We got an opportunity to visit the sports manufacturing unit of BAS–Beat All Sports–in Jalandhar. It was really a dream come true as right from the childhood we have used their products and always seen lots of international players use their products.
We got a very warm reception at the factory though it was a Sunday. The personnel there took us to various departments and described how Cricket bats are manufactured.
Later on we got an opportunity to interact with the owner of the company Sh. R. C. Kohli who looked like a grand-sire of Indian sports manufacturing.
We present a candid conversation with Sh. Kohli.
Q1. How did you start this business?
Our parents came from Pakistan at the time of Division. They used to do the same business in Pakistan, the labour also came along as it was a skilled labour. They got settled here in Jalandhar and started the business here on a very small scale. In the beginning, we used to use bicycles.
There are two types of Cricket bats: One is English Willow and the other is Kashmir Willow. The English is imported from England, a special kind of tree is found there. Now-a-days, its over-demand causes premature cutting of the tree, which means the tree is cut much before it is supposed to be. The wood for Kashmir Willow is brought from Kashmir where we face many difficulties to bring the wood due to different laws of the state. Cultivation of Kashmir Willow was tried in some places of Himachal Pardesh and other places but much is needed to be done by the Government to facilitate us.
Q3. What other playing material do you manufacture?
Other than Cricket bats, we prepare hockey, football, batting gloves etc.
Q4. Has the design and material of bat and hockey changed?
Yes, it has changed and I think it will keep on changing in the coming years. we have to prepare these according to the requirement of the players. For example, now-a-days wooden hockey is used less and instead of that carbon fiber reinforced hockey is used.
Q5. How easy is the liquidity of cash?
Liquidity of money is a major problem. We expect the government to provide us loans on lower interest rate, and subsidy also. Products from China are also causing problems as they are cheaper than ours.
Q6. How the Indian Cricket Players got in touch with you?
In our family two of our member have played at junior Wimbledon. In Jalandhar, we were having a network of supporting clubs. Firstly local Cricketers used to visit us; through them Indian Cricketers started coming here. They liked our products very much. Now we supply bats to many prominent Indian players and also oversees players. Sachin, Ganguly and Laxman use our bats and other material.
Q7. Do you export your products also?
Yes, we do. We have our own show rooms in twenty odd countries.