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Puspen Maity
Puspen Maity

Interview with Puspen Maity

We are constantly experimenting with new fabrics

Technosport is a brand dedicated to enhancing comfort and performance through innovative, technologically advanced activewear. Committed to affordability and sustainability, Technosport combines fitness, style, and eco-friendly practices to create high-quality, breathable, and moisture-wicking activewear suitable for various physical activities. In an interview with TechnicalTextile.Net, CEO Puspen Maity talks about technological enhancements, sustainability, eco-consciousness etc in performance wear and sports industry.

TT: As globalisation continues to shape markets, how can sports brands effectively localize their offerings and marketing strategies to resonate with diverse cultures and audiences worldwide?

The simple answer to this is to think global, be local. While the focus of every marketing activity will be to create an aspirational value, it is also important to relate to every consumer in the world that they live in. Once a relatability is established, it increases the brand connect exponentially. Today, with the advent of hyper-local digital marketing and AI tools, it now becomes easier to achieve this even at the last mile.

TT: What inspired the inception of Technosport, and how has that vision evolved over the years?

When we looked at the market in 2007-2008, we identified a huge gap in the availability of activewear in India. It was dominated by the global brands which were hardly affordable at the time. There was this perception that quality technological advanced activewear could only be bought at a premium. This gap gave rise to Technosport with the mission of democratising high-quality activewear in India and providing technically advanced activewear available for all Indians at an affordable price. 
Over the years, we have realised that India’s consumers have different needs across different parts of the country. One of the major factors for this is India’s varied climatic conditions. This has helped us evolve our products to aid consumers overcome these conditions. Our vision now has evolved from being quality activewear manufacturer to solving consumer problems through fashion.

TT: How does Technosport balance functionality and fashion in its designs to cater to a style-conscious audience?

We have been increasing the capability of our design team to keep with current trends. This has given us the ability to constantly experiment both on the technical as well as the design ends.

TT: Could you elaborate on the company’s approach to sustainability and eco-conscious practices within the sports industry?

Sustainability is currently a focal point in the textile and fashion industries, emphasising the shift towards slow and timeless fashion. The main objective is to increase the life cycle of the product. This ultimately reduces the carbon footprint per usage of the garment. Thus, making our products more sustainable and eco-friendlier when compared to all other brands. Reusing 95 per cent of water back in the dyeing process is an example of eco-conscious practice adopted by us. By 2024 end, we aim to have 80 per cent of our energy derived from renewable sources; currently, 40 per cent comes from solar and wind power. Technosport was also certified by the Ministry of MSME for achieving zero defect and zero effect.

TT: In what ways does Technosport prioritise innovation and technological advancements in its product development?

We take immense pride in our R&D capability. Our team is constantly on the look-out for new trends and fashion tech in the industry on a global standard. When you combine this with our vertically integrated manufacturing capability, it results in us staying way ahead of global competition in utilising new innovations. For an example – a new fabric technology emerged just six months ago, and we have already managed to release our first product called ‘Cotflex’ using that technology while even global players are still experimenting with the tech.

TT: How has the introduction of these technologies impacted customer satisfaction and product reviews?

The basic principle of technology is to solve consumer problems. While this has been immensely helpful in consumer tech, it has only recently begun to translate into fashion and apparel tech. Now, customers do not settle for apparel that is not tech-infused or lacks appropriate technology to help them navigate their daily lives. This trend is even reflected in formal and traditional cotton apparel. That is the major impact.

TT: What materials are used in the creation of TechnoGuard and anti-static fabrics, and why were these materials chosen?

We use inhouse chemical formulation made using zinc metal for our antimicrobial chemical. This proves to be very good in achieving a bacterial reduction of 99.9 per cent even after 20 washes. We have improved anti-static properties in all our fabrics by making them more hydrophilic in the finishing.

TT: Could you elaborate on other technological advancements that have been incorporated into your apparel to enhance performance and comfort?

The use of advanced yarns in our technology makes our products more comfortable and unique. E.g. Cotflex is a technology where we were able to achieve 4-way stretch along with a look and feel of a cotton at a very lightweight. This technology is more comfortable due to its light weight and stretch properties. Another example being a technology in the yarn which helps us achieve UPF 50+ rating without the need for any additional chemical treatment.

