Aurora Magazine

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Will Nayza go the distance?

Published Dec 18, 2018 11:09am
Borjan launch their sports footwear range.

Following a soft launch in 2016, Borjan formally launched their sports footwear brand – Nayza – in October. An offshoot of the Rafum Group (largely known for their focus on high-end fashion, with brands like Caanchi & Lugari), Borjan is looking to cash in on the sports shoe market.

Pakistan’s shoe segment hovers around 10 million pairs per year. Sports shoes make up 20% of the total and the segment is dominated by Service’s Cheetah and Bata’s Power. The category is expected to grow swiftly as Pakistan’s sports scene develops. According to Shahid Riaz, Marketing Manager, Borjan, “many international events are coming to Pakistan and given that we had finished our two-year product testing phase, we thought this was the right time to launch Nayza.”

Zahid Hussain, CEO, Borjan, adds that the opportunities in the sports shoe segment transcend mere sports. “A few years ago, sportswear was worn on the sports-field only. Today, as lifestyles change, the trend is moving from formal to comfort wear and people now wear sports shoes in the office or even in the evening.”

A challenge for Nayza is the first mover advantage that both Service and Bata hold. Over the years, they have built strong brand recognition with Cheetah and Power respectively, and Cheetah can be said to symbolise the sports shoe in Pakistan. Then there is the competition coming from foreign brands such as Adidas and Nike, as well as the assorted Chinese brands that are vying for market share.

Hussain shrugs this off. “Some international brands are making their way in and will take the market share, but I don’t think any of them will make a nationwide impression. Yes, Cheetah is a big brand in Pakistan, followed by Power, but after that, the playing field is open and that is where we will focus. We are happy to be the third brand. We are not looking to be number one; we believe in our tag line – ‘Perfect Is Nothing, Keep On Practicing’. Being number one suggests having achieved perfection, something which stops people from growing and running faster.”

Riaz says Nayza has already acquired a 10% market share and believes the brand is not far off from capturing the number two spot. He bases his optimism on Nayza’s differentiating features, including the fact that the brand is offering a professional sports shoe but which also appeals to people looking for a pair of comfortable shoes.


A challenge for Nayza is the first mover advantage that both Service and Bata hold. Over the years, they have built strong brand recognition with Cheetah and Power respectively, and Cheetah can be said to symbolise the sports shoe in Pakistan. Then there is the competition coming from foreign brands such as Adidas and Nike, as well as the assorted Chinese brands that are vying for market share.


“One of our key strengths is that we work on our customers’ preferences; customers who want to dress casually and want to buy sports shoes in multiple colours. Furthermore, our feedback told us that customers wanted a different sole and we provided that.” Nayza has also taken the average consumer’s buying power into consideration, with prices starting at Rs 2,000 and going up to Rs 3,500. Hussain says that in future, Nayza will be introducing more specialised and therefore, more expensive products, but that the brand will keep offering entry and mid-level products as well. He cautions, however, that maintaining competitive prices is going to be a challenge due to the heavy taxes on the import of materials and finished products.

As for whether Nayza will be able to compete with the huge marketing budgets Service and Bata dispose of, Riaz is of the opinion that neither brand is advertising their sports shoes that much anymore. He says Nayza has opted for digital, which in his opinion is “a medium not every brand can use because it can either make you go viral and provide a big boost, or sink your product with negative consumer feedback. We chose it because we have 100% confidence in our product.”

Other than digital, Nayza is advertising in major fashion magazines and is concentrating on BTL activities; TV and radio ads are in the pipeline. The brand plans to sponsor events such as the forthcoming World Cup and 20-20 cricket matches. So far, it has sponsored local sports events including the Nayza Open Tennis Championship, organised in collaboration with the Punjab Tennis Academy, aimed at promoting grassroot level players.

Hussain says Nayza (physically active) understands how much effort athletes have to put in to perform at their best and the objective is to give Pakistani athletes shoes that are designed in Pakistan, so that when they attend international events, they can be confident that their shoes are durable and will not let them down.

The brand’s communication campaign was conceived in-house and executed by Black Box. The name Nayza itself was selected to convey a love for action. According to Hussain, “we were determined to choose a word from our language and heritage and one which did not have more than two syllables – in other words, a name that is easy to pronounce and remember. We chose Nayza because it conforms to our brand’s aspirations to be something that will hit the mark and go the distance.”

Only time can tell when and if Nayza will be able to hit its mark or not, but one thing is certain; with more and more people adopting an active yet casual lifestyle and sporting activities in Pakistan expected to grow in the near future, the sports shoe market offers huge opportunities for success for new entrants.