A brand that made its entry in India in 2006 & is still clocking sales as much as its competitors, has made the brand stand tall in the Indian sportswear industry. PUMA is present in 115 Indian cities with 340 stores, spread across over 50 franchise partners. Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, PUMA India spoke to us about next moves of PUMA and the growth potential.
Tell us about the success story of PUMA in India
PUMA has been tapping the sports lifestyle market in India since 2006. We entered the market in 2006 and quickly showed profitability in 3 years, faster than any sportswear brand in India. In 2014, we repositioned ourselves to be the fastest sports brand in the world and launched a range of running and performance products along with running properties of our own like the PUMA Urban Stampede- today a 7 city national running movement. Our key differentiator is that we offer sportswear with style – all our products look good and are extremely stylish.
How far Puma India has reached in terms of sportswear for women?
The focus for PUMA India is very strongly on the women’s fitness category and sportswear for women. In keeping with this focus, we have launched the PULSE XT which is PUMA’s most versatile shoe for women till date. We also have several other technologically advanced products on the anvil for women. Rihanna is PUMA's global brand ambassador for women's training and serves as a PUMA Women's Creative Director, bringing her styling sensibilities and innovation to PUMA's collections. In India, we have Lisa Haydon on board as our running ambassador and Jacqueline Fernandez as our training ambassador. Through these ambassadors and our cutting edge products, we are looking at growing the women's fitness category in India.
Any news for the franchisees. How will associating with PUMA benefit them?
As a brand, we ensure sustainable and profitable businesses for our partners. Our product and retail teams work closely with our franchise partners to ensure that our brand is presented desirably.
Your comment on growth potential of the women’s fitness segment.
Two clear signs that women’s fitness is growing is more and more women in gyms and in running events in India. Also, women are more open to trying newer forms of fitness like pilates, yoga and Zumba e.g. And each of these represent opportunities.
Expansion plans and overall Strategy for the year 2015
Earlier PUMA stores were concentrated in metros. However, in the last few years, there has been a strong and steady expansion in tier II and III cities. We believe that there is even more potential in these cities and going forward we plan to continue expanding to more cities and towns. In the marketing and product launch front, our strategy has always been to engage and interact with our consumers. We are looking at opening stores in new cities as well as cities where we are already present. We will have more stores in Delhi, Noida and the NCR region and in tier B and C cities. We are bullish about growth in the country and will launch several more brick and mortar stores.