In 2018, Ujjawal Asthana and Ankita Riva came up with a plan – they wanted to develop an Indian athleisure brand that would compete with global giants like Nike and Adidas.
“As two fitness positives Ankita and I, we’ve always taken an active interest in understanding the science of performance. But sadly then, the best of apparel from global brands never saw the face of India, leading to many like us having to pay a hefty price to import them,” Ujjjawal Asthana told The Daily Plunge in an exclusive interview. “No Indian brand was working towards filling the gap, and we saw that as a massive opportunity,” he added.
In the process of trying to understand the nuances of the industry, both Asthana and Riva travelled extensively, first to Indian manufacturing hubs like Tirupur, and then to countries like Taiwan, Thailand and parts of Europe. “It helped us gain an insider understanding of premium fabrics and technology. We studied the best products in the market and understood the reason from a pure manufacturing lens. And in doing so, we managed to establish one of the most extensive supply chains in the business”, he said. In 2018, they decided to launch Zymrat, a brand that promised to provide apparel as good as global athleisure brands.
In their research, the duo found a big problem faced by fitness geeks – whenever a fabric with no texture comes into contact with sweat, it begins to stick to the skin. Sometimes, it can even o get stuck between your butt cheeks and other places. To solve this problem, they decided to find a knitting structure that would keep away from your skin no matter how much you sweat.
After a few months, they solved this problem by creating two unique fabrics: The Ball Cooling shorts, and the SuperVent. The unique features were designed to maximize ventilation and unlock peak performance. “SuperVent, our latest launch is a fabric technology aimed to improve ventilation in fabrics and thereby performance as a result. With a trademark 3D Knitting technology, we have managed to substantially improve breathability, a problem that needed solving, especially in tropical climates like India,” said Asthana.
As per the company, the SuperVent technology combines 3D Knitted Vents with a thin layer of sweat-wicking material. These vents allow the fabric to absorb fresh air while dissipating body heat with each movement. The featherlight layer distributes sweat throughout the fabric, while the 3D Vents evaporate it. The product is made of 86 per cent recycled polyester, demonstrating the company’s commitment to sustainability.
“The Indian audience today demands superior performance. They understand that technology elevates performance – helping brands like ours dig deeper and push the envelope with world-beating products. We are challenging ourselves daily to match and exceed their expectations. It has helped us to record retention rates exceeding 50 per cent,” Asthana said.
With an estimated value of US$ 411.02 billion, the global athleisure business is competitive, inventive, and intimately linked to fitness. By 2028, this number is predicted to increase at a CAGR of 9.9%. While the athleisure industry is one of the most lucrative in the world, Zymrat aspires to stand out from the competition because of its continual evolution to meet the needs of its clients.
“The reasons for customers to choose us are pretty straightforward – our products are world-beaters. In the last three years, we’ve managed to introduce trademark technologies (IPs) that are proven to elevate performance. We combine engineered fabrics and industry-first technology, designed to solve unique community challenges. We source our fabrics from some of the best in the world, and partner with international technology partners to supercharge our apparel,” he said.
To keep up with the quality, Zymrat says they spend 3 times more on our raw materials than any traditional Indian brand. It also works with the best coaches and trainers in India to test its products to make them better. It takes its customers’ feedback to improve the products and innovate technologies. “All this, delivered at a price that is competitive and better than our global counterparts,” Asthana said.
Their products are available on their website: https://zymrat.com.