Japanese performance sportswear brand Asics, is looking to increasing its presence in India adding 20 more stores by 2018. The company, which sells footwear and apparels through the franchise model, is also keeping options open to start own stores once it meets 30 per cent local sourcing requirements under the current FDI policy in retail.

It is also intensifying presence on e-commerce platforms while growing business through regional distribution channels to cater to growing demand in tier II cities. Asics India Managing Director Rajat Khurana says at present there are 22 mono-brand stores, of which seven were opened in the first half of the year. Another seven will be opened in the second half and will continue to focus on opening mono- brand stores, growth and other channels.

Besides, Asics India will increase business through distribution channels and multibrand outlets like Reliance Footprint to cater to smaller cities beyond metro. He further added the FDI policy does not allow them to open stores unless the company confirms to the 30 per cent local sourcing norm and would like a combination of both stores and franchises. The company began local sourcing in India three seasons back for apparels starting from spring-summer 2016 collection and it has also started some footwear recently, he added.

It would take at least 3-4 years to reach that 30 per cent, considering the current dynamics of local sourcing, says Khurana. Admitting that the company has been a late entrant in the Indian market, he says Asics would be taking up marketing campaigns, including its global campaign 'I Move Me' in India with a focus to reach out to a broader audience through traditional media and the digital medium.