“We aim to become synonymous with quality and performance in the Indian badminton market” – Victor GM Ben Hsiung

Victor Rackets, a leading badminton brand from Taipei Taiwan, recently opened its first official showroom in New Delhi. With branches across the world, the Taiwan-based badminton brand is re-entering the Indian market, to provide badminton equipment to Indian consumers including apparel, grips, kit bags, rackets, shoes, shuttlecocks, strings and other more badminton related products. Victor has 426 showrooms across the globe. The Playknox recently got an opportunity to speak with Ben Hsiung, GM of Victor India. Excerpts below:


Tell us about your role as GM Victor in India.


The GM of Victor is not much different than the GM of any other company.  I am overseeing operations, making strategic decisions, managing teams, and ensuring that objectives are met efficiently and sufficiently.  The only difference is as being a foreigner, to do business in India involves navigating different cultural, economic, labor, market, and regulatory landscapes.  I must consistently adjust myself to fit in the culture and the system.


For example, India has a diverse culture with various languages, religions, and traditions, which can impact business interactions. Relationship-building and personal connections often play a significant role in business dealings. Taiwan’s culture is influenced by Confucian values, emphasizing respect for hierarchy, harmony, and loyalty. Business relationships are typically built on trust and mutual respect.


India has a large and growing market, but it can be complex and sometimes bureaucratic, with varying regulations across different states.  Infrastructure challenges can also be significant hurdles. Taiwan is known for its efficient bureaucracy and well-developed infrastructure. It offers a stable business environment with strong legal protections for intellectual property rights.


India’s regulatory environment can be complex and subject to frequent changes.  Navigating regulations related to taxation, labor laws, and foreign investment requires careful planning and local expertise.


Taiwan has a transparent and business-friendly regulatory framework, with low levels of corruption. Overall, I am seeing India is moving toward the right direction.  I have always noticed its progress in many physiognomies.  I am also optimistic about India’s development prospects. 


What’s the mission and vision for India?


The mission and vision of mine is to align with the company’s commercial goals and values in India.


My mission is to inspire and empower badminton enthusiasts across India by delivering high-quality products, fostering a vibrant badminton community, and promoting the sport’s growth at all levels.  We are committed to innovation, excellence, and customer satisfaction, striving to enhance the badminton experience for players of all ages and skill levels.


Vision: As being the 2nd largest badminton brand in the world, HQ and I envision a future where every player feels supported, motivated, and equipped to pursue their passion for badminton. By leveraging innovative technology, sustainable practices, and strategic partnerships, we aim to become synonymous with quality and performance in the Indian badminton market.


How do you plan to expand Victor in India? What’s your marketing and communication strategy?


By adopting a strategic, customer-centric approach tailored to the Indian market, Victor can effectively expand its presence and capture opportunities for growth in India.  Here are examples of how I communicate and marketize Victor in India.


Market Research: Conduct market research to understand the Indian market landscape, including consumer preferences, competitors, regulatory environment, and cultural nuances.


Localization: Customize products or services to suit the Indian market’s preferences and pricing requirements. This could involve adapting marketing strategies, product features, and distribution channels.


Partnerships and Alliances: Forge strategic partnerships with local academies, distributors, or influencers to leverage their networks, expertise, and market insights.  Collaborating with established players can facilitate market entry and accelerate growth.


Digital Presence: Invest in a strong online presence, including localized websites, social media platforms, and e-commerce channels. With the increasing digital penetration in India, a robust digital strategy is essential for reaching and engaging with Indian consumers effectively.


Customer Engagement: Focus on building strong relationships with Indian customers through personalized experiences, responsive customer service, and community engagement initiatives.  Listening to customer feedback and adapting offerings accordingly can enhance brand loyalty and drive word-of-mouth referrals.


Continuous Improvement: Continuously monitor market dynamics, customer feedback, and performance metrics to refine strategies, optimize operations, and stay agile in responding to evolving market trends and competitive pressures.


You currently have HS Prannoy and Ashwini on the roster. Who else do you plan to include? How will Victor identify other talents?


Ashwini is like a family member for being with the brand for over 12 years.  Prannoy HS is our new friend who recently join Victor the big family.  Just like criteria of selecting Ashwini and Prannoy HS, Victor identifies talents from aspects of Alignment with Brand Values, Appeal to Target Audience, Media Presence and Marketability, Track Record of Success, and Long-Term Commitment.


By following these steps, Victor can effectively identify and collaborate with badminton players in India as endorsers, leveraging their influence and credibility to enhance brand visibility, credibility, and market share in the Indian badminton industry.


What is Victor’s plan for the grassroots in India?


Grassroots Academies: Establish grassroots badminton academies in collaboration with local sports organizations, schools, and societies.  These academies would provide access to coaching, training facilities, equipment, and structured programs for aspiring players of all ages and skill levels.  For example, recently Victor has finalized the contract with PSM – Padukone Sports Management.  There are more badminton organizations on boarding to partner with Victor.


Coach Sponsorship: Invest in coach training and development programs to build a network of qualified instructors capable of delivering high-quality coaching to grassroots players. Provide resources, certification courses, and ongoing support to enhance coaching standards and effectiveness.


School Programs: Partner with schools and educational institutions to integrate badminton into physical education curriculums and extracurricular activities. Organize tournaments, inter-school competitions, and coaching clinics to encourage student participation and talent identification.


Community Engagement: Engage with local societies through outreach programs, grassroots events, and partnerships with sports clubs of different professions.  Promote the benefits of badminton for physical fitness, social development, and personal growth, encouraging broader participation among children and youth.

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