For the average Indian woman stepping out for a yoga session at the local park or the community centre in a housing society, leotards and skin tight gym wear aren’t really a viable option. The unavailability of clothes that fit her not-so slender frame or do not make her the cynosure of all eyes tends to keep her off the mat. Typical Indian wear such as kurtis or salwars would be preferable, but these aren’t exactly made for a sweaty, high-adrenaline session.
That’s where Bengaluru-based Deivee steps in. Launched in January by Darshan M, the man behind Bangalore Midnight Marathon, and model and fitness evangelist Milind Soman, the start-up has come up with a line of performance kurtis and yoga wear that sport cowl necklines, drawstrings at the hips and drapes at the front. In the first month of its launch, Deivee saw 54,000 people registering on its website and shipped 37 orders, including some to Australia.
Darshan says the objective is to provide Indian women an active lifestyle brand with a range of specialised clothing for activities such as running, walking, yoga, swimming and gym wear. “A majority of Indian women drop out of yoga or jogging sessions due to lack of right equipment. They either wear salwars or sarees and go out for walks, which do not give them optimal comfort,” he says.
Besides Soman, Darshan has also roped in Telugu film star Allu Sirish as an angel investor. The co-founders have pumped in Rs 1 crore of seed money and are looking to raise Rs 3-4 crore to take forward their initiative. To begin with, Deivee has launched 30 styles of yoga wear (tops and bottoms), 150 different types of performance kurtis, a range of accessories such as yoga mats made from bio-degradable bamboo grass, bags, etc. Currently, all the products are sold online on its website. “We have already registered with Amazon and Flipkart. We will soon start selling on these marketplaces once we achieve scale in manufacturing,“ Darshan said.
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Deivee has tied up with factories in Howrah, Ludhiana and Tirupur for contract manufacturing. It is also in talks with manufacturers in Taiwan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka for imports. Deivee also accepts orders from Australia, US and the UK.
In India, the market for yoga wear and sports wear is pegged at Rs 36,000 crore. “These days, everybody wants to look fit and work on reducing their stress levels. This is making them pursue activities such as yoga, thus driving the market for yoga related products,” said Darshan. Deivee is talking with yoga schools to organise joint programmes on yoga where it can promote its products. It recently participated in the International Yoga Festival at Rishikesh, where it showcased its products.