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Fashion Brand Icons: Abhishek Ganguly, Co-founder & CEO, Agilitas Sports Pvt. Ltd.

These leaders, the driving forces behind India’s flourishing fashion and lifestyle sector, are not mythical figures but individuals who have honed their skills, overcome challenges and left an indelible mark on the industry. Join us as we unveil the stories of these trailblazers, their journeys from self-growth to guiding others, and the profound impact of their decisions on the pulse of the fashion realm. Welcome to a series that goes beyond the surface, uncovering the narratives of those who have weathered storms and emerged as true icons in the business of fashion.

This week, IMAGES Business of Fashion delves into the extraordinary life and achievements of Abhishek Ganguly, the Co-founder & CEO, of Agilitas Sports Pvt. Ltd.

Abhishek Ganguly, Co-founder & CEO, of Agilitas Sports Pvt. Ltd., holds a B.Sc and an MBA from IIM Lucknow, highlighting his strong academic background in both science and business management.

Career History and Experience
A series of impactful leadership roles mark Ganguly’s distinguished career in the sportswear industry. Commencing as a Regional Manager at Reebok India, he swiftly ascended to the role of Director of Sales and Marketing at PUMA India, making significant contributions to the brand’s strategic positioning. His success culminated in his appointment as the Managing Director of PUMA India, where he played a pivotal role in propelling the brand’s growth. Expanding on these achievements, Abhishek held the position of Managing Director for PUMA in India and South East Asia till August 2023. Recently, he has ventured into sporting goods manufacturing with his company Agilitas Sports Pvt. Ltd., showcasing his exceptional leadership and strategic acumen in navigating diverse markets.

Aspirations in Life
Ganguly aspires to contribute significantly to the development of a robust sports and fitness culture in India. His goal is to actively steer and enable initiatives that promote a strong emphasis on health and wellness nationwide.

Game-Changing Retail Technologies
According to Ganguly, game-changing retail technologies encompass those facilitating the seamless integration of online and offline channels, enhancing the overall customer experience and operational efficiency through data science and analytics. Additionally, he identifies the significance of the Metaverse, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) in providing a profound and immersive engagement with customers, thereby revolutionizing the retail landscape.

Skills That Helped Him Succeed
Ganguly attributes his success in the industry to a combination of essential qualities rather than a specific set of skills or a formula. He emphasizes the pivotal role of belief and tenacity, highlighting these as crucial elements that sustain individuals in their professional journey. According to him, maintaining unwavering belief and enduring tenacity over an extended period are key factors that prevent self-doubt and contribute significantly to long-term success in the industry.

Lessons Learned Over the Years
Over the years, Ganguly has gleaned valuable lessons, underscoring the significance of people and empathy in leadership as pivotal elements for success. He advocates against a rigid commitment to a single strategy indefinitely, emphasizing the need for adaptability and flexibility. According to Ganguly, building a brand requires a trifecta of purpose, promise, and a relatable narrative tailored to the target audience. Furthermore, he recognizes the transformative power of technology, acknowledging its role in enabling businesses, unlocking value, building scale, and fostering efficiency. These insights encapsulate the wisdom acquired through his rich and varied professional experiences.

Future of the Industry
Ganguly envisions a constantly evolving industry, emphasizing the importance of businesses adopting a long-term vision while remaining nimble enough to adapt their approach and execution as needed. According to him, success in the future will be determined by a steadfast focus on customer convenience, maintaining the integrity of the brand promise and narrative, and optimizing business efficiency. This forward-looking perspective underscores the dynamic nature of the industry and the key factors that will shape sustained success.

Role Model in the Industry
Ganguly identifies Usain Bolt, not from the industry but as one of the greatest of all time, as his role model. Describing the interactions as a significant career privilege, Ganguly draws inspiration from Bolt’s extraordinary work ethic and extensive training, encapsulated in the historic 9.58 seconds. He admires Bolt’s ability to navigate pressure and enjoy life amidst high expectations each time he stepped onto the track. Usain Bolt, with his unparalleled achievements and resilience, serves as a source of inspiration for Ganguly in the pursuit of excellence.

Lessons Learned over the Years
Ganguly’s career learnings are distilled into three key principles:

  1. Surrounding Oneself with Smart and Diverse People: Recognizing the importance of a dynamic and intelligent team, Ganguly emphasizes the value of surrounding oneself with smart and diverse individuals. This, he believes, is crucial for fostering innovation and success.
  2. The Significance of People in Organizational Success: Ganguly underscores that people are the driving force behind an organization’s success. A strong and positive organizational culture not only attracts the best talent but also plays a pivotal role in retaining them within the company.
  3. Continuous Renewal for Progress and Sustainability: Ganguly advocates for continuous renewal, emphasizing the need to refresh, rehaul, reskill, and renew. This proactive approach is seen as essential for building a progressive and sustainable company, reflecting the ever-evolving nature of the business landscape.

Life Mantra
Ganguly’s current life mantra revolves around the acknowledgment that time is finite. In his philosophy, he aims to invest this finite resource in meaningful ways, prioritizing connections with people, creating experiences that resonate personally, and engaging in purposeful work that he can take pride in. This mantra reflects a conscious and intentional approach to life, emphasizing the value of meaningful interactions and contributions.

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