Their mutual adoration for horses brought two friends together during their school days in Mayo College. Theirs was amongst the few premier schools of the country that offered its students the liberty of picking up dressage and polo in the early and formative years. Furthermore, their Rajput descent ensured their inheritance of a rich ancestral history, wherein bards of courageous war horses was a commonality. Over time, the duo observed a general absence in high-quality manufacturing of polo equipment in India. This seemed strange indeed, given that India’s age-old equestrian legacy. However, it was time to change this by making a breakthrough into India’s lacking polo manufacturing infrastructure. What thus began as an entrepreneurial opportunity evolved into what is today known as Polofactory.
Established in 2012 by childhood buddies Jai Sirmathura and Vikramaditya Barkana, Polofactory began as a direct supplier of polo equipment to ten clients. Polofactory’s first success story followed the launch of their signature product- the Polo Saddle. Made with the finest quality leather and artisanal craftsmanship, this saddle was designed to enhance the rider’s performance. The response that Jai and Vikramaditya received was truly overwhelming, it took the market by storm and became Polofactory’s success symbol for its unmatched emphasis on bespoke quality. There was no looking back hereafter.
Eight years down the line, Polofactory has expanded its presence as a supplier to over 700 horses, 200 polo players and in all, 12 countries worldwide. Their newest addition to their ever-expanding range of high quality polo gear is the LSR Polo Saddle, designed exclusively for Polofactory by Thakur Lokendra Singh Rathore of Ghanerao. “Its unique design brings the best out of an all purpose saddle-a versatile and popular choice for country riding, jumping and flat work as compared to our quintessential Polo Saddle, which is designed more specifically for a fast-paced mounted game. Seats and flaps are very different on these two kinds of saddles. The LSR saddle emerges out of a hybridised design in accordance with what the legendary player calls a perfect saddle.
Their commendable job with saddles notwithstanding, it is worth noting that Polofactory has expanded their nature of products beyond a purely equestrian sports clientele. Instead, their fashion and lifestyle merchandise makes Polofactory India’s foremost brand to have introduced the spirit of polo through commercial merchandise. Now, the celebration of one’s love for horses is no longer restricted to the polo-playing or dressage-performing elite. An iconic piece in this regard would be the cotton block printed pony shirt, which can easily be discerned from afar. It cleverly blends equestrian motifs with the popular textile trend of Rajasthan and enables the debonair polo enthusiast to don India’s age-old relationship with horses.
True to its original vision, Polofactory continues to strive towards becoming the topmost globally-recognised brand in their field. In the words of its two founders,
“We intend to emphasise more on direct retail, online and offline, and eventually distribute as a mono brand concept store that works on the franchise model. Such stores would be one-stop shops for the best in polo equipment, services and fashion. On the polo front we want to collaborate, provide, support and co-brand with the biggest polo events in the world”
Their brand’s philanthropic arm, known as ‘People for Horses’ is an NGO dedicated to the welfare of horses. Moreover, their long-awaited dream of creating another green polo ground in Jaipur has thus materialised after two years of perseverance. It is known as the Polofactory Polo Club.
Polofactory’s success story leaves little doubt about the fact that Jai and Vikramaditya’s passion for horses goes above and beyond the commercial picture. It conveys the power in purposefully retaining vintage aesthetics and philanthropy. Their sincere dedication to traditional artisanal techniques and inventive collaboration has paved a new path for aspiring entrepreneurs to derive inspiration from. Many who have availed their services would agree that Polofactory is a living example of the idea that with the right concept and execution skills, one’s love for an age-old sport can enrich it in myriad ways. High quality revival and promotion of the sport can lead to the creation of a lifestyle interest that works towards the greater good of the rider, as well as his steed.
The author is a writer, blogger and Editor-in-Chief of Rajputana Collective.