'We Plan to Open 200 Stores by 2017' Amit Narang
The Indian Sports Equipment industry has created an image for itself in the global manufacturing sector but is still fighting to give the same to the end Indian Consumer. In a short Interview, Amit Narang, MD, Playmart shares his thoughts behind the online debutant sports equipment retailer.
Please share your entrepreneurial journey? What made you enter the sports retail industry?
The fact that Sports enthusiasts have limited excess to the sports and fitness products in India has been a driving force behind launching Playmart. The manufacturing of these products is well established in cities like Jalandhar, Meerut etc, however the challenge has always been to make it available to the end customers. From there on, the concept of Playmart came into my mind and undoubtedly the time was also right to foray into the ecommerce business and that is how a team was set up to launch playmart.in in January 2016.
There is a lot of potential in retailing Sports and Fitness products in metros as well as Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India. As the income levels are rising, people are more and more inclined to make purchases in the entertainment and recreational segment. People are also getting more and more health conscious and hence the need is intriguing. Through having Playmart stores in good locations, we will be reaching out to the potential customers.
Please share the USP of your business and the challenges you faced in the initial stages?
Playmart is India’s first and exclusive online marketplace for Sports and Fitness products. To set up and expand a new business is certainly a daunting task. First and foremost, to get the right people is very important, a team that can work together is always critical to any operation. The other challenges are to get the right product and brand at the best price, a sound technical team to run and upgrade an ecommerce platform and the right logistic partners to give a good service to the customers.
How do you form a connection of a brand? Do you work on a warehouse model?
To form a connection of a brand, the visibility factor is the first step. We have been promoting Playmart regularly on ground and in digital space as well. The Social media is playing a major role in building a community and henceforth, a brand recall and connect.
Playmart is a platform that has been made available for sellers to sell their products to our customers. We have a drop ship model as of now and not a ware house model.
What opportunity do you believe the sports retail market has for a potential investor?
There is huge gap in between demand and supply in Tier 2 and 3 cities. In Tier 1 cities also, it is hard to find a Sports/Fitness store very easily. We are sure we will be able to fill in this gap by being present in the right location and give an organised edge to the sport equipment market.
Please discuss about the transformation of distribution to e retail in the sports retail segment?
Playmart has started its business by selling products online. We are an ecommerce company as of now and very recently, venturing into opening of Franchise stores.
Please share your distribution plan with us? How many brands are you connected with?
Playmart has about 200 plus brands – international brands, Indian brands and private labels. We have approximately 35,000 plus products live on our portal with 100 plus sellers on board.
Please share your retail presence with us?
Playmart is opening its first retail store in the suburbs of Ludhiana by the end of this month. We have a well laid out retail expansion plan for reaching out to our customers in every nook and corner of the country. We plan to open 200 plus stores by end of year 2017 and 500 plus stores by end of 2019.