A former executive at a sports clothing company says the company’s decision to make its first ever sporting goods line in India in 2018 was a bold gamble.
Sandy’s sporting accessories company started with a vision of a global sporting wear market in 2020.
But with the global apparel industry struggling, and with Indian players struggling to make it to the World Cup, the company needed a new way to sell sports equipment.
In a series of acquisitions, the group began looking at other markets to capitalize on.
But it found that the Indian market wasn’t as attractive as the United States, China or Brazil.
The first thing we noticed was that there was not a huge interest in India,” said Rakesh Kumar, former chief executive of Sandy’s.”
In the first three months, we got a lot of interest from people who were just interested in looking at a brand and seeing what it was about.
“Sandy has been in business for about 50 years, but it has always had a passion for sports and the Indian players who have represented the country at international levels.”
We’ve been doing business for a long time in India.
Kumar said the company decided to take a bolder approach, launching a line that it said was designed to appeal to a global audience.”
The only thing that changed was that we started seeing a different type of interest, a more diversified type of consumer.”
Kumar said the company decided to take a bolder approach, launching a line that it said was designed to appeal to a global audience.
But a little more than two years later, the business still isn’t profitable.
The company’s Indian expansion has been slow.
The company only recently decided to open a retail store in New Delhi, a city with a long history of being a hub for Indian and international apparel and sporting goods companies.
But its plans to expand to other markets have also been stymied by the country’s restrictive visa policies.
India’s strict immigration policies, which prohibit Indian citizens from entering the country, have kept the number of visitors in the country nearly half the number it was a decade ago.
The visa-free policy has also been a major factor in the company losing its original focus on the Indian consumer.
“The biggest thing is, the interest in Indian consumer has declined,” Kumar explained.
“There are just not as many Indian consumers.
So it was clear that we were not going to be successful in the Indian marketplace.”
Sandra Singh, a marketing manager at Sandy’s, said the decision to expand into other markets was a big one.
“This was a huge strategic decision.
We knew that we would have to look at other regions,” she said.”
But in order to get into markets where we have a good relationship with the government, we had to do this.”
The company plans to open two retail stores in New York City and Los Angeles in the next few months.