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The roots of Sports Goods Industry in India are in Sialkot, Pakistan. In 1947, when the partition of the country took place, many of the skilled Hindu craftsmen migrated to Indian part of Punjab and settled in Jalandhar where one of the major sports cluster is now located. Later on some of the migrants shifted to Meerut. The sports Goods Industry of India is spread over the length and breadth of the country. It is located in Jalandhar, Meerut, Delhi, Gurgaon, Agra, Mumbai, Moradabad and Kolkata. The industry is concentrated largely in Meerut and Jalandhar. Punjab and Meerut have emerged as the leading centers for sports goods manufacture and the only industry which appears to offer some prospects is sports goods industry of Punjab, Meerut is yet to be powerful. (Chander Mohan, 2002). Both Meerut and Jalandhar together claim more than 80% of the domestic market. A major share of all India’s output is accounted for by these two centers (Pandit, 1985, p.116)
The sports goods industry is mainly concentrated in the cottage and small scale sector. The industry is highly labour intensive, provides employment to weaker sections of the society. Sports Goods Industry is highly labour intensive industry consists miniature workshops with the exception of medium and large scale units. (Sharma, 1991, p.10).
The industry has shown a tremendous growth over the last ten decades. The exports of sports goods industry can be seen as:
The Indian sports goods export has shown an increasing trend.
It manufactures approximately 318 items (Manzoor Ahmad, p. 4). Today many of the Indian manufacturers are producing the products under their own brand name. They are also producing for other international sports brands. The major item that are exported are Inflatable balls, Hammocks, Cricket Bats, Boxing Equipments and Protective Equipments. The item wise export of sports goods for 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 is as follows:
The largest component of export is Inflatable balls which accounts for 29% of total exports followed by Hammocks which accounts for 9% and cricket bats accounting for 8%.
The total domestic market for various sports goods is estimated to be around Rs. 170 crores of which cricket related items account for 70% of the market share. (Exim Bank, 1998).
The production structure of the industry consists of four levels:
Big units which mainly cover export market apart from supplying goods to domestic market.
Small units which manufactures only for domestic market or as per the orders of exporters.
Sub contractors who are catering to the demand of these big and small units and producing exclusively as per the orders received.
Household workers who are producing goods at home. Some of them obtain raw material directly from the factories while some of them produce as pr the orders of subcontractors. These workers are paid in piece rate basis.
4.2 SPORTS GOODS CLUSTER OF JALANDHAR
Jalandhar is an important city of Punjab located in the doaba region. It is located between two rivers i.e. Satluj and Beas. It is also situated between two important cities of Punjab i.e. Ludhiana (70 kms) and Amritsar (60 kms). Jalandhar is also a city of location of two important clusters of handtools and the leather cluster. Apart from these two clusters, Sports Goods Cluster is also located at Jalandhar. Today more than 50% of India’s export of sports goods is from Jalandhar alone (As per the records of SGEPC, Delhi). The emergence of sports goods cluster of Jalandhar can be divided into two parts:-
Sports Goods Cluster before Independence
Sports Goods Cluster after Independence
4.2.1 Sports Goods Cluster before Independence
The origin of sports goods cluster of Jalandhar can be traced back to Sialkot (now in Pakistan). Prior to partition of the country, Sialkot was the sports goods production centre. Sialkot is located in foothills of Himalayas. The wood required for manufacturing of sports items was available in large quantity. The credit for introducing cricket in India goes to British army. As the number of British people increases, the demand for sports equipments also increases. After sometime, middle class families of India also get increased in playing the games. But the increased demand of sports equipments could not be easily fulfilled by those items which are imported from England. Further, their prices were also high and an average Indian cannot afford it as the cost of transportation was very high. The first item to be manufactured was a tennis racquet by the firm Uberai Ltd. in 1888. This firm was founder of sports industry in India (Sharma, 1990, p.16). According to a myth, sports goods industry starts in Sialkot, when a british man broke his tennis racquet. Due to unavailability of immediate replacement, a local person Mr. Ganda Singh Uberai, a clerk in army was asked to get it repair. Mr, Ganda called a local artisan to repair racquet. The man did a perfect job and sports goods industry comes into existence. There was manufacturing of only racquet on small scale till 1895. Then with the passage of time, with the spread of education in India, various European games like cricket, badminton and squash gained popularity in Indian educational institutions and encouraged the production of sports goods related to these games (Sharma, 1990, p.16).The product range further expanded to include cricket and hockey balls, footballs, polo sticks etc. By that time, many workers get training in Uberio Ltd. and start setting up their own units. By the time of partition, Sialkot has earned a reputed name as manufacturer of sports goods. In 1946-47, sports goods worth Rs. 3 crore were exported from this centre and industry was estimated to employ 40000 to 45000 workers directly and indirectly (Pandit, 1985, p116)
4.2.2 Sports Goods Cluster after Independence
In 1947, due to partition of the country, Sialkot becomes a part of Pakistan. The entrepreneurs belonging to one community decides to shift from Sialkot. The workers belonging to that community also migrated along with the entrepreneurs. As per the resettlement plan of Government of India, initially these migrants settled in Batala in Punjab, which was near to Sialkot and close to hills where the wood required for manufacturing sports items could be grown. But as per resettlement plan of Government of India, these people shift from Batala to Jalandhar. Jalandhar was found to be suitable place for manufacturing sports items due to its location near the foothills of Himalayas which assured regular supply of wood and further the presence of leather cluster assured regular supply of leather. At Jalandhar, both of the raw material required were easily available. Some of the migrants shifted to Merutt, where also both wood and leather were available. The migrants located at Jalandhar started manufacturing of sports items and flourished as a cluster consisting of a number of firms working together.
Jalandhar industry is located traditionally in two localities, Basti Nau and Basti Sheikh. With the growth of industry, many firms start up their units in the adjoining areas of Basti Danishmandan, Nakodar road etc. The workers working in the industry are settled in Bhargav camp, Gandhi camp and Basti Danishmandan. Now entrepreneurs have started setting up modern units in Surgical and Sports Goods Complex, industrial area, located on the highway to the city. However the network of traditional business process is so strong that even these firms have their offices in Basti Nau and Basti Sheikh- the traditional location.
4.3 MAJOR PRODUCTS OF THE CLUSTER
Sports goods is a wider term and any item which is used for sporting activities is also included in this term. A number of products are covered under this category. The various sports goods can be classified into following sectors:
A. Inflatable Balls
2. Soft leather goods
4. Water Polo balls
5. Base balls
6. Volley Balls
7. Tennis balls
8. Rugby balls
9. Hand balls
10. Punch balls
11. Golf and Billiard balls
12. Net balls
B. Sports Equipment
1. Cricket equipment
2. Hockey equipment
3. Badminton, Tennis & Squash Rackets
4. Children’s playing games and toys
5. Shuttle cocks
6. Exercise and Gymnastic equipments
7. Sports nets
8. Carrom boards
9. Chessman and Chess boards
10. Athletic equipment
11. Metal Trophies and medals
12. Lawn and Table Tennis equipment
13. Rolling skates
14. Skipping ropes
15. Weight lifting equipment
16. Health & Fitness equipment
17. Club equipment
18. Playground equipment
C. Sports Wears
1. Shirts, trousers, track suits
2. Ties, bags and badges
3. Sports shoes
D. Sports Protective Gears
1. Protective equipment Arm & Leg guards, Head guard, Chest guard
2. Shin Guard
4. Hand gloves
5. Boxing gloves and boots
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