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Yonex set to make carbon graphite rackets in India


Japanese sports equipment maker Yonex said it will expand its production capacity in India to produce all-carbon graphite badminton rackets to tap the fast-growing market. The company currently produces only aluminum two-piece racquets for beginners in the country.

“A lot of people in India and quite a few are playing randomly at club level. Vikramaditya Dhar, managing director of Sunrise Sports India Pvt. by Sunrise and Co. headquartered in Singapore, distributor of Yonex products in several Southeast Asian markets.

Dhar did not disclose the possibility of investing in the new venture, but said the new capacity would be built on a 5-acre site.

Previously, this company imported all Yonex racquets used by professional players in India. “This will be a gradual transition for us from importing and we will start with small capacity and then scale up. Ultimately, this new category will account for about 20% of all racquets sold in the future. We are currently producing around 800,000-90,000 entry-level racquets here,” added Dhar.

The company currently operates around 50 franchised stores in India. It earns 5-8% of its revenue from online channels. But it does not intend to increase the number of its stores.

Yonex Sunrise also has a 5-year relationship with the Badminton Association in India and is a sponsor of all its tournaments.

Sure, Yonex lost two top ambassadors — PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi — in 2018. But Dhar says that’s part of the business. In recent years, Chinese rival Li Ning has become a formidable opponent to undisputed leader Yonex, with whom Sindhu has signed. $50 million deal.

“Finally, our sponsorship is very dynamic for all the new players that show up. Beyond the players, it’s also about the development of the sport itself, not just the players themselves,” Dhar said.

According to IMARC Group, India’s sports and fitness wear market hit the $1.93 billion mark in 2021 and is expected to grow to around $3 billion by 2027, recording a compounded growth rate. is 8.5% annually.

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