Business Today

Sprayground debuts in India; our inexpensive backpacks suit all, says founder David Ben

Sprayground will compete with the likes of Skybag and Fastrack as well as a host of other International backpack brands in India.

Varsha Santosh        Last Updated: March 1, 2019  | 14:57 IST
Sprayground debuts in India; our inexpensive backpacks suit all, says founder David Ben
Saif Belhasa and David Ben Dravid

Just about a decade old US-based backpack brand Sprayground has now touched the Indian shores with its presence spanning across more than 40 countries. The art-inspired backpack brand has collaborated with Marvel and Cartoon Network and the likes of wrestler Mohammad Ali and rapper Young Thug to reinforce the brand's appeal with sports, music and the world of art. Sprayground will compete with the likes of Skybag and Fastrack as well as a host of other International backpack brands in India.

"Sprayground is more of an art brand. Our collections are selective and come with limited edition. Nothing is ever reproduced again," says David Ben David, Founder & Fashion Designer, Sprayground, adding that his brand's biggest differentiator would be its exclusivity.

In a conversation with Varsha Santosh of Business Today, David and Saif Belhasa, Sole Distributor of Sprayground in GCC & India, talk about their India strategy. Edited excerpts:

BT: You are a late entrant into the Indian market. Any reason why?

David: Oh, I am late into it? Let other brands do their thing. They can move that way. I move this way. Everyone goes left, and I go right [laughs]. Well, I want to say, it is all about timing. There is no rush. If you have a good product that takes time, then you have to enter the market correctly. It has to happen organically. I am not here forcing things in India. If India wants to embrace the product, then that is how it should be brought to the country.

BT: We have quite a few domestic brands -- Skybag, Fastrack -- which are high on style quotient and offer good value. How would Sprayground differentiate? What will be your strategy and what age groups would you be catering to?

David: I create 100 bags every season. So, there is always something fresh and new. I get inspiration from the world. We are here in Mumbai doing photoshoots, working with all the photographers, stylists and influencers and models to give the brand a nice push in the market. I am just a struggling artist. Coming here to Mumbai has been a blessing. Hopefully, it will be a nice, beautiful and fruitful future for us. The core of our products is for 18 to 25 years of age. I also design small bags for school kids. But yes, the core is high school and college. There are also many sleeker, minimalistic, and cool bags for adults.

BT: Most lifestyle brands offer an array of products, but Sprayground is a backpack only brand. Do you plan to enter newer categories?

David: Yeah, I currently make outerwear. The brand is headquartered in New York City. I hate the cold weather. So, I started developing outerwear, sweaters and hoodies. I also make luggage. We just launched the luggage last year. My goal with the brand is to create an international travel brand, but with focus on art.

Saif: Some jackets and lot of other stuff will go to the Indian markets. But right now, it is just backpack. This is to test the market and see if there is a demand.

BT: Are you looking at the masses? Or will this be a premium brand?

Saif: High profile people are using this bag and also the normal people. It is not very expensive. It suits everyone.

BT: What is the revenue target that you have set for the brand?

Saif: When people ask me about revenues, they look for long-term targets. They ask me for number. But this is a different result. We have some time to cover all the debt, reduce it and start manufacturing in India.

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