Just when sports were picking up in India after the pandemic-induced lockdown, badminton suffered an unexpected setback – a severe shortage of shuttlecocks. Indian players primarily use shuttles made in China, and they were in short supply.
In fact, the last time Indian dealers received a proper refill of shuttlecocks was way back in June. However, that does not explain the actual reason behind the problem. The shortage was created owing to the cessation of supply from China following the ban imposed by the central government on Chinese products as well as the pandemic where any livestock based product are banned from being imported.
China produces more than 90 percent of shuttles in the world and coupled with the government’s ban, it was only a matter of time before this issue surfaced.
Before COVID-19, high-quality shuttlecocks were imported from China via Singapore with a stock of 2,000 to 3,000 cartons enough to last for a year. The crisis occurred when the concerned goods were not permitted into the country due to the unauthorisation of certificates by the government.
With badminton action set to kickstart, it was going to get difficult to manage the rising demands. Training camps ahead of the international tournaments at a point looked certain to come to a halt due to the extreme shortage of shuttles.
Adding to this were the COVID-19 protocols in India, which curbed the reuse of shuttles, compounding the situation further.
To bridge this ever-widening gap in shuttlecock supply, Transform Badminton, India’s first professional badminton brand, who has been the only manufacturer of world class nylon shuttlecocks in India decided to come forward and address this shortage and gap. Transform has been advocating the usage of nylon shuttles in grassroot and junior level tournaments in all format games and with the current shortage, may be an opportunity that Sports Federation and state bodies as well as schools and colleges can look into. It can not only easily cover the existing demand but also is a durable replacement of the feather shuttle.
In a conversation with The Bridge, Ram Malhotra, the founder of Transform Badminton, said, “At this stage, the best alternative is the nylon shuttlecocks and we are the only manufacturer of these in India, which are at par with high-quality shuttlecocks of Yonex or any other world class shuttlecocks available in the marker.”
Since professional tournaments are on a halt in India, Transform products have already been used across the country and we are getting great feebacks. “Transform shuttlecocks are 100 percent made in India and whether its quality or quantity, nylon shuttlecocks are bridging the gap by making sure there’s no dearth of supply whether for recreational, casual players or to fulfil the need and requirements of clubs and academies,” says Ram.
Manufactured in Meerut, the Transform nylon shuttlecocks are available all over India in retail shops and also on online shopping platforms like Amazon and Flipkart. Besides individuals, the shuttlecocks by Transform are being used widely across clubs and academies in India. Two of the biggest reasons behind Transform’s nylon shuttlecocks soaring popularity are their excellent quality and competitive pricing.
Commonwealth Games medallist and Olympian, Chetan Anand, is one of their biggest endorsers. His academy, opened in 2014 to nurture India’s future badminton champions, uses Transform shuttlecocks, underlying the brand’s quality further.
“We have already started using the transform equipment and accessories in the academy. We have around 250 players in the academy and all are very happy with the products. A few are saying Transform equipment is better than the international brands and which are available at affordable prices,” said Anand.
While Transform looks to be the best alternative set to solve the shuttlecocks crisis on the national scale, Ram asks a simple question to every badminton enthusiast as he concludes the interview – “The shuttlecocks that are right now imported in India are very expensive, as compared to what we are manufacturing. We are providing equally good quality shuttlecocks at nearly less than half the price of the foreign shuttlecocks. The durability and the flight of our shuttlecocks are at par with those that are being imported. So, why should a customer pay for something expensive instead of something that is available locally in the market extensively and at a lesser price?”