Head Gear: A Bangladeshi cap brand with global dreams

February 27, 2024

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From a small reseller, Head Gear became a thriving cap business within a couple years, boasting almost 120 unique designs.

How do you turn Tk12,000 into a Tk1 crore annual turnover? Ask 25-year-old Imran Hossain and he will tell you how. It starts the same way as any great idea: over a mobile phone game!

One day during the pandemic, while playing a game on their mobile phones, Imran told his brother Iftekhar Ahmed Efad that he would like to start an online business.

In response, Iftekhar said that there are many F-commerce businesses out there, so theirs had to be something different. He suggested they start selling caps, as there is a gap in the market and none of the local brands were focusing on this area.

They also selected a name ‘Head Gear’ and developed a logo.

The next day, Imran went to Siddique Bazar in Old Dhaka to buy some caps with Tk12,000, aiming to resell them exclusively through Facebook and Instagram.

Iftekhar added their logos to the products and created smart packaging. Within the next 15 days, all of the caps were sold out, amounting to Tk52,000.

(From left) Iftekhar Ahmed Efad, co-founder and COO, Imran Hossain, founder and CEO, and Ikramul Hoque Rayan, co-founder and Executive Chairman. Photo: Courtesy

Although they started as resellers, the brothers have now built a thriving cap business with almost 120 designs. In 2021, armed with nothing but a vision, they embarked on a mission to transform the cap market in Bangladesh.

Imran, founder and CEO at Head Gear, said, “We were young students, facing the challenge of building something big with limited resources. The cap industry in Bangladesh was vast but uncharted, deemed too small for serious fashion players. But we saw potential, and we were ready to disrupt the status quo.”

“We started small, taking one step at a time, but we were onto something big. Month after month, we witnessed growth, building a community of 1,20,000 followers by 2022,” he added.

Photo: Courtesy

That’s when the unexpected hit them – in 2022, Facebook removed their page overnight, wiping out the page’s hard-earned followers and revenue in the blink of an eye.

Imran said it was disappointing for them but instead of stopping, they doubled down and fully converted to e-commerce. After a few days, they began to get positive responses from customers.

“We rose from the ashes with newfound determination. We pivoted, deciding to exclusively sell our products through our website: headgearbd.com. It was a fresh start, a leap of faith into the digital realm.”

Then they partnered with another two brothers, Ikramul Hoque Rayan (co-founder and Executive Chairman at Head Gear) and Efranul Hoque, to take the brand to the next stage, as they had experience in the organised apparel business.

Before partnering with Imran, Rayan was head of the supply chain at Plummy Fashion Ltd, the first-ever LEED Platinum-certified knitwear manufacturing unit in the world, which is their family business.

Erfanul Hoque is also the co-founder and CEO of Onethread, an IT startup, which is the first home-grown Bangladeshi project management software.

Ikramul Hoque Rayan looked after the supply chain experience, Imran Hossain looked after design and marketing, while Iftekhar Ahmed Efad (co-founder and COO at Head Gear) looked after sales. Erfanul Hoque motivated the team to move forward as the brand transitioned from a reseller to a brand with its own unique designs.

“From 2022 to 2023, Head Gear became more than just a brand – it’s a testament to resilience. We didn’t just bounce back; we soared. Our sales skyrocketed by an astounding 643% growth, and we proudly achieved a revenue milestone of Tk1 crore,” said Imran.

He mentioned that after Iftekhar and the Hoque brothers joined, their product quality, packaging and sales growth became more organised.

“2023 was incredible for us! After basically losing the whole traction overnight in 2022, it was about building everything from scratch in 2023,” he said.

“The cap revolution has just begun, and we’re here to make waves, one stylish head at a time,” said Ikramul Hoque Rayan, adding, “We want to popularise this company as the first ever cap brand in Bangladesh.”

Thanks to the exponential growth in the last year, they moved into a new office in the Bashundhara Residential area in Dhaka. “It took a lot of effort to reach this stage and we feel like this is only the beginning,” he added.

He said they are talking with some multinational and local brands to partner with them. They are also planning to create some experience zones in various locations of the capital and outside.

Rayan said they have plans to enter the global market by 2025 and they have a dream to build their brand like New Era, the world’s foremost cap manufacturer.

He also acknowledged that in this journey, they also got some angel investments, which helped them grow.

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