Home Fashion Danish footwear brand hummel looks to gain strong foothold in India

Danish footwear brand hummel looks to gain strong foothold in India


The inventors of the football stud, hummel, have recently stepped into the Indian market. The brand, which has already been running a substantial part of its production from India, has now decided to sell its wares in the country as well.

hummel: The bumblebee flies to India
The brand made their foray in the e-commerce space in India to test waters and now after a couple of successful ‘beta testing’ months, is sought to launch in China in a month or two

Currently available in India on Jabong and Myntra, hummel is a Danish footwear and sportswear brand with deep roots in making shoes for football and handball players.

Unlike most brands, which first look at China and then consider moving into India, hummel has decided to go the other way around. The brand has forayed in the e-commerce space in India to test waters and now after a couple of successful ‘beta testing’ months, has sought to launch itself in China in a couple of months’ time.

In an interview with Indiaretailing Bureau, Christian Stadil, Owner Thornico Group and hummel International said, “India is a broad prospect for us. We want to explore the diverse culture and ethos of the country, which are a part of the Karma that we so believe in at Thornico. The progress of India as an economy excites us a lot. The GDP growth of India as compared to other markets is highly impressive. Most importantly, there is a huge potential for an alternate sports brand with a different offering than the existing mainstream sports brand.”

Under the leadership of Stadil, who took charge in 1999, hummel has incorporated ‘Company Karma’; a business model which looks to utilize sports to promote change in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities. This move has transformed the company from a simple sports brand into one of the most socially responsible corporate entities on the planet.

With a very high retention rate, hummel ranks in the top league of all available sports brand selling on both Jabong and Myntra.

In addition to its existing collection, considering India’s diversity, hummel is looking to come up with a more vibrant collection to cater to the colorful palette of the Indian audience.

CEO Allan Vad Nielsen said, “India is one of the top most focus market for the brand, hummel. We will create branded content and products for the Indian market because we are here to stay.”

Elaborating further, he said, “India ranks very high in our list of priorities. With rising sports and fitness consciousness among Indians, it is our mission to introduce the best sportswear apparel in India. Our products have evoked huge response on e-commerce platforms such as Jabong, Myntra and have been able to grow the brand which is based on trust, resilience and durability among our fitness conscious Indians. We aim to build the highest-quality sportswear brand and are committed to the competitive athletes and teams who value high-quality fabrics with functionality to create the ultimate performance gear.”

The SS’18 collection of the brand is inspired by colors and the spirit of ‘anything goes’. hummel is all set to feature two new premium colorful collections this summer, namely Diamant and Fay. Both the collections are ideal for an active lifestyle. Starting from a range of Rs 1,099 to Rs 5,499, the brand has all options available on their e-commerce partners platforms.

Going forward, the brand is looking forward to source 100 percent from India and is scouting for offline retail partners to set up brick-and-mortar stores.

Initially, hummel will be setting up shops in major malls of the country.

A Strong Foothold in India

To carve a niche for themselves in the Indian retail industry, hummel has recently appointed Soumava Naskar (Som), Head Business Development, India. In his last tryst as Head, Brand Marketing at Jabong, Som has been awarded ‘Most influential Martech Leaders’ by the World Marketing Congress and Top 50 most influential e-commerce professionals in India’ at the 14th edition of the Asia Retail Congress (CMO Asia).

Speaking about his new role, Som said, “hummel is one of those rare sports brands with a strong character, it’s my privilege to be part of the India story.” In his new role, Som will report to Henrik Svenning, Chief Business Development Officer, hummel.

Svenning said, “We are excited about the Indian market and are looking to invest in becoming one of the major players in the sports and lifestyle category in coming years. As a brand, we believe in changing the world through sports and we see many wonderful collaboration opportunities in India.”

Tracing hummel’s History

Established in 1923, hummel has a long history of creating sportswear. Both defining and defined by the Danish design tradition, hummel works with clean lines, but also with a mad love for the edgy look and strong color combinations. Since 2006, the brand has also been engaged in producing fashionable trainers and today, hummel shoes stand as a strong alternative to the convention with a passion for fun and catchy designs and vibrant colors. The collections also reflect the significant sports heritage drawing on classic sports styles from the brand’s own archives.

Christian Stadil revealed, “It is one of the oldest sports brand in the world. One rainy afternoon back in 1923, Albert Messmer, a football fan and a fine boot maker, was distraught seeing the conditions of the players who had no control on their moves and were rendered helpless in the muddy waters of the field. This reminded him of the bumblebee which flies despite its weight. He worked tirelessly to perfect the shoe that would make the footballers akin to the bumblebee, known as hummel in the German language. Thus, came the first ever football studs and is a tribute to the bumblebee that never gave up despite its weight.”

hummel currently manufactures apparel for football, futsal, handball, basketball, shinty and volleyball. The company also produces footwear for football and handball.

According to Stadil, hummel sponsors internationally recognized football teams like the Danish and Afghan national football teams, Charlton Athletic FC, SC Freiburg, Christiania SC, Brøndby IF, V-Varen Nagasaki, Jeonbuk Hyundai and SpVgg Greuther Fürth. “In the world of handball, hummel sponsors star players like Mikkel Hansen, Daniel Narcisse, Paul Drux and Victor Tomás, while teams like Vive Tauron Kielce, Füchse Berlin, MVM Veszprém KC, and RK Vardar all play in hummel chevrons.”

What Makes hummel Stand Apart?

Over the years, hummel has initiated and supported several projects focusing on changing the world through sport by sponsorship in poor and war-torn countries; always with the hope to build bridges and help pave the way for a better tomorrow. For hummel, sport is more than a physical activity. It is a universal language with the strength to eliminate differences in politics, culture, religion and beliefs.

The brand trusts that it can make a real change in the world by using sport to create borderless understanding, respect and unity. From Afghanistan to Sierra Leone, it supports projects that help people live out their passion for sport. In a connected world, the leadership at hummel believes this will act as a boomerang of positive change for all.

hummel operates on the motto to ‘Change the world through sport’. This has taken the brand to uncharted territories, places where other brands have not ventured. While many brand campaigns feature underdogs, the focus is always on winning, but for hummel sport doesn’t only mean winning. The brand says sport isn’t about finishing first, it’s about finishing together.

“Overcoming boundaries and parameters set by communities and the audience, hummel has broken all stereotypes where other brands fail. This is majorly reflected in their sponsorship for the National Amputee team of Sierra Leone (hummel has given people the power to hope even through wars and lost limbs) and also by designing the first ever hijab jersey to encourage the women of Afghanistan to play football and again bring hope where it seems bleak. The Afghanistan Women’s football team has won some and lost some matches, but they are making a much larger impact in the world. They have championed a cause and broken a barrier. That in itself is an achievement. Path breaking, is not a new term for hummel, it is engrained deep in our nature as well as culture,” concluded Nielsen.