German sportswear maker Puma SE announced the elevation of the company’s current India managing director, Abhishek Ganguly as general manager Southeast Asia expanding Ganguly’s role to key growth markets of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.

Ganguly will continue to work out of the company’s India head office in Bengaluru and will continue to oversee the sportswear retailer’s India business where he joined as director, sales and marketing in 2006.

In an email sent to employees and partners, Bjørn Gulden, chief executive officer (CEO) of Puma SE announced that the sportswear maker’s Southeast Asia operations will now become part of its larger EEMEA (Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa region) business region.

“The Puma board has decided that the area PUMA Southeast Asia will become part of the region EEMA which is led by our general manager Arne Freundt. This ensures that the area gets the required focus and attention that is needed to support the strong growth and also ensures seamless front-and back end responsibilities,” Gulden said.

He also announced that within the region, EEMEA, Abhishekh Ganguly, currently managing director India, will take on the added responsibility of managing Puma Southeast Asia as general manager India, and SEA. “While, Ganguly will oversee the future development of PUMA SEA, he will continue to be managing director, India, based in Bengaluru. A dedicated general manager for Puma Southeast Asia based in Singapore will in to Ganguly,” he said.

The move makes Ganguly—who is an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow—the first India-based manager to get a larger global portfolio.
“These (new) markets are all growth markets, and some are very developed. I have an understanding of how our brand has done well in our market, and these new markets will mean new learnings,” Ganguly told Mint.

Ganguly joined PUMA’s founding team in India as director, sales and marketing in 2006. Over the next almost decade-and-a-half, he set up the sales, marketing, retail, product, sourcing and planning functions in the company.

Prior to this, he worked at Reebok where he led the business operations in South India. He is also a part of the Indian Angel Network.

In India, Puma has been expanding its reach both online and offline, especially as shoppers across the country have pivoted to buying goods across channels; apparel, and footwear retailers have specially seen a growing need to step up their presence online.

Puma was among the first to adopt a multi-channel, multi-product approach in India, selling some goods only online, and preserving some exclusive launches for its top ten stores to ensure that footfalls at its physical stores remain intact.

“We have been a very successful at the multi-channel, and multi-brand approach, doing channel and product differentiation based on consumer needs,” Ganguly
said.

Its range of footwear and apparel are endorsed by Bollywood actor Sara Ali Khan, ace cricketer Virat Kohli, and legendary boxer Mary Kom, among others.

For the year ended December 31, 2019, Puma India reported total income of Rs1,413.26 crore up 22% from a year ago period, according to data sourced from financial intelligence platform Tofler. This makes it the top retailer of sports apparel, and footwear in Asia’s third-largest market ahead of rivals Adidas, Reebok, and Nike. It clocked an a operating profit of Rs44.85 crore in the same period.

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