Flexed to grow

September 21, 2023 | By Anurima Das

Anam Khalid (Right) and Wajdan Gul (Left), Founders of SQUATWOLF

The gym wear category is dynamic and fast-evolving. Originally dominated by global giants as general sportswear, there’s now a paradigm shift towards focused, localized, innovative, and sustainable gym wear. Consumers today are savvy; they’re looking for more than just apparel – they seek functionality, eco-conscious practices, and a brand that resonates with their personal values.

SQUATWOLF understands the growing appetite in the minds of customer for brands that are willing to challenge the status quo. It’s an exciting era for gym wear, with immense potential for brands that prioritize quality, innovation, and consumer engagement. So, before diving headfirst into the world of gym wear, the brand team observed a void in the market landscape. There were countless sportswear brands, yet there was a striking absence of home-grown active wear, tailored for our local everyday gym enthusiasts. Treading on the path of innovation, the Founders of SQUATWOLF, Anam Khalid and Wajdan Gul brought to life the brand that aims to deliver to the functional forefront to the customers. They are known to blend cutting-edge sports innovation with detailed designs, ensuring functionality, fit and style.

Read below the excerpts of the interview.

Disrupting the category
There’s no denying that the sportswear landscape is dominated by international giants. While they’ve acquired large market shares, they’ve overlooked the finer details of gym wear. That’s where our disruption began. At SQUATWOLF, every piece of gym wear is geared to fit the needs of the athlete, the daily gym visitor, the bodybuilder, and even the studio enthusiast. But we disrupted this industry in more than one way. To bridge the often-frustrating gap between brand and customer, we introduced 24/7 Live Chat Support. This innovation helped us achieve an 80% net promoter score—a considerable feat, given we’re treading the waters dominated by industry titans. Our journey has been about breaking molds. With insights from over 400 athletes, we don’t just ‘sell product’; we ‘lead the pack’,” Anam explains.

SQUATWOLF has established itself as Dubai’s first-ever performance-focused gym wear brand, but the journey was not easy, and it all began in Anam and Wajdan’s 2-bedroom house. With their savings as the bedrock the brand was launched to an electrifying start, with two of our styles selling out in the pre-launch era.

Today, SQUATWOLF’s footprint spans across four countries.

On the growth path
When orders began pouring in from beyond the GCC, they had to step up and do more than fulfilling those orders—they tailored their offerings. We diversified our offering by catering to international tastes, especially in colder regions. We collaborated with wholesalers, retailers, and distributors worldwide. We listened, learned, and engineered collections that resonated with our now global audience,” Wajdan noted.

Further, going ahead to remain in sync with the customers, they turned to Meta. Facebook and Instagram weren’t just advertisement platforms, but a connection to the audience. “Partnering with hyper-local influencers, we were able to reach out to a wider audience while maintaining brand authenticity. And as we grow, platforms like YouTube and Pinterest are our new playgrounds,” Anam adds.

Just to amp up their online presence the brand integrated Meta’s dynamic ads, refining their approach to engage with potential customers. This complete-online strategy boosted the brand’s growth, yielding a 74% ROI (Return on Investment) while most brands were struggling.

If there’s one way, we can summarize our marketing approach it is this — personalized. We leverage the credibility and insights of micro-influencers to stay authentic and compelling. This hyper-personalized strategy has proven to be successful in creating a formidable community of fitness enthusiasts who love SQUATWOLF,” they note.

Innovative core
The heartbeat of SQUATWOLF is innovation. But it’s not just about new designs—it’s about creating solutions. What sets them apart is that they blend cutting-edge design innovations with fostering community ties to empower you. Gym wear that elevates your workout experience, making every SQUATWOLF enthusiast truly lead the pack. Keeping this ethos in mind, recently they have partnered with NexTex to integrate the TDry technology into their styles positioning them as the trailblazers in the industry. TDry not only boasts superior moisture-management but also dries faster than conventional sweat-wicking fabrics.

Its composition isn’t dependent on wicking chemistry, which gives it an edge in environmental sustainability. This isn’t just an adaptation; it’s a statement of the brand’s commitment to combine performance gear with eco-consciousness. They are excited for more collaborations with NexTex in the future to innovate, adapt, and reimage gym wear that aligns with our customer’s values.

“We are aiming to expand our omni-channel presence, further develop and invest in the product line, strengthen our internal capabilities, and further enhance our customer engagement and brand presence,” Anam concludes.

Brand Overview

  1. SQUATWOLF is the first global brand in the fitness industry that emerged from the UAE and the Middle East.
  2. Gym enthusiasts wear SQUATWOLF in 120 countries around the globe.
  3. Secured series A investment from ASCA capital in 2023 to fund the growth further.
  4. Partnered with NexTex to integrate TDry technology into the products. It offers one of the best moisture management properties in the industry.
  5. SQUATWOLF uses industry-leading 100% sustainable product packaging. 

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