9,979.10152.95
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Lost opportunity for Punjab’s sports gear industry

Manufacturers of Jalandhar were flooded with enquiries from across the globe, primarily Europe and the US, till last month as buyers looked for alternative supply sources after China shut down factories following Covid-19 outbreak.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Mar 30, 2020, 08.10 AM IST
0Comments
7
Exporters claim that their entire export business had come to a standstill.
NEW DELHI: What looked like an opportunity until a month ago has now turned into a disappointment for sports equipment and accessory manufacturers of Jalandhar.

Manufacturers in this hub of India’s sports gear trade were flooded with enquiries from across the globe, primarily Europe and the US, till last month as buyers looked for alternative supply sources after China shut down factories following Covid-19 outbreak.

With the virus outbreak spreading to the rest of the world with countries cancelling or postponing sporting events and asking citizens to stay indoors, prospective customers have stopped turning enquiries into orders. In fact, existing clients too have told manufacturers in the Punjab city to put the orders placed in advance on hold.

Not just exports, the Covid-19 outbreak has also hurt domestic demand for sports gear, with closure of schools, malls and clubhouses and people on account of nationwide lockdown.

ET spoke to a number of sports gear manufacturers, who shared their woes and apprehensions on account of uncertainty prevailing in market due to the coronavirus outbreak. While exporters claim that their entire export business had come to a standstill, those dealing in domestic sales are keeping their fingers crossed.

“In January, there was an exhibition in Europe for sports garments and accessories. We received an overwhelming response and orders started pouring in,” said Ashok Katyal of Sakay Traders and Sakay Overseas, who exports sports garments and accessories, chiefly sports shoes. “But in the past fortnight, all clients, ranging from France, Italy and even Poland, have suspended their orders. They have informed us that due to shutdowns (in their countries), no letters of credit can be opened.”

Aman Chopra of Shant Sports Industries said: “Import of over 50-60 products from China has virtually stalled in the past month.” These include gymnasium balls, ab-rollers and other sports products. Domestic production has also suffered a blow since upcoming IPL matches and academy cricket matches stand deferred. Hence, the demand for cricket bats, leg guards to sports apparels has nosedived.”

Savi International director Mukul Verma, however, senses a longterm opportunity the country could utilise, saying, “The local sports industry witnessed a mild jump of around 5-10% in orders after China failed to supply sports accessories for over a month. However, the local industry also suffered due to delay of supply of raw material from China. India should create the right infrastructure and facilities.”
(Catch all the Business News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on The Economic Times.)
Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service