TT: The sports industry is ever-evolving. How does Technosport stay ahead of trends and adapt to changing consumer preferences?

We are constantly experimenting with new fabrics based on innovations in our own industry and taking inspiration from other industries which involve fabric as well. Moreover, every fabric we create is made to solve a particular concern, or a potential concern of the average consumer. That is our philosophy and approach to R&D.

TT: What has been your most effective strategy for marketing and selling over one crore units of apparel in 2022?

There are 2-3 major factors which contributed to this. At that time, we hardly had any dedicated marketing approach / brand building activities. However, the main reasons for the amazing sales were 1) product 2) robust distribution channel 3) honest pricing. These 3 factors combined contributed to the numbers overall in 2022. We expect this to further grow in 2023-24 as we have now started selling on D2C channels and have already sold more than 50 lakh units in the first year. We have also now started our brand building and marketing journey which will help increase our brand recall factor.

TT: Are there any new technological enhancements we can expect from Technosport in the upcoming product lines?

We are committed to enhancing the comfort of our products through advancements in moisture management and antibacterial performance. This involves using improved chemistry and selecting cutting-edge raw materials throughout our manufacturing process. Our goal is to create products that are exceptionally lightweight while offering excellent stretch, moisture management, and antibacterial properties.

TT: How do you perceive the impact of emerging technologies such as wearable tech and AI on the future of the sports industry?

At Technosport, we see emerging technologies like wearable tech and AI significantly transforming the sports industry. Wearable technology enhances performance monitoring, providing athletes with real-time data on their physical metrics, which allows for more personalised and effective training regimes. AI, on the other hand, offers advanced analytics and predictive capabilities, helping athletes optimise their performance and prevent injuries through data-driven insights. By integrating these technologies into our innovative performance wear, we aim to elevate the athletic experience, ensuring our customers stay at the cutting edge of fitness and health. As these technologies continue to evolve, we are excited to harness their potential to push the boundaries of what is possible in sports and active lifestyles.

TT: With the growing emphasis on health and wellness, what role do you foresee sports brands playing in promoting active lifestyles beyond just selling products?

At Technosport, we believe sports brands have a pivotal role in promoting active lifestyles that goes beyond merely selling products. As a leading innovator in performance wear, our mission extends to fostering a culture of health and wellness. We aim to inspire and support individuals in their fitness journeys through various initiatives, including community engagement programmes, educational content on fitness and well-being, and partnerships with health professionals. By leveraging our expertise in textile technology to create apparel that enhances performance and comfort, we empower athletes and active individuals to achieve their best. Our commitment to quality and innovation drives us to not only redefine sportswear but also to be at the forefront of promoting active and healthy living worldwide.

TT: What are some of the biggest challenges currently facing the sports industry, and how do you believe companies can address them effectively?

At Technosport, we recognise several significant challenges facing the sports industry today, including sustainability, inclusivity, and the rapid pace of technological advancement. Environmental impact is a major concern, and companies must innovate to create eco-friendly products and reduce their carbon footprints. Inclusivity is another critical issue; ensuring that sports and fitness are accessible to all individuals, regardless of background or ability, is essential. Finally, keeping up with technological advancements requires continuous investment in research and development.
To address these challenges, companies can prioritise sustainable practices, such as using recycled materials and adopting energy-efficient production methods. Promoting inclusivity through diverse product offerings and community initiatives is also vital. Additionally, embracing new technologies and staying agile in their implementation will help companies meet the evolving needs of athletes and active individuals. At Technosport, our commitment to innovation and quality drives us to tackle these challenges head-on, paving the way for a more sustainable, inclusive, and technologically advanced future in sports.

TT: In an increasingly digital world, how do you see traditional sports events evolving to engage tech-savvy audiences?

In sporting events, even ONE ambiguous decision can completely alter the course of the event. There have been countless examples of this across various sports. Technology has reduced this ambiguity. We have seen how the DRS and VAR have improved decision-making in cricket and football respectively. It has now become an integral part of sports viewership. Audiences are now expecting more tech to be integrated into sports events to further improve decision-making. This will not only reduce ambiguity but will also help audiences be content with the outcome of a crucial event.

Interviewer:  Shilpi Panjabi
Published on: 14/06/2024

DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of technicaltextile.net.


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