“India is a strong and growing market for Yonex globally,” said Vikramaditya Dhar, managing director, Sunrise Sports India, Yonex’s exclusive distribution partner in India.
Yonex set up its first factory in the country in Bengaluru in 2016. However, it was producing aluminium T-joint racquets, which are used by beginners for fitness or recreation purposes. The new factory in Bengaluru will manufacture graphite racquets that are used by professional badminton players.
The racquets produced in this factory will cater primarily to the Indian market. It will ensure that professional badminton racquets are available at an affordable price in the country.
“We already had a manufacturing unit in Bengaluru where we were manufacturing aluminium steel two-piece racquets. But now, we are setting up a new factory which will be used for the production of high-quality graphite racquets,” said Dhar.
He said the market for both leisure and professional badminton racquets is growing, although the volumes are higher for the former.
Yonex plans to scale up the production of T-joint racquets to 2.5-3 million per year from the existing 1 million.”Demand is very good for racquets because badminton has become the second most popular sport in India,” Dhar said, adding that Yonex has a 75-80% market share in the badminton equipment market in India. “Our market share is high due to the Japanese technology and the legacy of being the premium badminton brand.”
The demand for badminton equipment in the country has been growing 15-20% every year, said Dhar. Yonex has 50 standalone stores in the country, and plans to add 5-10 exclusive stores every year, he said.
“Besides standalone stores, we also have a very strong wholesale and distribution network which is further supplying to thousands of dealers in every state,” said Dhar.