Ex-Puma MD’s venture Agilitas Sports acquires Mochiko, retail plans in the offing
Abhishek Ganguly quit Puma to start his own venture, Agilitas Sports, in February with his colleagues Amit Prabhu and Atul Bajaj. It raised Rs 430 crore this May.
The curtains have finally been lifted on Puma's former Managing Director (Indian and South-East Asia) Abhishek Ganguly’s new venture—.
Launched in February this year, the ex-Puma team’s firm announced its big entry into the sports clothing and footwear market on Thursday with the acquisition of B2B footwear manufacturing firm Mochiko Shoes, the popular supplier to international brands including Adidas, Puma, New Balance, Skechers, Reebok, Asics, Crocs, Decathlon, Clarks, and US Polo, among others.
The size of the deal remains undisclosed.
“We are building a sports-focused platform, and as a group company, we will invest in all parts of the value chain, right from manufacturing to retail,” Ganguly said during an interview with YourStory.
Having said that, Agilitas Sports will restrict manufacturing to just footwear and soon launch its retail business.
“This (B2B) is just a single piece of the entire sports value chain that we plan to build,” the CEO and Co-founder said while hinting towards the company’s plans to launch the consumer-facing brand in the next 2-6 months.
“Conversations around acquisitions and partnerships are ongoing. We will soon make announcements,” he added.
Mochiko Shoes, led by its six-member founding team including founder Virender Awal, will continue to operate independently and build for other large footwear brands.
“Joining the Agilitas family propels our ambitions. We are now poised to enhance long-term investments, addressing the soaring demand in the sports and athleisure footwear sector. We envision multi-fold and multifaceted growth in our business over the next 5-6 years, adding jobs and livelihood,” said its Founder and CEO Awal.
The firm registered a revenue of Rs 642 crore in FY23 and is projecting a 30% year-on-year (Y-o-Y) growth. It has manufacturing units in Dehradun and Rishikesh (Uttarakhand) as well as in Noida.
Ganguly’s 18-year-old stint with Puma came to an end this year. He started working for the company in 2005 and became its managing director in September 2014. He is credited with building a strong India template for the global brand.
Puma posted a 46% jump in sales in India, with its revenue touching Rs 2,980 crore in FY22 from Rs 2044 crore in the previous fiscal. Last year, it opened 69 new stores, taking its total outlet count to 480.
Ganguly had been mulling over the idea of starting his own venture for some time and decided to cash on the burgeoning activewear market, which is estimated to grow from $411 billion in 2021 to $793.46 billion by 2028, as per market intelligence platform ReportLinker.
“Having spent decades in the industry, I have witnessed the industry mushroom over the years. By 2030, the market size will be 4X. Sportswear is becoming mainstream today,” he said.
Ganguly was joined by his Puma colleagues of 15 years—CFO Amit Prabhu and sales head Atul Bajaj—in the new venture as co-founders.
“We didn’t want to start from ground zero. A lot of private equities and VCs showed a lot of interest given our backgrounds and the market opportunity itself,” he said.
The firm raised a large round of Rs 430 crore in May, of which Rs 400 crore came from the investment management and advisory partnership, Convergent Finance LLP, headed by former Fairfax India executive Harsha Raghavan.
The remaining funding was raised from individual investors. Their names were not disclosed.
Edited by Kanishk Singh