reaps the benefit out of it. He is very clear about hard work and sustained effort required to create a brand. Being a sportsman himself, he has run three half marathons, played cricket and tennis. He was also on his school and college’s district team. Ravish keeps himself motivated through fitness.

Ravish told Start up Story Media that, “Covid-19 has changed business for the entire retail industry. Apart from airline and tourism, retail is the third worst affected industry. But, sportswear as a category has done comparatively well. We are almost at pre Covid numbers and we are bouncing back every month. India is a country where fitness awareness is growing among people and they are taking charge of their health. Government has also made sports a mandatory subject. “The Khelo India” initiative is also helping school and college students to participate in sports and raise fitness awareness. Covid-19 has further fortified the belief that fitness is mandatory and you cannot do away with it.”

 

Founder’s Message

The most important thing is to make a practical business plan, focus on it, put sustained efforts and have patience. Keep ahead of the market by doing new product innovations.  Luck is nothing but successive hard work. If your plan and intentions are right nobody can stop you from going ahead.

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