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Strauss to transition from D2C to an omnichannel brand: Founder Deepak Sachdeva

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Founded in 2015, the company offers sports and fitness equipment in categories such as exercise and fitness, yoga, skating, cricket, and cycling

Bengaluru: Launched by Deepak Sachdeva, Strauss is one of the leading players in the sports and fitness segment. On offer are high-quality, affordable accessories and equipment across categories such as yoga, strength training, cycling and more. Of these, several products enjoy the first position on e-marketplaces such as Amazon and Flipkart.

Making a move

Deepak Sachdeva has always been an entrepreneur. His entrepreneurial journey began as the co-founder of floraindia.com (an e-retailer of flowers and gifts). He was able to scale the business into one of India’s top gifting platforms. “This taught me the basics of e-commerce, how to sell to customers online, how important it is to have a good product, how to ensure great customer service, etc.,” shares Sachdeva.

When Amazon entered India in 2013, it was looking for key sellers to partner with. “I then got the opportunity to work closely with Amazon as a seller but at that time I was retailing other brands such Sanspareils Greenlands (SG), Sareen Sports (SS), BDM, Nivia Sports, COSCO (India) Ltd., etc. After doing this for a couple of years, I understood the potential of the category. I decided that instead of retailing other brands, I should launch my own brand to bridge all the gaps that I had identified in the category. This is when Strauss was born,” adds Sachdeva. The idea, he continues, was to have a brand that would help people develop a holistic approach towards a healthy, balanced mind and body. “At Strauss, we believe fitness is a passion and confidence builder. Expressing passion through fitness is a great way to feel alive and engaged in the world—truly the best simple pleasure. We are constantly innovating, launching new products, speaking to customers, reading their reviews, identifying gaps in the market, seeing what the competition is doing, etc. All of these things have kept us on the growth path and helped us grow year on year,” conveys Sachdeva.

Strauss started with a focus on the exercise and fitness segment. But as the brand grew strong over time, Sachdeva realised that there was a strong opportunity in the sports equipment segment too. “We got into racket sports, ball sports, cricket, cycling, skating, swimming, etc., and have made Strauss into a comprehensive sports brand,” adds Sachdeva.

Behind the scenes

So, what has led Strauss to disrupt the segment and drive significant sales volumes? “One, we have built an extremely wide portfolio of products spanning most of the relevant categories such as fitness, yoga, cricket, skating, cycling, etc. Two, we have great products which are of high quality and available at an affordable price point. We have kept things simple,” explains Sachdeva. Today, Strauss has over 450 products thanks to the innovation the brand has been constantly doing over the last five years.

“We identify customer needs, speak to customers, read reviews, understand where the gaps are in the market, visit manufacturers, and try to understand what the latest trends are before launching products. This is what makes us innovative,” shares Sachdeva. For instance, during the Covid-19 pandemic, as the demand for home fitness products increased, Strauss launched some new products for people working out at home.

Considering the increase in demand, the brand also ensured the availability of its products by ramping up its supply chain. “At Strauss, we also ensure our products are priced competitively. For a customer, the price at which they buy a product and the value they see is very important. As a brand, we have taken an effort to be present across the board be it D2C, smaller marketplaces or the big ones. The goal is to stay closer to the customer,” says Sachdeva. The brand’s USP thus, he continues, is to try and offer the highest quality at the best possible price to customers.

Today, Strauss is one of the leading brands in its segment. “But there is still a lot more to do, such as launching more products, getting into more sub-categories, growing our distribution network, potentially looking at moving from being just D2C to becoming an omnichannel brand, and making our products available to more and more customers,” conveys Sachdeva.

Brownie Points

  • At Strauss, the team is constantly innovating launching new products, speaking to customers, reading their reviews, identifying gaps in the market, seeing what the competition is doing, etc. All of these things have kept the brand on the growth path and helped it grow year after year.
  • The brand’s USP is to try and offer the highest quality at the best possible price to customers.
  • Strauss sources its products from various parts of the world. To have a strong logistics system, the brand has set up business entities in Hong Kong and China and is working with the right logistics partners, bringing its costs down, doing optimisation, etc. Additionally, Strauss utilises the order fulfilment services of Amazon and Flipkart to reach customers faster.

First appeared in The India D2C Yearbook 2022

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