Leading sporting equipment maker Yonex is expanding its manufacturing footprint in India. The Japanese major will begin selling made-in-India carbon graphite racquets, in a bid to offer them at more affordable price points. 

Yonex is a sporting goods brand known for manufacturing carbon graphite goods, ranging from badminton and tennis racquets to golf clubs among others. The company set up a factory in Bengaluru in 2016 and has been making aluminium T-joint racquets in India. These are used by beginners who play for fitness or recreation purposes.

Focus market

Vikramaditya Dhar, Managing Director, Sunrise Sports India Pvt Ltd, said Yonex is making substantial investments in setting up new capacity for manufacturing of graphite racquets. “ India is a key focus market for Yonex. The first production output of these made-in-India graphite racquets is slated for April-May period. There is growing demand for high-technology racquets in India with the increasing popularity of Badminton,” he added.

Sunrise Sports is the leading sports distributor of Yonex products in the Indian sub-continent.

Demand for high-quality racquets is growing by 10-15 per cent year-on-year in India.

“These racquets are for players that play in academies and have started playing at a competitive level. Import costs and fluctuations in currency exchange rates impact the prices of sports goods products. By making them in India, the brand will be able to offer these high-technology racquets at more affordable price points. We expect lowering of prices by nearly 20 per cent, which will make them more accessible,” Dhar added.

Big market

In a statement, Ben Yoneyama, Chairman, Yonex Japan, said, “India is a big market for badminton with its growing economy and interest in the sport. A lot of Indian players are performing really well on the world stage, encouraging more to take up the sport. We want to cater to that audience and provide the highest Japanese quality equipment to further the sport’s development.”

Meanwhile, the sports goods maker said it also aims to increase the production capacity of existing T-joint racquets from 1 million to 2.5-3 million per year.