We don’t believe in campaigns, we believe in marketing stories: Abhishek Ganguly

Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India, says the brand has been making big investments in India both in retail and e-commerce platforms

Puma

With new stores and products, Puma is all set to maintain the lead in the sports market and the retail world as well. 

Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director, Puma India, owes the success of the brand to the women’s category and the direct connect it has with the consumers through e-commerce business which has bolstered its position.  “We, as a brand, believe there is sport in life as much there is life in sport,” says Ganguly.

“We are a sports brand and have done well globally. But we believe that sports today transcends boundaries outside pitches, grounds and courts, and transcends into life,” he said.
 
The Indian arm of the German sports company, as a brand in specific and sports in general, has tapped the Indian market well to reach the top. The challenge now lies in sustaining the position, says Ganguly.

Throwing light on the future plans in India from a global perspective, Ganguly said, “We have attained market leadership at a very crucial juncture right now. Because sports is happening now and it’s going to grow. What’s more interesting is how people have changed their mindset towards sports largely, and are being inclusive about women sports. The situation has improved by leaps and bounds if we see it in retrospect.”

“Sports is also entering people’s wardrobe, and becoming an important part of lifestyle. People are donning the casual-sporty look to clubs, offices, which earlier didn’t happen. As of now, where we stand today, Puma has entered a very interesting phase and is going to stay for long.”

Believing in ‘New Age Marketing’, Ganguly further said the company churned profit and established the brand majorly from Digital and online platforms. Following the mantra of ‘New Age Marketing’, Puma has spent nearly 90 per cent of their money on Digital and social media platforms.  “There has been a huge shift in the marketing of the product. Puma’s marketing style is not traditional. Our marketing strength will continue to grow probably faster than our growth of sales.”
 
Puma sees India as a prosperous market
When asked about how Puma from a global perspective sees India in terms of future investments, Ganguly said: “For Puma’s global board, India is clearly a market of focus. And we are going to make big investments in India, in terms of opening more retail stores and making the online platform Puma.com a better and more convenient online shopping site.”

“Today we are at the leadership position in India and if we continue to stay relevant by doing something interesting and innovative, India will be prosperous for Puma. We have 365 stores in 125 cities. Last year, Puma opened 30 more stores and the expansion would continue this year too.” 

In terms of attaining success, Puma has increased the number of innovative products being launched. A good amount of spend is being made in marketing and Puma is signing the right kind of people, Ganguly said. “We don’t believe in campaigns. We believe in marketing stories and we would like to create stories and then use digital and social media platforms to activate them. Also, we use our partners to activate the brand.”
     
In terms of Puma’s investments in warehouse and e-commerce, Ganguly pointed out that lot of the sales going forward will be through e-commerce. “It is a growth channel which is linked to the consumer and platform, as it is to the supply chain. And in doing that, what’s crucial is ‘convenience, time management and quickness’. These are the keys to stay in the market. In the last one-and-half years, we have invested a lot into the supply chain, which has become extremely strategic to an organisation. Market places will be won or lost due to good or bad supply chain. We are making extreme amount of investments in making our supply chain robust. The company is making huge investments for giving people a very convenient experience.”

Importance of right story with right content 
Ganguly further shared his insight about how imperative brand content is in today’s era. “It is extremely important to have relevant, contextual and engaging content to drive the brand. It is the age of content. The brands who would be relevant are those who would tell the right stories with the right content. We, as brands, have to become content machines, we have to churn content which is relevant and would turn heads.”
 
And to make that possible, Puma has made huge investments on Digital and social media to stay ahead and has been pushing the envelope with regards to innovative and stylish products. Because of social and Digital media, the aspirations are getting created even in smaller towns and much faster than what we think. Data access is making this change. 

Known for its design, Puma believes that to stay ahead of domestic players like Skechers, it is making the supply chain robust to be at the top of their game, Ganguly said.

“We want sport to be in everybody’s life. We are known for our design. We appeal to the youth a lot. The brand has a cult following and we need to stay there. And continuously do things which are relevant,” Ganguly signed off.

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