Beaches or mountains, what’s your favourite? If you enjoy activities around sand and surf, head out for some beach company. In conversation with Pri Shewakramani, read about her entrepreneural journey with India’s leading swimwear brand The Beach Company.
LBO: Beaches be your one true love?
Pri: I have grown up travelling to beach destinations with my family and have always had a deep love for the sea. Most of my vacations are planned around the water.
LBO: A dream for a surf shop in Goa, you mentioned that’s how The Beach Company started off. How have things gone on from there?
Yes, that’s still the ultimate dream. Up until recently, there were very little options for beach wear and accessories in India.
I am so proud about how we at The Beach Company are making swim and beachwear more accessible. From the fashion conscious teenager to competing athletes, we have something for everyone. We have a wide range of resort wear brands such as Shivan and Naresh, Nidhi Muneem as well as international brands such as Havaianas and Body Glove.
We have also moved to the offline model, retailing at over 15 stores from Goa to Pondicherry. Our surf shop on the beach goal is not far away!
Active swim wear for athletes, leisure swim wear for beach holidays, baby and kids swim wear and training gear for competitive swimmers; access to swim wear and gear from The Beach Company is making Indians pursue swimming as a daily activity and sport. Innovation to swim wear and swimming gear – that’s what we have brought to India.
For me, it works out well, as I can grab a couple of pieces and styles just before hopping on for my next beach vacation!
LBO: What are your favourites on The Beach Company ecommerce site?
Pri: The water hammock is one of my favourite products as its easy to transport. I carried it with me on my recent trip to the Andamans where I completed my advance scuba certification too and everyone wanted to know where I got it from. I also love these flip flops from Havaianas, this Ikat print cover-up Kimono and this shocking pink bikini set.
LBO: What do you think, are Indians fit, outdoorsy?
Pri: On a recent work trip to Brazil for one of my favourite flip flop brands Havaianas, I noticed how outdoorsy everyone was. People get back from work around 5-6pm post which, everyone young and old is on the beach. They are walking, running, cycling, surfing, swimming, leisure for them is an activity in the outdoors. In comparison, in India as kids we lived a sedentary lifestyle, we did not have much of a fitness culture, or outdoorsy culture.
But India today is getting more health conscious and as a result fitter. There are surf camps happening in Goa and Pondicherry, kite surfing in South India, and scuba diving has taken off in a big way.
“Now people don’t just want to go to a place, they want their trips planned around activities.”
I personally spend a lot of my time in Mahableshwar where I enjoy biking and trekking. I am also looking forward to a forest clean up we have organised there on the 2nd of December. Over 250 volunteers, the forest department, municipal corporation, hotel association and a few local businesses are coming together. I feel it will be a great step towards sustainable tourism.
LBO: Wow! Loving your outdoorsy life. Getting back to swimming, over the years have you noticed changing trends in India?
Pri: When we launched The Beach Company in 2012, everyone said we were crazy. Opinions ranged from “It is such a small market, Indians don’t do beach vacations.’ and “Even if they do, they are not really swimming, or participating in water activities.” Things have changed a lot since then.
LBO: How? Was access an issue?
Pri: In India yes. Everyone does not have immediate access to swimming pools. Clubs that do have indoor or outdoor pools are for members only. Sea Swimming is not considered safe; we don’t have a ‘chilling on the beach’ culture. Also water sports like surfing, sailing or scuba and swimathons are a rare feature in India. But things have changed so much. Especially the travel industry has transformed things a lot. With online sites offering packages to Goa, Andamans, Thailand; beach holidays as a category itself is doing very well. We as an ecosystem are becoming more aware, are living healthier now, we are more fitness conscious than ever before.
Did you hear that India? We are getting fitter, more outdoorsy by the day! So head to http://www.thebeachcompany.in and top up on your swim wear and gear, go out, explore the oceans and sea, let’s be outdoorsy!
Are you a swimmer or water sport enthusiast? Or do you have an outdoorsy story to share? Write to us hear or mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.