Startup Talk – With Arjun Gupta, Founder of Kragbuzz
Persistence, hard work and an intense passion for Sports is what led former Delhi cricketer Arjun Gupta to build a fully sustainable sportswear brand called Kragbuzz.
Through an exclusive interview with this budding entrepreneur, we at Sports Network were able to find out more about his life journey and his vision behind this Made in India label.
What inspired you to launch Kragbuzz? Did you have a textile industry background?
Being a sports person throughout my life, it was always my dream to be associated with sports someway or the other. So when in 2017 a friend from a different state approached me to design cricket jerseys for his local cricket club, an idea struck my mind. I instantly discussed this idea with my father Mr. Rajesh Gupta, a renowned businessman who further motivated me to go after my passion.
I had no prior background in the textile industry, so I set on a path to thoroughly research the market, ask questions, get on calls, study the fabrics and the need of the market before officially launching the brand a year later.
What were some of the challenges you faced?
The biggest challenges that I faced before setting up the factory was to find the right kind of machinery, procuring quality raw material and employing skilled labour force.
We utilized whatever investments we had to develop our products and also to our advantage we did not face much competition from bigger brands as our market segment and target customer was totally different. We started with customization of Sports Clothing and accessories as we saw a gap in that segment and later on planned to get into the retail segment.
The Government is talking about Atmanirbhar Bharat and promoting Local Indian Brands. Do you see Kragbuzz becoming India’s first premium Sports Athleisure brand?
Yes, that would definitely be the longer goal and vision of the brand. We have always been in a way “Atmanirbhar”.We are the only sportswear brand in India that manufactures garments, headwear (caps & hats) and all types of Bags in-house. It is also important that the Government policies favours the manufacturers, exporters and startups in the country and our given leverage to grow and expand.
India is home for us and we want to move forward in a direction that builds our brand in the global market where other countries import from us which in the larger context gives more employment opportunity to the people in our country and we contribute to the overall growth of our Nation by becoming a major Export Destination for the World.
In the cloth apparel industry and especially in Sports there is a huge market for fake jerseys?
We don’t think about this much as it doesn’t affect the customer and market a lot. We are more focused towards customization of clothing for Schools, Colleges, Academies and Sports Clubs as per the needs and demands of the customer.
Please tell us about your business on the e-commerce platform?
We are available on major e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart and Meesho. The Pandemic has delayed our online presence and hopefully we should be live on other platforms like Myntra, Ajio and Tatacliq by the end of 2021 with our complete product range. Our e-commerce website www.kragbuzzsports.com will be live in May 2021 with a small range of products and hopefully we will build on it as time progresses.
We are also in the process of including and taking help of technology on our website and soon we will launching some interesting tools that will make the customer experience much better.
You are an e-fashion retailer. Any plans to enter brick-and-mortar?
It is very much a part of the strategy, and the natural progression for a brand like us. The process of identification of the right retail partners for MBOs (Multi Brand Outlet) and availability of the right locations for EBOs(Exclusive Brand Outlet) has begun. The plan should see fruition soon once the pandemic ends.
COVID 19 is a block for everyone, and it has been a difficult time for businesses in general. What is your learning from this phase, and how are you dealing with it?
The year 2020 and 2021 is among the most difficult years of our lives, and yet it is one of the most rewarding and prioritizing years of our lives. The year will be known for the chaos it created all around the world, and how difficult it was for people to sustain livelihoods. We had a lot of plans that could not be executed because of the pandemic, and that gave us the break to calm down and understand what is the way ahead for us. We have restructured, reprioritized, and now are charged up to deliver unique and different products in ways you would have not thought.