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India to be third largest Asian market for Adidas

12-July-2004
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India to be third largest Asian market for Adidas

Adidas India could become the German sportwear maker’s third largest subsidiary in Asia after China and Japan, said Andreas Gellner, the newly appointed managing director of Adidas India.

“The business environment here is certainly very positive. If everything goes well, India could be our number three market in Asia, and that is my mandate,” Gellner said.

He added that Adidas is seriously considering of increasing its apparel sourcing from India. The company is also evaluating the idea of launching a low-cost range targeted at the Indian market. “I haven’t made up my mind on it but I’m told there is a big market for such products,” he said.

Adidas recently had a change of guard after Tarun Kunzru stepped as the managing director. In his previous assignment with Adidas, Gellner was the MD of the company’s Malaysian subsidiary.

According to Gellner, his top priority will be to restructure the Indian operations to take on the competitors.

“Although we posted double digit growth in India for the past two years, not everyone in the company was aligned to the same goal. I will try to make it a more lean and mean organisation that can be proactive in a fast growing market,” he said.

The Indian subsidiary has been separated from Adidas’ south east Asia business cluster and will now report directly to the regional headquarters in Hong Kong.

“The Indian market is very different from south east Asia. We will now get a lot more direct attention and greater budget priority,” he said.

In the next two years Adidas plans to add nearly 60 more exclusive showrooms to its 75 existing ones in the country’s top 10 cities. The company is also planning to triple its advertising spends in the next two years.

“We have two of the most popular cricketers, Tendulkar and Sehwag, and a whole host of international icons such as David Beckham as our brand ambassadors. We need to capitalise on that and increase our visibility,” said Gellner.

“Opportunities such as being the official kit sponsor of the Indian cricket team are very exciting and we will be exploring them,” the new managing director added.

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