“These days bats are adorned with 6-8 stickers (small and big) along side the sides and edges. The stickers on the bats constantly attract our attention when we watch the matches on the television. The purpose of applying stickers is for branding. Because, brand gets highlighted every time a batsman carries the bat to the batting crease and stays there as long as he is not out,” said Ashwani Bahri, the proprietor of Bahri Enterprises.
Set up in 1980 by Ashwani Bahri, the company prints and supplies stickers printed on specialty substrates (other than paper) such as vinyl, metal, foil, PVC, polyester and polycarbonate. “Our focus is on printing of decals for cricket bats and hockey sticks,” said Bahri. The company also supplies stickers for auto parts and the hand tools industry.
Bahri Enterprises has 8-10 manual screen printing tables housed in their 7000 plus sq/ft production facility. To keep pace with the changing times, the company has adopted automation by investing in a Grafica Nano-Print plus and Nano-Screen Maker 5-in-1.
According to Bahri, there is a growing demand for cricket bats due to the short duration IPL and other T20 matches all over the world. The popularity of cricket is growing and more and more young sportspersons are emerging from small town India.
“Now that there is demand for quality sports goods including cricket bats. Quality goods require quality decals to be applied to make it attractive. As the demand for quality sports goods has risen, so is the demand for quality stickers. For example, costly English-willow bats require high quality polycarbonate stickers whereas medium range bats require little less priced stickers. (Bats are priced in the range of Rs 1000 (or less) to 20,000 or more. Accordingly the price and quality of decals also varies in order to suit the price range.”
Ashwani Bahri said that growth of sports goods, including bats has been impacted due to the smartphone boom wherein kids may prefer to stay glued to their smartphones, rather than sweating it out in 45 degrees on the playground. These days, on the smartphone you have all sorts of games including cricket. But playing on the cricket field is big fun.”