Malik Sports, Pakistan's top manufacturer of hockey sticks, is set to promote its 'Malik' brand in India by roping in at least two Olympians, apart from sponsoring 'A' grade tournaments in the country.
"India has a much bigger market for hockey compared to Pakistan. Our brand is already renowned at the international level. Systematic brand promotion will definitely generate a very good response in India due to the quality of our hockey sticks," Sialkot-based Malik Sports' owner Zulfiqar Malik told Hindustan Times.
Malik said some well-known Indian Olympians had been shortlisted and approached for endorsement, without disclosing their names.
"Our company would also sponsor 'A' Grade tournaments, which would be telecast as well," he said, adding that the winning team in the ongoing Surjit memorial hockey tournament would be provided with 20 sticks.
"Our brand is already popular in hockey-playing countries such as Germany, Holland, Argentina and Australia. Top players of these countries have endorsed our brand," Malik said.
He stated that the company's exports amounted to Rs 50 lakh per annum, adding that they had
outsourced the manufacture of hockey equipment such as balls and protective gear to Jalandhar companies.
"We have achieved specialisation to manufacture carbon-made 'composite hockey' sticks, whereas Indian manufacturers are yet to get the know-how of the latest technology," he said.
"Last year, we appointed Jalandhar-based Martial Sports as our distributor in India. In the very first year, our brand made its presence felt," he claimed.
Ruing the suspension of India-Pakistan sporting ties due to strained bilateral relations, Malik said sports manufacturers of both countries would benefit if the trade exchange became stronger.
Vipin Parinja, distributor of 'Malik' hockey sticks in India since 2011, said, "Last year, 5,000 sticks were sold. This year, the number is expected to double."