Shiv Naresh: The indigenous colour of Indian sports

Shiv Naresh

It will be hard to find an Indian athlete who during his glorious sporting journey has not been attired by India’s indigenous sportswear brand Shive Naresh – that brand the feels and understands the pulse of Indian sports and sportspersons.

The brand that was born out of the need of an athlete has grown on the strength of its understanding for the needs of athletes. A multi-crore rupee apparel brand today with an international presence today has originated some three decades back out of the personal needs of its founder RK Singh, who was an athlete himself. The 76-year-old chairman as an athlete would struggle to get a quality sportswear in Delhi. It was in 1970s that he had to travel to as far as Patiala even for a quality footwear or apparel. That necessity germinated the idea of providing fellow sportspersons quality, affordable apparels that enable them to excel on the field. Ever since, service to the athletes has been the philosophy of the brand that has grown from a household factory to state-of-the-art production unit, powered by several thousand skilled personnel, with a potential to produce 30,000 garment units every day.

“I started Shiv Naresh to provide the young sportsmen of my time with good quality athletic wear at affordable prices. Something, I struggled to find when I used to play. My wife supported my endeavour and helped me make my vision a reality. Today we provide sportswear for various (national and international) teams, (sports) federations, PSUs and even the mass market for the daily fitness and sports’ needs of a common man,” says R K Singh, director and founder, Shiv Naresh. “Athlete First has been our philosophy”.

Some of India’s leading athletes endorse that Shiv Naresh has been a companion and supporter in their rise to the stardom. There may be bigger multinationals in the Indian sportswear market worth ₹ 7,500 crores now. But no other brand matches Shiv Naresh in addressing the needs of an athlete or a team when it comes to providing customised apparels.

“My commercial commitment with a multinational brand today bars me from speaking about Shiv Naresh or any rival sports brand. But I cannot lie to myself for the fact that I am yet to get a more customised and more comfortable kit I would get from Shiv Naresh. This brand and family have been a strong influence in my growth as an athlete. When we were growing up as athletes in the village, Shiv Naresh to us meant India ki jersey, India ka track suit,” a 2018 Asian Games medallist told on condition of anonymity. “How can I forget, they have provided us customised kits overnight when we were yet to attain this recognition.”

This is a brand with global quality and an Indian price tagline, says the athletes.

In an open market thronged with global sportswear giants, India ka own brand remains the first choice not just of numerous sportspersons but also national sports federations, public sector units with a legacy and strong sports policy, franchisees in various sports leagues in India, sports governing bodies, sports leagues, Sports Authority of India, State Sports directorates and multi-discipline multi-national events like the 2010 Commonwealth Games and the 2016 South Asian Games. The list is long an almost never-ending.

The timely-delivery and a strong commitment to address the needs of sportsperson make Shiv Naresh the sportswear of choice for the legends like boxers MC Mary Kom, Vijender Singh and the national hockey teams.

“At Shiv Naresh, we have always strived to provide best quality sports garments to our patrons. It has been an honour to dress the champions of India at major national and international events. We conduct extensive R&D to optimize our quality and heavily rely on our players feedback to ensure optimum comfort during performance,” says Shiv Naresh Managing Director Shiv P Singh.

No other Indian entity in trade would match in numbers the athletes Shiv Naresh has attired till date, or the clothing units its 24×7 production facility produces and delivers. That may simply be a perfect case for the Limca Book of National Records, if the brand desires so. Creating a personalised product to the minutest specifications and the timely delivery have also contributed immensely towards making Shiv Naresh the first choice for Indian sportspersons.

“I believe what differentiates Shiv Naresh from our competitors is, our production capacity. Our modern production facility is capable of producing 30,000 plus garments in a single day. That makes customization and on-demand production extremely easy. Apart from this, a strong distributor network helps us to cater to the consumers Pan India,” adds director Deepak Singh.

India’s indigenous brand has also made global impressions with its international product range of OOK. The premium brand, first launched in Europe, has gained a wide acceptance for its quality and design. Today, Austria Hockey Federation and the T10 Premier League Dubai are among OOK’s global partners.

While RK Singh is leading the Team Shiv Naresh from the front for three decades now, the third generation in the family is bringing in a new vision to keep Shiv Naresh ahead of times while taking pride in its “Desi” identity. “Being the third generation in a business serving the Indian sports fraternity makes me immensely proud. We are not striving to imitate brands like Nike, Adidas, Puma. We are a Desi Sportswear brand and proud of it. Our vision has been the same through all these years, and that is, if you want to play, we will make sure you are dressed for it. This has empowered us to dress not only the Indian champs, but people from all walks of life who play any sport or strive to be fit,” says Aakanksha Pawar, who has joined the family business as a Manager.

Shiv Naresh under one roof is providing a complete 360° solutions to all the equipment, apparel and accessories requirements like no other brand can think of in India. The range of products spans from apparels, shoes, accessories to sports mats (for boxing, wrestling and other combat sports). Shiv Naresh has also launched its range of boxing gear under brand name Trendz.

The brand has gone and grown beyond addressing the professional and career athletes. Today, a majority of fitness freaks in India start their daily physical regime in Shiv Naresh track suits and athleisure wear.

This is a testimony to Shiv Naresh being synonymous with India’s sporting success that sports biopic and sports movies like Mary Kom, Azhar, Budhia Singh Born To Run or Soorma have tied up with the brand to strengthen the Indian athlete quotient.

An ISO 9001:2008 certified company with over 1,100 man force has recently also diversified into sports shoes manufacturing. The brand with the ‘from the Indian, by the Indian and for the Indian’ philosophy had also partnered the inaugural Khelo India Games with a vision to promote the “good sports spirit”.