CEO Chirag Patel’s 2023 reflections and confidence for 2024

Chirag Patel

Despite the challenging environment in 2023, Pentland Brands CEO Chirag Patel believes that the strength of our people and brands have been the key to success in 2023 and will unlock growth in the future. Here, he shares his view on our most remarkable moments from 2023 and how we plan to drive success in 2024 

What were the stand-out moments from 2023? 

“It was another great year for our brands, with some big wins through products and campaigns that inspired consumers and added value to communities. 

Canterbury launched its successful Speed Infinite Elite Boot, an ultralight boot designed to meet rugby players’ modern needs. It also led a successful campaign in support of the Ireland Rugby team, uniting Irish fans in packed-out stadiums across France at the Rugby World Cup.   

Innovation has always been at the core of Speedo, and the launch of its Biofuse 2.0 goggles and pioneering Fastskin® LZR® Intent and LZR Valor swimsuits were big milestones for the brand. Both these products elevate the swimming experience for its consumers, making the best even better. 

I’m also proud to see how Berghaus continued its positive business journey, repairing an incredible 15,000 items through its free repairs service. As the first brand within the Pentland Brands portfolio to achieve B Corp status, it’s paving the way for our other brands to follow.”

How important is positive business at Pentland Brands? 

“For us, success is measured from both a financial perspective and against our 100-1-0 positive business targets, and I’m proud of the progress we’ve made this past year.     

Since November 2021, we’ve helped 34 million consumers live healthy, active, sustainable lives and improved the lives of 298,000 people in our communities. 

We also partnered with Segura, a technology platform to help us drive more transparency and traceability, and held our first-ever global vendor roadshow, bringing together 50 of our key vendors to discuss innovation, sustainability and how we can build brands fit for the future.” 

What challenges did we face in 2023 and how did we overcome them?  

“It was another tough year in terms of operating within a volatile external environment because of the cost of living crisis and inflation in many of the markets we operate in. Our response has been to look at how we can be sharper in our business operations and how we can improve our forecasting accuracy, constantly adjusting our plans in response to what’s happening around us.”

How will our brands remain competitive in the year ahead?  

“As there will be continued economic volatility, spending will continue to be tight for consumers in many of our markets. With less consumer spending, we’ll have to ensure we’re delivering the best products. This past year, we saw how incredible products strengthened our brands and I’m excited to see what will happen in 2024. 

Behind our brands are our people. I believe they are our biggest asset and will be key to unlocking the fantastic potential of our brands and drive future success.” 

How do you see our ways of working evolving in the coming year?  

“In 2024, we’re excited to invest in new global workspaces, including starting a new chapter for our London-based teams in Farringdon next year. This will be a world-class space in the beating heart of London where our global teams can connect and collaborate. As a worldwide business, we’re constantly working on building a more effective global community.” 

Going into 2024, how do you see our brands pioneering and making life better?  

“Our brands will continue to focus on delivering cutting-edge, innovative products that improve our consumers’ lives, whether that’s on their walk to school, at a music festival or competing in a sports match. By really understanding our brands’ consumers’ needs, we can deliver unbeatable propositions to meet those needs.  

Next year will be a momentous occasion for Team Speedo and the athletes competing in its new Fastskin® swimsuits. Meanwhile, Berghaus’ Extrem range will no doubt be worn by more mountaineers and climbers taking on the elements in challenging environments. 

We’re also excited about our brand’s global growth potential, particularly for Speedo in China, Endura in the US and Berghaus in Germany. 

I believe that 2024 is going to be a great year for our brands and can’t wait to see our business go from strength to strength, delivering more category-leading products and cutting-edge campaigns as we continue to evolve and grow.”