Pentland nurtures leading apparel brands in Asia
Standing strong on its family foundation, Pentland Brands has taken leading sports, outdoor and fashion brands to the forefront of global markets. Pentland is the owner of popular brands such as Speedo, Canterbury and Berghaus - all leaders in their respective categories.
Having successfully launched these brands into Asia, Pentland supports its licensees and distributors with more than eight decades of experience to help the brands flourish across the region. "When a brand becomes part of our portfolio, our partners know that we will nurture and invest in its growth," says Andy Rubin, CEO.
Evolving the dynamism of its brand management expertise, the company's partners have branched into e-commerce alongside traditional bricks-and-mortar distribution in Asia. Pentland collaborates with partners in the region by leveraging their local market expertise to bring brands closer to their respective customers.
Pentland is looking to build stronger ties in Asia, where it has well-established partners such as Swire in Hong Kong and Goldwin in Japan. In Southeast Asia, its Mitre football brand has considerable room for growth in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.
Pentland brands, Speedo and its licensed business, Lacoste Chaussures, are thriving on the mainland and leading the company's initiatives to develop its other brands. To this end, Pentland welcomes well-established partners who understand the evolution of consumer lifestyles and tastes in the market.
"We work with partners who are similar in culture and values to us, and who think long term," Rubin says. "We think about what our brands will look like in the next 20 years and how our company will have to evolve to stay strong for future generations."
Asia contributed 19 per cent of Pentland's total wholesale revenues last year. The company aims to increase its Asian revenues to about a third of its business within the next decade.
Pentland's many facets of success have been recognised industry-wide and notably awarded with five Queen's Awards for Enterprise, including the 2013 Award for Enterprise in International Trade. As the company continues to garner international product recognition, its brands stand alongside some of the world's leading sports teams and major sports events.
Pentland is also a strong advocate of fitness and healthy living. "One of the big challenges that the world faces is obesity, so it's important to motivate each other to swim, go walking or play football. It ultimately means we can have a healthier planet," Rubin says.
In line with this advocacy, Pentland launched the Phelps Challenge on its Speedo Fit mobile application in Britain, France and China in December last year, featuring its former ambassador, record-setting Olympic gold medallist, Michael Phelps.
Extending its efforts beyond its brands, Pentland also aims to become a steward of its own business for future generations of its owners. Rubin's grandfather, Berko Rubin, founded the Liverpool Shoe Company in 1932. Today, Pentland has become the largest private company in its sector in Britain that owns and licenses multiple brands.
The Institute for Family Business recognised Pentland as the best family business in Britain in 2008. The company likewise won the 2003 Best Corporate Workplace award and made it to the top 25 of the Best Workplaces 2012 United Kingdom for cultivating a wholesome family atmosphere for employees.
"We have a set of scales, with financial results on one side, and non-financial results, such as measures of culture, the globalisation of our business, the equity of our brands and corporate responsibility, on the other," Rubin says. "We put equal value on both sides of the scale and believe that the measure of real success comes from doing the right thing."