Strch: India’s ‘softest’ activewear that blends comfort with style

Strch, founded by Prithvi Bhagat, redefines India’s activewear scene by bridging the gap between fitness and comfort. Using superior nylon, Strch offers a premium, locally tailored alternative to international brands, prioritizing accessibility, innovation, and style in India’s booming fitness culture.

   
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Crisis often drives us to reinvent. When the pandemic wreaked havoc, there were many entrepreneurs who started thinking and acting innovatively. And one among them was the enterprising Prithvi Bhagat.

“The pandemic heightened people’s focus on fitness as everyone started finding creative ways to stay active around their houses. Activewear quickly became the go-to fashion and functional apparel,” says Prithvi.

At first, he thought of this trend from a business perspective and to expand the Gulabdas Group, a family business of which he is the fourth generation. But then, it dawned on him that India was missing out on quality sportswear.

“Despite the whole fitness craze and so many options in the Indian market, people were still gravitating towards international brands for their activewear needs. I literally did a deep dive into the fabric, technology and styles used for international activewear to understand where the gap is, with a mission to reinvent how Indians engage with an active lifestyle,” he contends.

Prithvi’s motivation and passion for both entrepreneurship and an active lifestyle led him to conceive Strch. Launching Strch was a pivotal move to cater to India’s booming fitness culture and introduce a fresh, homegrown perspective to the activewear scene.

“This shift has not only expanded our business horizons but has also allowed us to play a more significant role in shaping the landscape of Indian activewear,” Prithvi, who is the CEO and founder of Strch, underlines.

It has been an exciting journey so far for Prithvi. One of his main focuses has been on transforming the dynamics of the Gulabdas Group, by homing in on the Indian market.

“While the Gulabdas Group is renowned for its massive presence in export and trading, primarily in Africa and South America, my goal was to explore the untapped Indian market by building the company’s first brand that extended beyond the family’s trading business,” he says.

What makes Strch stand out

And Strch took off really well. It succeeded in bridging the gap between fitness and comfort.

According to the founder, the Indian market boasts of numerous activewear brands, but it lacks in premium feel and comfort due to the use of lower quality fabric. Strch tapped into this shortcoming by exclusively using the superior nylon material that is found in international activewear, which ensures a luxurious fit and an unparalleled level of comfort and quality.

“Our advanced performance properties and fashionable features cater to the distinct needs and preferences of our customers, including stylish design & colours that are carefully curated to allow you to mix-and-match with ease; storage pockets for small essentials; durability that can withstand rigorous use and frequent wash; lightweight affordable clothing allowing unrestricted movement and a quick-dry and a wrinkle-free finish,” Prithvi elaborates.

He claims that Strch activewear boasts of not only superior nylon material over the majorly used polyester in India, but it also has advanced functional properties such as exceptional breathability and odour-control for intense workouts and UV blocking technology that facilitates outdoor exercises.

Additionally, their activewear is especially designed for the Indian body type. It offers a comfortable fit on the stomach area and features spandex for extra stretch, allowing a person to embrace the slight changes that their body may undergo, and it does not stick tightly to the body either.

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E-commerce centric model

Strch launched with an e-commerce centric model as a strategic move to assess the market and establish the brand efficiently.

“This approach allowed us to channel resources towards product quality, leveraging social media and word of mouth for organic growth. The online model not only streamlined costs but also fostered direct engagement with our health-conscious audience, contributing significantly to Strch’s rapid growth and accessibility across India,” Prithvi remarks.

However, Prithvi’s venture is also strategically prioritising specific offline opportunities, allowing consumers to experience its product first-hand. “Given the significance of fit and comfort in activewear, this approach ensures a tangible and sensory connection with our offerings,” he adds.

Making a mark

It’s cut-throat competition out there and even though international brands dominate activewear, Strch has made a mark for itself and is striding ahead.

“Our brand positions itself as a leader through a comprehensive offering that combines cutting-edge technology, inclusive options for both men and women, superior fabric quality, a premium aesthetic, and wide accessibility. Our focus on understanding the Indian consumer’s needs ensures that our products cater to local preferences and body types, making Strch distinct in delivering an all-encompassing, high-quality, and value-for-money solution for activewear,” Prithvi asserts.

While trying to offer the “softest activewear,” Prithvi aims to inspire customers to step out of their comfort zones and explore different brands. His brand, he believes, uniquely combines high value, diverse options, and the fusion of activewear with fashion, which sets it apart in the market.

Prithvi’s aim is to connect with health-conscious individuals across India by encouraging them to feel and experience his signature garments first-hand by participating in leading lifestyle exhibitions and pop-ups across exclusive clubs and gyms.

‘Perfect blend of performance and style’

Prithvi says, “While the activewear market may seem saturated, we believe the challenge lies in customers not finding the right products. We’re addressing this gap by offering the perfect blend of performance and style, emphasizing the distinction between athleisure and activewear.”

“Our strategic presence at various events, gyms, multi-brand stores, marathons, and pop-ups reflects our commitment to being accessible everywhere. Moreover, we’re introducing new products soon, aiming to continually enhance our offerings, keep up with trends, experiment with colours and provide customers with fresh & exciting looks,” he adds.

Not a gym buff

Prithvi is not a gym buff in the traditional sense. For him, fitness has never been about a fixed time at the gym every day or burning a certain number of calories.

“It’s as simple as just keep moving. Whether it’s tennis, football, a gym workout or a leisurely walk, I like to go with the flow and do whatever activity my body is feeling like that day,” he reveals.

“I don’t see myself as an exceptionally fit person, but I believe in adhering to principles and maintaining a routine; results will manifest over time. Given today’s demanding schedules, it is important for us to have comfortable clothing that supports our active yet spontaneous lifestyles,” says Prithvi.

It’s this conviction and belief that reflects in Strch activewear which is designed for effortless convenience during rigorous activities.

“With Strch, we aim to create a journey that is authentic, fashionably relevant, and most importantly, comfortable,” says the CEO of India’s softest activewear brand, which is slowly but surely redefining the way we experience fashion, fitness and comfort.

As India emerges as a hotspot for fashion-conscious consumers who wish to stay fit, for Prithvi’s activewear, the sky is the limit.

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