Pitch CMO Summit: Inspiration key to building a brand: Abhishek Ganguly, Puma India

Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India, unveiled the brand’s latest advertising campaign “Ab Balla Bolega”, featuring Virat Kohli, at the summit, a day before its national release

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: May 31, 2019 8:05 AM  | 3 min read
Abhishek Puma

Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India, says inspiration is key to building a successful brand. He was at the Bangalore edition of Pitch CMO Summit on Thursday to deliver a session ‘Sprinting To The Top’.

Ganguly, who has been with Puma India for more than a decade, stressed on how inspiration was the most important factor behind building a successful brand. Continuous endeavour is what takes the brand to the top, he added. 

“I believe that there is a similarity in creating successful brands, creating a successful team, or a successful organization. Because at the end of the day, it is all about inspiration.”

Recounting his "amazing journey" along with the German brand, Ganguly said, “Puma has come a long way from being "two feet underground", at the time when the brand started as a subsidy in India, to being the "largest brand in the space of global apparel and lifestyle brand in India" today.”

He said, "From a business standpoint a lot of things have gone right for us. But, as I said, it was a lot about taking inspiration and creating a brand which has become a phenomenon in India."

Speaking about the success of Puma in India, Ganguly threw light on what it takes to make a successful brand. “Creating a brand is never just about one great marketing idea, or one great creative execution, it is a constant endeavour of a company, which makes it relentlessly ahead in terms of making new innovations, and taking the risks to stay ahead of the curve.” 

Citing an example about taking risks, Ganguly recounted how Puma created a market for Motorsports products in India. “Motorsport was hardly followed in India. People were falling for football, basketball and tennis. And we decided that we will focus on a category, which did not actually exist in the market. Today, we are the largest market for Puma Motorsports in the world. And we have a huge following for all our celebrations like Ferrari Motorsport, Red Bulls and Mercedes.”

Ganguly also spoke about Puma’s innovative collaboration with Virat Kohli. “Another example of what we did innovatively or differently is our association with Virat Kohli. We signed him about one and half years back. At that point, Virat was already doing well in his career. He was with competition brands before, so we were not the first brand to have got associated with him. So we asked, how do we create a brand ambassador relationship for us?”

“We co-created a brand called ONE 8 on behalf of Virat, which actually belongs to him. And we are the licensed partners.”

Ganguly concluded the session by releasing Puma’s latest ad campaign “Ab Balla Bolega”, a day before its national release. The advertisement is a music video, sung by hip-hop artist Divine, and features Kohli. “It's a music video by a global brand in a local language in the local setting,” Ganguly signed off. 

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