Puma Sports India is in the process of increasing its sourcing from India and adding new vendors also. Currently working with eight apparel manufacturers in the country, the company is looking for vendors who are experts in producing products like polo tees and jackets. Considering an aggressive projected sourcing from India, the company is looking for a total of six new vendors (2 vendors in each major product category). These expansion plans are mainly for filling sourcing needs of overseas stores.
“As our company is growing well at the international level, our global team is being pushed to secure more orders. In the last one year, our sourcing from India has already seen four times growth… Now we are targeting to further increase it by four more times within the next three years. So, we are looking for garment manufacturers who are very quality-conscious and truly believe in transparency. Though compliance is the basic need for vendors who want to work with us, high efficiency is equally important at the same time. If a factory is not highly-efficient, it can’t meet our costing… So, vendors have to be very technology-oriented, and think and work for the long-term perspective,” shared Ajay Kr Pandey, Manager, QC and QA (Apparel), Puma Sports India, Bangalore.
Taking about challenges in India, he further added that the biggest difficulty was non-availability of good polyester fabric base. “Though the garment manufacturers import these kinds of fabric or for that matter any other fabric that we require, but sometimes it creates issues regarding the timeline. The Indian mills are good, but they have to invest in the technology for such types of fabric. So we can have this ‘imported’ fabric from India itself, and also in good quality, provided they invest in technology. Actually, due to dependency on imported fabric, India is losing business,” says Ajay, who is also of the opinion that the demand of MMF-based garments will grow in the future.
Currently, almost 60 per cent of the MMF base sourcing of Puma is from China. “In India, we can manage the cost in terms of workmanship and overall garment appeal…, but the only problem is the fabric area. If this can be managed somehow, the business can grow tremendously. At the international level orders are being taken in China, but same are being completed in Bangladesh,” he concluded.