Market Growth, Manufacturers – Industry Snapshot


If one looks to the trends, India is slowly moving away from its love of cricket to a wide variety of sports such as Kabaddi, football and badminton among others. This has resulted in an unprecedented boom in viewership, participation, and sports-related industries.

This has translated into new business opportunities for investors turning to the Indian market, from branding and infrastructure to emerging technologies, niche businesses and services.

However, one of the main drivers of this “sports revolution” in the country is the sports product manufacturing industry. India’s favorable economic climate, increasing disposable income and changing fitness outlook are fueling increased demand for sports-related goods and services. Add to this the favorable business climate generated by various government efforts like Make in India, and the manufacturing sector is suddenly very optimistic in the country. (India dropped from below 100 to 77 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business)

Investment opportunities in the sports industry are spread across the entire supply chain which includes the manufacturing, retailing and advertising of equipment and apparel.

Growth engines for the Indian sports industry

The Indian government has specifically focused on developing the country’s sports sector with the aim of creating jobs, generating income and hence attracting investment to the country, in addition to nurturing sports talent.

The federal government has set aside a budget of Rs 1,756 crore for its’Khelo India‘(Play India) for the period 2018-2020. Up to 1,000 young athletes are expected to benefit from the program. It also plans to rigorously promote sports participation at various school and college levels.

This is the most important factor why the consumption of sports equipment in India is expected to increase dramatically in the coming years.

Current scenario of sports equipment manufacturing in India

Currently, up to 60% of all Indian sports equipment manufactured here is exported, according to the All India Sports Goods Manufacturers Federation. This is especially true with international retail brands like Miter, Umbro, Lotto, and Wilson.

India is a labor intensive economy and this is exactly what offers countless opportunities for sports equipment manufacturing companies looking to establish a foothold in the country.
In numbers, more than 500,000 people are currently employed in the retail and sports manufacturing sector alone, with the potential for further growth.

Also read | How to Start Your Own Sports Business – Tips and Ideas

Sports manufacturing is mainly concentrated near the northern states of India, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, while others, such as West Bengal, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, are catching up quickly. The federal government, under the “Make in India” program, also offers various tax and location-based incentives to manufacturers.

Case study: Meerut

SG’s emblematic factory (Credits Livemint)

Meerut can safely be regarded as the standard bearer in the manufacture of sports equipment. It is already known as the global hub for the manufacture of premium cricket equipment. However, the northern Indian city is trying to branch out from this beacon to accommodate other areas such as athletics, fitness, gym and other high end equipment. The city has provided javelin throws in various prestigious competitions such as the Asian Games Jakarta 2018.

Today, Meerut hosts 15 major brands in the sports equipment market, including weightlifting, sportswear, table tennis, gymnastics, fitness and bodybuilding.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the gross value of sporting goods exported in 2017-18 was 1,079 crore.

The city of Uttar Pradesh alone contributes about 45% of India’s sports equipment export market. The Meerut industry collectively employs just over 25,000 workers, according to industry estimates, thus proving to be a major employer there.

The emergence of private leagues

Over the years, the sport has proven to be a solid and pure entertainer when it comes to fan engagement. As a result, over the past decade India has experienced a boom in the development of large private sports leagues.

The trend that was started by the Indian Premier League in cricket quickly spread to other sports as well with the Indian Super League (football), Premier Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League, etc., soon following suit. not.

These leagues have not only grown in size over the years, but their fan base has grown as well. A swollen fan base is a marker of two things – first a bright future for the sport and second, an increase in income from allied sources. And indeed, one of those sources is the sale of goods.

Thus, traditional sub-sectors such as manufacturing and promotion are bound to snowball due to an ever-increasing demand for quality sporting goods.


The growing presence of the private sector is shaping the investments as well as collaborative practices in the Indian sport sector judiciously. Established foreign organizations like Vivo, Nike, Nivia and Adidas are investing heavily in niche sports like Kabaddi, football and hockey through funding and sponsorship. This goes a long way in leveraging brand recognition and advertising opportunities.

It goes without saying that this is the best time for future investors looking to enter the Indian sports market, especially the sports equipment manufacturing industry, with favorable federal policies, public and economic climate. , which makes it a low risk proposition.

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