Former Puma India Chief Leads the Charge

In a move that promises to shake up the Indian sportswear market, Agilitas Sports, a Bengaluru-based company co-founded by Abhishek Ganguly, the former head of Puma India, has secured the rights to distribute and manufacture Lotto products in India, South Asia, and Australia. This strategic partnership with WHP Global, the parent company of Lotto, grants Agilitas an exclusive 40-year license to leverage the iconic Italian brand’s reputation for premium footwear and athletic apparel.

A Commitment to Long-Term Growth

The extended 40-year timeframe of the agreement underscores Agilitas’ unwavering commitment to establishing Lotto as a major player in the regional sporting goods market. “This extended license signifies our dedication to a long-term vision for the Lotto brand in India and the surrounding regions,” said Ganguly. He further elaborated on Agilitas’ plans to establish a robust omnichannel presence for Lotto, encompassing not only traditional retail outlets but also a dedicated online store. This approach will ensure convenient access to Lotto products for a wider customer base.

Balancing Value and Brand Image

While acknowledging Lotto’s position as a premium brand, Ganguly emphasized Agilitas’ commitment to offering customers exceptional value for their money. “Our goal is to ensure that affordability doesn’t compromise the brand’s premium image,” he explained. Agilitas intends to strike a careful balance by providing high-quality products at competitive prices, a strategy that should resonate with budget-conscious consumers seeking value without sacrificing brand recognition.

Investment and Expansion Plans

The official launch of Agilitas’ Lotto operations is slated for early 2025. This coincides with the planned rollout of company-owned and franchised Lotto stores across the target markets. To streamline domestic production of Lotto footwear, Agilitas will leverage the capabilities of Mochiko, an Indian shoemaker it acquired in September 2023 with the backing of Nexus Venture Partners. This strategic move allows for localization of new designs and efficient manufacturing processes.

Aggressive Growth Targets

Ganguly has set ambitious goals for Agilitas’ Lotto business. He envisions establishing a network of 200 exclusive stores and capturing a significant share of the Indian market, targeting a revenue milestone of Rs 2,000 crore within the medium term. To achieve these objectives, Agilitas will assemble a dedicated management team specifically focused on propelling the Lotto brand forward. This team’s expertise will encompass product development, design innovation, supply chain management, branding initiatives, marketing strategies, and distribution channel optimization.

WHP Global Endorses the Partnership

Stanley Silverstein, Chief Commercial Officer at WHP Global, expressed his enthusiasm about the collaboration with Agilitas. “We are highly impressed by the founders’ extensive experience in the sportswear and athleisure market,” Silverstein said. He commended Agilitas’ comprehensive business plan, highlighting its potential to unlock significant growth opportunities for the Lotto brand in the targeted regions.

From Puma to Agilitas: A New Chapter in Sportswear

As reported by ET in May 2023, Ganguly, along with two other senior executives from Puma India, departed the German sportswear giant to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions with Agilitas. Shortly thereafter, the company secured Rs 430 crore in funding from Convergent Finance, providing the necessary capital to fuel its growth strategy.

Engaging Consumers Through Strategic Marketing

Agilitas recognizes the importance of building strong consumer connections. The company plans to invest heavily in consumer engagement initiatives, including forging partnerships with prominent athletes, sports clubs, designers, artists, and musicians. These strategic collaborations are expected to generate significant brand awareness and cultivate a loyal customer base.

Production Capabilities

Mochiko’s existing manufacturing facility in Noida will serve as the primary production hub for Lotto products in India. This facility has the capacity to manufacture a wide range of sporting goods, including footwear, apparel, accessories, and sports equipment. However, footwear is expected to remain the core product category, accounting for over 60% of the overall product portfolio.

A New Dawn for Lotto in India

The Agilitas-Lotto partnership signifies a new chapter for the iconic Italian brand in the Indian and regional sporting goods markets. With Agilitas’ ambitious plans, robust financial backing, and strategic partnerships, Lotto is poised to become a dominant force, offering high-quality, value-driven products to a wider customer base across a diverse geographical landscape.

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Pooja Patel, an accomplished editor with a focus on finance and market trends, contributes to Atom News with a dedication to providing insightful and accurate business news. Pooja's analytical approach adds depth to our coverage, keeping our audience well-informed.