Elevar Sports: Redefining Sports Brands With Bespoke Products

Aayush Tapuriah & Kunal Joshi,Co-FoundersSince the internet's mainstreaming, it has enabled the emergence of a plethora of innovative business models. The direct-to-consumer (D2C) business model is an extension of that, allowing smaller firms to compete effectively against traditional consumer behemoths by preserving end-to-end control over product development, marketing, and distribution. Elevar Sports, one of the fastest growing D2C startups launched in 2018 with the goal of developing innovative, stylish, and affordable sports products for the Indian millennial through a combination of cutting-edge design and performance-driven engineering.

Elevar Sports was co-founded by Kunal Joshi and Aayush Tapuriah, two friends who met in 2007 while they were studying at Cornell University. After ten years, Kunal Joshi chose to leave his Private Equity career at Temasek Holdings, and Aayush Tapuriah opted to return to India after completing his MBA at Wharton, so they could finally pursue their ambition of developing a sports brand.

It all started with discontent with their personal shopping experiences, wherein they would find companies, primarily overseas, that could match the quality and style they desired, but they were always exorbitantly priced. Affordable brands, on the other hand, could never match the performance or the style they preferred. When the first D2C brands started to appear, they understood that if no one else had been able to deliver on the holy trinity of style, performance, and affordability for Indian millennials, they could provide a solution.

They learned they weren't alone when they began researching the space through client interviews, which gave them the confidence to establish the brand. "Today, our vision extends beyond our products. The goal is to create a sports brand in India that connects with the millennials by emulating their style, culture, and values. We are obsessively focused on ensuring that customers never
have to compromise on either performance or style," emphasizes Kunal Joshi, Co-founder.

Elevar Sports integrates state-of-the-art design and engineering to create innovative sports products, with two major product lines: PERFORMANCE FOOTWEAR and CRICKET BATS. A unique line of bats is engineered to offer the batsmen an enhanced batting experience. The range carries a bat for every kind of player be it gully cricket or professional leagues. The bats feature a distinct and edgy aesthetic that has been warmly received by young millennial crickters.

The goal is to create a sports brand in India that connects with the millennials by emulating their style, culture, and values

In many ways, this industry leading innovation has upended the old cricket bat manufacturing sector. Further, Elevar's footwear bridges the gap between high performance and lifestyle sneakers by being both feature-rich and high on design. “Similar sneaker tech/features are available from international shoe brands at 2x to 3x the price. Elevar’s mission is to make the latest and greatest in sneaker tech available to as many people as possible,” signifies Aayush Tapuriah, Co-founder.

Since its inception, Elevar has developed exponentially and carved out a market niche for itself. The firm has delivered its products to over 10,000 pin codes in India, over 50,000 customers have purchased its Products and nearly 80% of reviewers have given it a 4-5 star rating. Aside from this, the marketing efforts have remained conservative and primarily performance marketing focused as the brand has grown steadily through word of mouth marketing.

Elevar also boasts over 100,000 active followers across its Facebook and Instagram handles, as well as an NPS score of more than 50 on all of its products. Elevar's early success was noticed by prominent investors - recently Kalaari Capital & Dream Capital (the investment arm of Dream11) invested $2.5 million into the young brand. And as Elevar forges ahead, more than new areas it is currently looking to create width across its existing categories by expanding its product portfolio in both Cricket & Footwear.

The firm sees itself dramatically expanding the selection of products and prices it can offer customers before the end of the year. Aside from this, the marketing efforts have remained conservative and primarily performance marketing focused. As its product portfolio expands, the firm will look to increase its marketing expenses in tandem, with the goal of being more aggressive in these efforts this year.