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Indian Sports Textile Industry - An Overview

With the recipe for growth in place, India is poised to be a sporting nation.

Indian Super League
Tournaments like the ISL is transforming the sports culture in India

Indian sports industry has gone through a metamorphosis of sorts over the last decade. Indian sports has scaled newer heights in terms of on-field performances and the same has translated into off-field business growth. ‘Sports Industry’ in other words implies the potential to earn high dividends from multiple sporting sub-segments (tourism, export, textiles, medical, etc.) through large scale employment and immense market opportunities.  

The time now is perfect to facilitate investment mobility so as to enable corporate houses currently involved in sports to advance to profit oriented sporting ventures, while those who are not, can consider the Sports Industry as an ideal avenue for CSR activities.

Indian sporting industry has had a unique growth curve, where local artisans are directly linked to the growth of the segment. Currently, most of the Sports Textile material is being imported to India, as there are only a few domestic manufacturers in this segment. It is forecasted that there will be a huge demand-supply gap in India in near future.

The Indian sporting goods industry is a highly labour-intensive segment concentrated primarily in the small-scale and cottage industries, where most units employ women as well. The consumption of products in this segment are dependent on tournaments and the popularity of a particular sport, along with the number and destination of these tournaments. 

The industry exports one-third of its production to countries like Germany, USA and Australia. With the increasing popularity of various sports and favourable perception on growing sports segments, the industry has received a boost because of tournaments. 

The Indian Premier League, Pro Kabaddi League, Hockey India League, Indian Super League and Indian Badminton League have played a pivotal role in transforming the identity and reinforcing the culture of sports in India.

The sports industry has since, grown extensively —from Rs. 43.7 billion in 2013 to Rs. 48 billion ($713 million) in 2015. International events like the Commonwealth games being hosted in India has also been a favourable factor. The current market size of sports composites is estimated to grow at the rate of 7 % per annum to Rs 410 crore by 2012-13.

At present, the units in Jalandhar account for around 60% of the production of sports goods in India, units in Meerut account for another 20% production and the remaining 20% of the production is contributed by other units spread all over India. India also produces a major chunk of technical textile products used in sports and leisure. The industry produces ballooning fabrics, sleeping bags, sports shoes, parachute fabrics, etc. which is slated to be at a worth of US$ 755.1 million in 2009-10 with sports footwear component comprising around 80% share of the market.

With the recipe for growth in place, India is poised to be a sporting nation at sports sponsorship market size amounting to INR 5,185.4 Cr. growing rapidly at 12.3% in 2015 and contributing 10.4% of Indian ADEX. The numbers here tell a story – a story of burgeoning sporting business ecosystem which, unlike in the recent past, is not solely dependent on a singular sport; a story of the long distance traversed towards growth in a short period of time and the long distance yet to be covered to harvest the true potential of Sports Industry in India.

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