Steelbird pads up for innings on cricket-helmet pitch

Nandana James Mumbai | Updated on June 27, 2019 Published on June 27, 2019

Steelbird has proposed to have ISI standards for its helmets   -  PeopleImages

The company is targeting sales of 20,000 cricket helmets in the first year of its launch

Steelbird Hi-tech India, manufacturer of helmets for the automobile industry, will venture into the cricket helmets segment in the next three months. The company hopes to acquire the top spot as a cricket helmet brand by the next financial year, said Rajeev Kapur, MD, Steelbird Hi-tech India. Steelbird is also targeting a revenue of ₹1,000 crore by FY23.

The company is targeting sales of 20,000 cricket helmets in the first year of its launch. Kapur said he wants the cricket helmets to be as important as automotive helmets.

Steelbird had recently announced a ₹150-crore investment for the expansion of its manufacturing plants in Baddi, Himachal Pradesh. The plants will be spread across 6,00,000 sq ft and are expected to be ready by August 2019.

The plants are also expected to have an average production capacity of 44,500 helmets a day.

The company has a market share of 30 per cent in the organised segment of automotive helmets. The organised helmet industry for the automobiles sector manufactures 20 million units in a year.

On venturing into the cricket helmets sector, Kapur said that the company, in its submisison to the government, has proposed having ISI standards for its helmets. There are no such standards governing cricket helmets currently, he added.

Other standards include protection from inside and static grills for the helmets as an additional safety measure. One such helmet model will be initially launched in all sizes and will be equipped with three kinds of grills: powder coated, stainless steel and titanium.

Currently, cricketers in India use a European brand called Masuri, which is widely used by international players as well. The other prominent brand is the Indian brand Shrey, said Kapur. Steelbird’s cricket helmets would be positioned as the most lightweight and safest, which comply with all the international standards of safety and quality, he added.

An investment of ₹2 crore will be made in the sector. These helmets will also be manufactured in one of the three helmet plants that Steelbird has in Baddi. The investment will be mostly directed towards dies and moulds, design, tools, and testing equipment. There are plans to export these cricket helmets by the next financial year.

Published on June 27, 2019
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