The leading sportsperson including Mary Kom, Sardar Singh, Vijender Singh, Sushil Kumar, the Indian hockey team, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal football teams, are brand connoisseurs of Shiv-Naresh. The dup has been expanding quietly in the Indian sportswear market. Based in West Delhi’s Karampura, the company's showroom and office is quite simple unlike its illustrious competitors like Nike, Adidas and Puma. Yet, they have a huge sports -celebrity consumer connect. Clocking a turnover of Rs 69 crores last year, Shiv-Naresh has made quick inroads into sports circles.
Making a mark in India
The reason for such an illustrious consumer base goes to its 75-year-old chairman and founder RK Singh, himself an athlete. During his days, he used to travel to Patiala to buy the right kind of shorts. This and other similar experiences led him to set up Shiv-Naresh. He devised a clever strategy by directly targeting sportspersons since being an athlete himself he knows what they want. With this strategy, his brand is visible at both national sports associations and local sports clubs and akharas. The company has always strived to offer sportspersons the best-quality apparel. Singh started this company with wife Kusum in 1980 and, at present, employs around 600 people.
Named after his two sons, Shiv and Naresh, the elder, Shiv, looks after marketing and sales, while Naresh is in charge of production. He set up a small factory-cum-shop in 1987. As demand increased, the factory was shifted to a larger place at Samaypur Badli on the outskirts of Delhi. After that, there was no looking back for Shiv-Naresh as it became the go-to brand for athletes across sporting disciplines. Shiv-Naresh now boasts of five factories and a strong presence on e-commerce websites like Amazon and Flipkart.
Agreeing that the company hasn’t been too aggressive on the marketing front, Singh says in the past they never felt the need to do so. All players and sports bodies are aware of their products. Players at the grassroots as well as international level use their products. Once he started associating with movies, he realised the potential of the medium and with social media’s importance increasing every day. That’s when they decided to market their products.
They are now looking at manufacturing shoes from next year. As an emerging Indian sportswear brand, Shiv-Naresh has been smart in leveraging growing popular culture of sports in India over the past 10 years. India will emerge as a global sporting power in the next two decades, and it is an extraordinary opportunity for both Indian and international sportswear brands to capitalise on.
The Indian sportswear market is roughly worth Rs 7,500 crores out of which around 40 per cent is accounted for by apparel. This sector has the potential to grow further.