Startup founded by outgoing Puma India MD Abhishek Ganguly raises Rs 430 crore

Investors are cutting back on investments in Indian startups, with funds flow dropping over 80 percent quarter on quarter in Q1CY23. However, amidst this challenging scenario, a startup has managed to raise a significant amount of funds. The fund infusion comes at a crucial time when investors are tightening their purse strings.

Former Puma India and Southeast Asia Managing Director, Abhishek Ganguly, has raised Rs 430 crore ($53 million) for his sportswear and athleisure startup, Agilitas Sports. The co-founders of Agilitas Sports, Atul Bajaj and Amit Prabhu, who also worked with Puma, assisted Ganguly in the fundraising. The investment management and advisory partnership, Convergent Finance LLP, led by Harsha Raghavan, invested Rs 400 crore in Agilitas while the remaining Rs 30 crore came from undisclosed individual investors.

The fundraising comes just after Puma announced on May 11 that Ganguly would be leaving the company to start his own venture. Bajaj and Prabhu have worked with Ganguly for almost 15 years. Bajaj is the outgoing executive director and head of sales and operations at Puma India, while Prabhu is the outgoing Chief Financial Officer at the sporting company.


Despite the ongoing pandemic, investors have shown great interest in Ganguly’s venture. Agilitas aims to create an end-to-end chain of all things related to sports, from manufacturing to retail. The company plans to scale up quickly and is already in talks to acquire a couple of brands. The fresh funds will also be utilized for leveraging the Metaverse, which is an emerging market for digital assets and virtual spaces.

Ganguly stated that it was difficult for small players to scale up in this category as the entry barriers were quite high. Thus, Agilitas had raised a large round of funding right at the beginning, as they wanted to build for scale quickly and deploy the capital immediately. The startup is not exactly like a roll-up e-commerce player, but instead, it will look at three-four companies that complement each other’s offerings.

Prior to setting up Agilitas Sports, Ganguly spearheaded Puma’s operations in India and Southeast Asia for nearly 18 years. He played a crucial role in putting Puma in a strong position against its rivals. Puma India’s income rose from Rs 2,044 crore in FY21 to Rs 2,980 crore in FY22, as per the filings with the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Footwear accounted for 60% of the company’s total sales income, with apparel accounting for 35%, and accessories for the remaining 5%.

While he was the MD at Puma India, Ganguly stated that the amount of business the company added post-pandemic was as healthy as the first 13 years when they started in India, indicating strong potential in the athleisure category. Puma filled Ganguly’s position as MD in India by promoting Karthik Balagopalan, who was earlier the global director of retail and e-commerce at the company.

Agilitas Sports’ fundraising is noteworthy as investors have been tightening their purse strings, and funds flow into Indian startups has been at a record low. However, the growth potential of the sportswear market in India remains immense, with the size of the market expected to increase from Rs 5,200 crore to Rs 5,600 crore by 2030, according to the draft red herring prospectus of Campus Activewear, a renowned player in the space.