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Puma India in Revamp Mode
The Sports & Lifestyle brand signs on a leading Creative Agency; cautious about expansion
Photo Credit : Tarun Gupta
The Indian arm of German Sports lifestyle brand Puma is in a revamp and expansion mode. Having invested Rs 120 crore in technology in order to sell products through its own website, now the company has roped in one of the India’s leading creative agency as a partner. On September 11 (Monday), Puma India awarded the creative duties to DDB Mudra Group, a leading advertising agency. DDB Mudra will be handling creative strategy and execution for the brand’s marketing communication in India going forward. The business of Puma will be headed by Ranji Cherian, the President and Managing Partner of DDB Mudra South and Vishnu Srivatsav, Creative Head of the agency in South. The DDB Mudra Group, a part of the Omnicom/DDB Worldwide Group.
Awarding the creative duties to DDB Mudra Group comes at an important time for Puma India that is competing with rival Adidas Group India including Reebok India, and Nike India in the branded sportswear and lifestyle market. Apart from Adidas Group India, none of the rivals have clocked profits in 2015-16 period suggests recent media reports.
In terms of revenue, Puma India is said to have crossed the Rs 900 crore mark in the calendar year 2016 but without turning profitable. In fact, Puma India has been cutting down its store count. Speaking to BW Businessworld recently, Abhishek Ganguly, Managing Director of Puma India said: “Puma does not believe in over expanding, that is the reason we have shut down eight stores till now in the Indian market.” As per the interaction with Ganguly, Puma India have 353 stores across 120 cities. It plans to add 35 to 38 new stores in the coming one year. Currently, 293 Puma stores are operated by franchisees and 60 stores are owned and operated by the company. The upcoming stores will also be mixed bag between company and franchise.
In 2016, India was the eighth-largest market for Puma and the company expects India to be among the top five by 2020 said Puma CEO Bjorn Gulden recently. Puma has around 360 stores spread across India and has made investments of Rs 120 crore towards strengthening its own website through which it plans to sell its products directly to the consumers.
Commenting on DDB Mudra, Ganguly said: “I am confident that our partnership with DDB will help us create more resonance with our customers and bring forward the true spirit of our brand.”
The DDB Mudra Group is an integrated marketing communications and services network. In a recent announcement, the agency appointed Deepak Nair as chief growth officer to oversee the growth of the group in addition to focusing on technology, data and analytics. Speaking on the win, Cherian said, “We intend to bring Puma’s unique voice to life in the sports and lifestyle category. It’s a prestigious account win for us, and a great canvas for our own capabilities and creativity. We’re relishing the challenge and the opportunity to be Puma’s partner in embedding itself in India’s consideration and culture.”