Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 20
Though the Covid pandemic resulted in depressed demand for sports goods due to cancellation of major events globally, the sports cluster in Jalandhar and Meerut witnessed a rise in demand for fitness equipment and indoor games, both in domestic and exports market. This came as a saviour for the industry which was witnessing huge losses.
According to the industry, the cancellation of events across the world has impacted the demand for outdoor sports goods. Also, for the past more than a year, playing outdoor games was virtually not possible with many states under the lockdown or curfew-like curbs. Moreover, since schools and colleges were closed, kids and adults who were working from home preferred indoor games such as carrom, table tennis and boxing.
“The demand in exports and domestic market was hit due to the Covid-induced lockdown. However, the increased demand for indoor games and fitness equipment came as a breather,” said Tarun Dewan, executive director, Sports Goods Export Promotion Council.
“The increase in exports of fitness equipment and indoor games has helped the industry to narrow down the gap in exports compared to 2019-20,” he said.
The growth in exports of Indian sports goods and toys industry showed a positive sign. In 2019-20, the exports recorded by the council (based on returns submitted by the members) was around $174.21 million, up 3% over the previous fiscal. In 2020-21, it was slightly less than that in 2019-20.
Jalandhar and Meerut in Uttar Pradesh are hubs of sports industry, with former contributing 60% to total sales. There are around 500 units.
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