Cricket Insight interview with Paras Anand of SG Cricket


Apr 23, 2010
The majority of cricket bats we see on the shelf are made in Asia. Brands such as Kookaburra, Adidas, Puma and Gray Nicolls are utilising the Indian expertise and their cheaper labour to mass produce quality bats for the UK & Australian markets. Some estimations put a figure of upto 95% of the World's bats are made in India and Pakistan.

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SG are the largest of the Indian manufacturers with a manufacturing capacity of upto 400,000 bats a year. They're based in Meerut and produce their own brand of bats alongside some of the UK's favourite brands. Cricket Insight have been lucky enough to collar Paras Anand, the head of SG Cricket, and he's been kind enough to offer an exclusive UK interview which is shown below. The questions were all provided by Cricket Insight members, so keep an eye out for more interviews coming soon.

<strong>1. What effect has the IPL had on the sales of cricket bats for SG?</strong>

IPL has always had a very good impact on our sales. We see around a 15% jump in the market growth as a result of the popularity which the IPL has garnered.

<strong>2. What were your thoughts when Virendhar Sehwag used your bats, to score a double hundred in an ODI, with sponsors labels on top?</strong>

We are very happy at the milestone which has been achieved by Virender Sehwag. Even though Virender Sehwag has another brand which is paying a huge sum of money to be his bat sponsor, it dosent deter us at all. We have been extremely lucky to have been associated with him for a long time now and we use him effectively in all our marketing campaigns. Alongside this, all the serious players, kids and the entire trade knows that Virender Sehwag plays with an SG bat.

<strong>3. With brands such as Adidas, Puma and Nike now selling cricket bats - how is the future looking for SG, brand with such heritage but less financial muscle?</strong>

The brands mentioned in your question have been there in the trade for around 15 years now... We are an 80 year old company and have been the industry leaders much before these brands came to India. We continue to be the market leaders and are focused on continuing to increase our market share year on year...
4. We understand SG are very popular in the domestic market place, are there any plans to enter into the English and Australian markets?</strong>

Yes, we have plans to enter the international markets with our own brand SG. This might not be immediately possible as we are not geared up with the capacities.

<strong>5. What do you think is the more important factor in making a good cricket bat, how good the initial cleft is or the shaping and pressing?</strong>

A good cricket bat is a result of a set of very important factors and processes. We cannot isolate just one step and make it the hero. Instead, the cleft, the pressing, shaping, the handle etc. All contribute in making of a good cricket bat.

<strong>6. What is involved in the process of making a bat at SG? is it all done by hand, or do you have hi-tech machinery too?</strong>

The bat making process at SG involves both manual craftsmanship and use of machines.

<strong>7. Who is your Head bat maker and where did he learn his trade?</strong>

Mr. Wasiullah Khan is the incharge of bat-making unit. He has been a former player himself and he is currently overseeing the entire production of bats. Being a cricketer himself, he gets deep into the nuances of batmaking and ensures that the products rolled out of the factory are of the utmost quality and specifications.

<strong>8. Given the innovations such as GM using D30 material, the Mongoose bat and Ayrtek helmets. What plans do SG have to stand out from the crowd?</strong>

We are working on a couple of projects which we will not be able to disclose at the moment, but we hope that in the coming few months we will be able to come out with innovative technology in cricket bats.

<strong>9. In the UK there has been huge amounts of negative press for fashion industry and it's manufacturing conditions in India. What steps have SG taken to ensure their manufacturing and working conditions are up to standard?</strong>

We at SG ensure the best manufacturing and working environment. We have very strict safety and environmental compliances along with external audits to check the quality of the manufacturing and working conditions. We are an ISO 9000 and ISO 14000 company, hence fulfilling all social and environmental compliances, thereby making the SG factory a very safe and clean place to work unlike a lot of other units in our country

<strong>10. What is the capacity of the SG factory? How many bats/pads/gloves a day can you make?</strong>

We roll out around 1000-1200 bats in a day. We manufacture around 500-600 pads and almost 800-900 gloves in a day

<strong>11. How comparable is English Willow to Kashmir Willow? Are there any other types of willow SG use, Canadian or Australian willow? </strong>

English willow and Kashmir Willow are two very distinct and separate grades of willow. We don't use Willow from Canada or Australia. Both the English and well as the Kashmir willow are of high quality. The only factor which differentiates the willow is the cost component and that the English Willow is much more durable and lightweight than the kashmir Willow.
Quite impressive interview, thanks for sharing it mate!

We roll out around 1000-1200 bats in a day. We manufacture around 500-600 pads and almost 800-900 gloves in a day

THis is quite a lot! 02thoeva do you have an idea how much labour force do they have?