NEW LAUNCH ATHLEISURE NATIONAL
MUMBAI, MAHARASHTRA, INDIA
By IFAB MEDIA - NEWS BUREAU - April 27, 2023 | 18 4 minutes read
Together, the two companies plan to open 200 new stores across the country, with a focus on offering affordable and high-quality products to consumers. Kumar has long been an advocate for supporting Indian businesses and promoting local entrepreneurship, and this new venture is a testament to his commitment to these values. Through this partnership with Mandhana, Kumar hopes to create new job opportunities and contribute to the growth of the Indian economy. This exciting new development is sure to be welcomed by consumers across the country, who will now have access to a wider range of quality products.
“My personal belief is that it doesn’t make sense to invest in a start-up or any business for that matter where I don’t have a personal connect. I wouldn’t want to invest in a business just to be a shareholder and not be a part of it," Kumar said in an interview.
On 26 January, Kumar announced the launch of his apparel label, Force IX, and a select athleisure line was made available on the e-commerce platform Myntra. On Wednesday, Force IX opened its first exclusive store in Khar in the western suburbs of Mumbai. Kumar said the plan is to open nine exclusive stores by the end of 2023, and to increase the footprint to over 200 stores in the country over the next few years.
“This Khar store will be the flagship one, and we should open nine Force IX stores by the end of this year. Of course, the plan is to open 200-250 stores, along with the merchandise being available across other stores like Shoppers Stop etc,” he said.
“It will have the kind of clothes I like to wear. It is very much inspired by the Indian armed forces. Each piece of clothing and style is done by me personally. It’s not just a business thing, it’s a part of me. We will start with athleisure and will add other categories.”
Out of every product sold, ₹9 will go to ‘Bharat Ke Veer’, a trust created by the Ministry of home affairs and supported by Kumar, for the support of families of martyrs of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF).
This is not the first time that Kumar has dabbled in the apparel business. He first had the idea to start the same 12-13 years back. But this time, he said he has found the right partner in Manish Mandhana (joint MD of Mandhana Industries).
“I tried, and invested money, but I was not happy with the kind of clothes they were coming out with 12-13 years ago. So, before starting it, I completely shut it down. When I met Manish and his team, they are all young lads, and very deep into it. They know the business and with my experience, we decided to start Force IX,” Kumar said.
Mandhana Industries owns 10 production units and has 4700 employees across offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and Paris. The company has also partnered with Salman Khan for the Being Human apparel line.
Kumar, who also announced a partnership with the Good Glamm Group to launch personal care products for men, said that the plan there is to launch products which he uses for face, hair and other personal care.