"We aim to have a sizeable presence in 50 top cities by mid-2020": Yogesh Kabra

XYXX Apparels Pvt Ltd, the parent company of XYXX Innerwear brand, has received the funding of 20 million
Yogesh Kabra

Founded by Yogesh Kabra, XYXX is aimed at an 18-40-year-old male audience. XYXX Apparels Pvt Ltd, the parent company of XYXX Innerwear brand, has received the funding of 20 million from Sauce.vc, an early stage consumer focused VC fund. In an exclusive conversation, Yogesh Kabra shares more details on same.

Tell us about XYXX Apparels Pvt.Ltd. How did the brand start and journey so far?

It is a cliche entrepreneurial story. I had just returned from the US post my MBA and I went out to buy underwear. I couldn’t find any good ones, so I decided to make some. I have always been deeply interested in textiles and my family background on that front helped with the production and innovation front. I also have a knack for problem-solving and that has been a huge advantage. We started in my Dad’s cabin, just Harshita and me. Today we are 80+ member strong team. So, it's been quite a journey!

How do you plan to invest recently acquired funds from Sauce.vc? Are you still scouting for more investments?

The recent fundraise will help us build a strong marketing team and we would like to create more content to connect with our community. In addition to that, funds would be deployed across departments to scale the organization.

Kindly shed light on your current distribution in the online as well as offline space. Going forward what are the plans to scaleup the distribution? Any plans to open exclusive offline stores?

I wouldn’t say exclusive stores are not on the radar but I don't see them coming to life in the next 12 months. We will be largely focusing on building a more robust retail sales network in the next few months. Currently, we are available only in the Western part of the country but we’d soon want to expand to North and South.

What is your assessment of men’s innerwear market in India? According to you, what are the factors propelling growth in this segment? Any plans to introduce women’s range in the near future?

Indian men are demanding more variety and design in their underwear drawer. With rising disposable income, awareness of global trends, the need for self-expression and aspiration to be noticed has made men more fashion conscious today. To get the attention of this male consumer, everything from the product to its communication and packaging needs to engage the target audience in a way that is simplistic, impactful and provides a solution to a need. In my opinion, the larger cities are nearing saturation and the real evolution of the category will be in tier 2 and 3 cities. If your pricing is right and product is innovative, the adoption in tier 2 and 3 could potentially be faster than metro. That is where the bulk of the market is but these cities/towns are extremely value-conscious and price sensitive. The sentiment of affordability and how the product can be an enabler in upgrading him is the biggest driving force.

These days all big brands are coming up with their innerwear ranges. What is your USP over them?

We are probably the only men’s innerwear brand in India that has been crafted by a consumer, for the consumer. We position ourselves as innovators and disruptors in the men's innerwear category. At the core, product superiority and design style is the key differentiator. Everyone who has tried our products says there is a marked difference in the sensory value that the product offers - trendsetting designs and colors, incomparable softness and breathability, We are the quintessential homegrown, young and fun brand that is constantly challenging status quo. For instance, why does men's underwear have to be limited in colors, designs and fabric? Why do men have to settle for boring underwear? Comfort and fit are a given for innerwear but our idea is to bring the fashion and fun quotient to the segment.

At last, kindly highlight your growth plans?

We have been successful in the west region and are now expanding to north India. We will have a sizeable presence in 50 top cities by mid-2020. On the product front, we are about to launch underwear for plus-size men which are a really ignored category. The changing lifestyle has resulted in demand for new innerwear and loungewear categories such as performance innerwear and athleisure which is also on the cards for us next. We are planning to strengthen our product portfolio by adding 50% additional new styles in the men’s innerwear category next year and will also be strengthening our product portfolio in lounge and sleepwear category with 30 new styles.

Yogesh Kabra