India's Sports Manufacturing Industry: Driving Economic Growth and Exporting Excellence
As a nation developing at an unprecedented pace, India’s sporting goods needs have been rising rapidly and consistently. The industry has flourished, driven by a gifted labour force consequently known for its role in creating employment and adding to the nation's economy. 60 percent of Indian sporting goods are exported and around 500,000 people are employed in the sports goods manufacturing sector in India.
The sports goods industry is highly competitive globally due to the presence of numerous established multinational companies. India has made significant progress in boosting its soft power and has become a major player in the sporting goods sector, ranking as the third largest manufacturer in Asia. India exports a variety of sporting goods including inflatable balls, general exercise equipment, cricket gear, sportswear, and more to over 200 countries, including the US, China, the UK, and Australia. Major international brands such as Mitre, Umbro, and Wilson source their inflatable balls and other sports goods from India. In FY 22, India was the second largest producer of bicycles globally and the export value of bicycles and related components from India reached over $ 461 Mn.
The government aims to transform India into a global sporting powerhouse with a long-term impact on health, education, and tourism by undertaking mega-sports infrastructure projects and encouraging investments through the public-private partnership (PPP) model. To boost the sporting goods manufacturing sector, the government has established the Sports Goods Export Promotion Council (SGEPC), dedicated to promoting India's sports goods exports. SGEPC regularly organizes both international and domestic trade events to provide Indian manufacturers with exposure to global market trends and a platform to showcase their products. The Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme and the Remission of Duties and Exported Products (RoDTEP) scheme have been implemented to promote the export of Indian goods and services.
In recent years, India has seen an influx of sports-focused start-ups. With the growing importance of sports, many entrepreneurs have ventured into the industry to cater to the needs of athletes and sports enthusiasts. These startups are attracting investment from venture capitalists and other investors, contributing to the growth of the sports manufacturing industry. The sports sector in India is expected to see continued growth through start-ups as the market is still in its early stages. These start-ups offer a range of services such as online ticket purchasing, prediction games, and the provision of high-quality sports and fitness products and equipment. These sports start-ups are primarily focused on delivering sports-related services and products to people in the country.
The Indian sports goods’ market is estimated to grow to $ 6.6 billion by 2027 from $ 3.9 bn. in 2020-21. The key sports goods manufacturing clusters will play an important role in reaching growth targets. India consists of 7 major sporting goods manufacturing cities. Cluster cities for sports goods manufacturing Jalandhar and Meerut account for ~ 82 percent of total production and host more than 3000 manufacturing units and 130 exporters owing to their expertise. Currently, most sports and fitness goods are produced through small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
Indian sports manufacturing sector has come a long way from being just a provider of basic sports equipment to a full-fledged producer of world-class sports goods. With advancements in technology, the sector will be able to produce innovative products that cater to the needs of sports enthusiasts across the world. The increasing demand for sports equipment globally presents a huge opportunity for the Indian Sports manufacturing sector to make its mark on the world stage.