This is a story of three Egyptian petroleum engineers who decided to have a career shift in pursuit of a bigger dream and challenge. Sigma Fit is an inspiring fitness brand that provides affordable, high-quality fitness products that can solve everyday problems.
Nabil Khalifa, Omar El Metwally and Eslam Rashwan spoke to Identity about their brand, Sigma Fit, how they were first inspired to come up with the idea of the company, their latest products and their exciting future plans.
1. How did you start Sigma Fit?
We first thought of reasons why people didn’t think about using technology and innovative ideas in clothes they wear everyday, then we thought about athletes and how they are probably the people in most need of tech in their gears in order to improve their performance.
After a lot of research we found out about hydrophobic technology, known as Nano technology. After 6 months of researches and trials, we came up with a process that can treat fabrics with the best quality using minimum cost. We started with basic T-shirt designs for men and women and chose SIGMA FIT to be the brand name. SIGMA is a Greek letter (S) and a symbol in mathematics as summation of equations (Technology, Fashion, Quality and Sporty).
2. What were your inspiration and/or motivation for creating Sigma Fit?
The idea was to be the first sports tech wear brand in Egypt and to make a brand that one day can invade the whole world. We found that most of the top brands whether sportswear or casual wear are manufactured in Egypt by Egyptian hands, so why not have our own brands that can reach the whole world.
3. How does your previous career relate to your work now in sportswear? Did any of you happen to have an athletic background? If yes, can you talk us through it?
Working as engineers in multinational companies showed us how to think and work hard in difficult situations. Even though we were well paid, each one of us had a bigger dream to start his own company and use his mind to be more than just a perfect employee.
Omar ElMetwaly had previous experience in the fitness field, working as an engineer at Life Fitness Company for gym equipment. He was involved in organizing big events like “The Show” and was also a water polo player in Al Ahly club and in the Egyptian national team.
4. How did you take the step of shifting careers?
It was really hard to leave those years of experience, good salaries and stability to shift to another career and start our own company. It was hard for us and for our families, but we believed in achieving our dream even if we have to suffer for a while.
5. Does your engineering background influence your product design?
Yes, for sure. Our engineering background helped us to know about the latest technologies and how to use them in our products.
6. Are there any plans to open stores in countries other than the US, especially Egypt?
We now have online stores in Egypt, US, Kuwait and are planning to be in the UAE and Germany soon.
7. What are the biggest challenges you have faced and still face as a sportswear brand?
The biggest challenge we faced was how to change the mentality of the customer to view a local brand as they would an international brand. We’re in a constant challenge to make more and new products for all kinds of sports.
8. What was the inspiration behind Transforma bag?
The inspiration behind Transforma bag was the decision to make a unique bag that holds a different tech and has many options to fulfill customers’ needs. We started working on the design and the features of the bag a year ago. We got the idea of the UV light from the medical industry and thought of how to use it to create a small portable device to be placed in the bag to kill bacteria and keep the bag clean. Then we added many other useful gadgets such as the solar power bank, the survival kit and the weight scale.
9. How accessible are your products worldwide, and in Egypt specifically?
We think that we can sell our products all over the world specially that now we are introducing new ideas for reasonable prices and very good quality.
10. Why do you think your products are being sold more in the US than Egypt?
The US is a very big market; it’s always hungry for new products and the customers already have a good knowledge on how to buy from an e-commerce platform. But we also have very good potential here in Egypt and in most Arab countries.
11. Let’s end with the good o’l interview question; where do you see yourselves, and the brand, in the near and far future?
Our goal is to position SIGMA FIT as one of the biggest sportswear brands in the Middle East and Africa, and a real competitor to the top brands in the world. In the near future, we dream to see our national and local teams wearing our brand; hoping that for the first time our national teams wear a 100% Egyptian made brand.