Tego delivers premium gear for the modern everyday athlete. The brand uses a unique blend of performance materials, emerging technologies and purpose-driven design elements to develop a range of activewear for today's consumer. Founders Krishna Chandak and Ashish Naik who started the company in 2015 talk about the textile technologies being employed at Tego, their retail strategy and future plans.
Why did you think of getting into activewear? What is the USP of Tego?
Krishna Chandak: Tego was born out of the need for gear we could not find. So we set out to filter out the hype and create products that would make a difference to our workouts. We spent nearly two years in factories and research labs in India and across the globe to identify textile technologies and emerging materials that fit our deep product story. For example, a towel that doesn't just wipe away sweat faster, but also reduces the threat of germs at gyms. Or a performance cotton t-shirt that dries twice as fast for real comfort with reduced clinging. Each concept is executed with a clear purpose and function: to motivate everyday athletes likes us to be their sweatiest best.
How many different products do you offer?
Ashish Naik: We currently have five product categories and plan to launch an additional 10 this year. Total stock keeping unit (SKU) count will be 200. Our product categories now are the following:
Tego fit Towel: Engineered with a proven anti-microbial formulation that is certified and tested to reduce the risk of cross contamination and germs through shared surfaces
Tego SweatCharged Tshirt: Performance T-shirts with an activated print that reveals a message only when you sweat
Tego Stance Reversible Mat: A truly reversible mat, with a fused construction for durability, and a functional GuideAlign design to keep one's posture in check; made from PVC for a sticky grip, which is removed of the six most harmful phthalates
Tego Drill Socks: Ultra light cushioned performance socks using technical yarns, high stitch count for durability and contoured fit
Tego VAPArise: Performance cotton apparel that mimic the wicking of synthetics; the fabric is engineered using a unique blend of yarns to optimise absorbency and dries twice as fast as regular cotton
We are looking at portfolio expansion by using licensed innovations to roll out high-quality staples through new categories.
What was the turnaround year for the brand?
Krishna Chandak: Fiscal 2017-18 ended well despite the obvious rough start due to policy changes that impacted almost all businesses. We are excited about 2018-19, which will see new product categories.
Where do you source raw materials and accessories from?
Ashish Naik: There is a new wave of emerging materials and textile technologies with concepts getting commercialised faster than ever before. At Tego, we use our deep-rooted global networks and access to leading research labs and manufacturing facilities to identify these trends and make them our own.
Who designs the products? What is the design strategy at Tego? What is the strength of your designing team?
Krishna Chandak: Our design strategy is in tune with the requirements of the modern everyday athlete. We understand that life is about more than just sport; people have busy lives and as much as they strive to be the best they can be, they have other focus too. Therefore, most of our products have multi-functional elements. For example, our performance cotton apparel is designed to look great on the street as well as at the gym; our training socks are the perfect blend of modern sock technology and flair in design. Even our exercise mats are designed to help you improve a new workout pose.
We work with several hard and soft products and industrial designers across the globe. Our principal apparel designer is Sean Pankhurst, based in the United Kingdom. He is an experienced sports and lifestyle designer with a demonstrated history of working with some of the biggest brands in the design industry. Sean previously led Nike's global football team sports design strategy and managed seasonal design direction for their generic football business. He also managed Canterbury's 'off-field' design team across all categories.
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