New Delhi: Reebok India Co., part of German sports shoe maker Adidas AG, is hoping to cross €50 million (Rs.379 crore) in revenue by December 2016, backed by its focus on women consumers and positioning as a fitness brand that it initiated a couple of years ago, said Silvia Tallon, senior marketing director, Brand Reebok for India market.
Tallon joined the company in April to spearhead Brand Reebok in India.
Reebok’s revenue stood at Rs.333 crore in the year to March 2015, according to the company’s filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC).
“We are focusing on women consumers. We are looking at strengthening the portfolio offering in the premium segment (shoes priced above Rs.9,999). Fitness accessories and technology-enabled products have good potential too. My mandate is to elevate Brand Reebok, strengthen women and fitness categories, and to look at new business opportunities in India,” Tallon said.
E-commerce is also on the agenda—through Reebok’s own platform and marketplaces like Myntra and Jabong, she said.
“There are changes happening even at the global level. We’ll have to stay flexible and take things forward. For Reebok, India is a key growth market. In the years to come, investments will increase,” she added.
Tallon is the first non-Indian brought in to head Brand Reebok in India since the company entered the local market in 1995. The move is an attempt to revive the brand languishing in this market for the last five years after the German parent discovered financial irregularities by a few members of Reebok India’s former management team.
After the controversy, Reebok’s operations were managed by Adidas in India for five years, unlike elsewhere in the world where the two brands are headed by different executives.
During this period, the German parent focused on Brand Adidas and cut Reebok’s retail footprint to 250 stores from more than 800 in 2013-14. Adidas also took a hit of Rs.870 crore due to the alleged fraud by its former management in India. Adidas’s India revenue stood at Rs.805.13 crore in the year to 31 March 2015.
Tallon, who has been in marketing of fashion and sportswear brands for almost three decades, has earlier worked with Russian apparel brand O’stin, Levi Strauss and Co. and Intersport, among others in countries like Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Germany.
With its focus on fitness, the company had turned 151 of the 250 outlets into Fit Hub concept stores—the most in any market globally. By December, Tallon said, the company will open 20 more stores. “Focus will be on metro cities,” she added.
“Someone with experience across global markets certainly helps a brand to differentiate. Many of the brands have changed positioning from when they entered the market,” said Rajat Wahi, partner and head (consumer markets) at consulting firm KPMG in India.
Reebok is also planning to seek government approval for 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) to open company-owned stores. “It’s a long term plan. May be within three years,” Tallon said. Currently, it operates through local distributors.
In November 2015, Adidas received approval to open 100% foreign-owned large Adidas outlets in India. The first one is scheduled to open in the second half of the year. Adidas now operates around 760 stores through franchisees, of which nearly 500 outlets sell only Adidas-branded products.