FT Special

Forget Adidas, Nike, Puma; India has its very own sports brand Shiv-Naresh.

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Shiv-Naresh making a mark in Indian sportswear market

Shiv-Naresh – The Indian National Hockey team sports it, so do Football clubs East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan. Eminent personalities from the Indian sports scenario like Vijender Singh, Mary Kom, Yuvraj Singh and Abhinav Bindra are its ambassadors.

It is nothing but India’s first indigenous sports brand of a top level, Shiv-Naresh. With a turnover of Rs 69 crore last year, Shiv-Naresh has been quick to impress the consumers and has made for itself a special spot on the heart of Indian sports fans.

It could easily be considered to be meek and puny in front of its illustrious competitors like Nike, Adidas, and Puma. However, what makes the brand so special is its 75-year-old chairman and founder RK Singh, who has himself been a national-level athlete.

Having struggled for good sports apparel back in the 1970s, Singh decided to fill in this void for future Indian sports stars. He started out as a tailor with the Delhi Cloth Mills and soon established his own store in West Delhi’s Karampura. In 1991, Singh set up a factory on the outskirts of New Delhi, in Samaypur Badli.

He concocted a technique and strategy by focusing on sports persons since being an athlete himself he recognized precisely what they needed. This gave him an edge over other so-called fashionable brands.

His image is now unmistakable at both national games affiliations and neighborhood sports clubs and akharas.

The company is named after his two sons-Shiv and Naresh. Both of them now help their father run the business. While Naresh looks after production, Shiv is in charge or marketing and sales.

RK Singh takes immense pride in this company and treats all his employees as family. The brand now boasts of five factories and is all set to become the go-to brand for Indian athletes across sporting disciplines.

It also has a strong presence on e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart.

With such giant global competitors, It will be interesting to watch an Indian sportswear company taking over the world.