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FCS Story
How it all started

Mr. F.C. Sondhi (1906 - 1983)

Mr. F.C. Sondhi, a great philanthropist and self made businessman, was born in the year 1906 in Sialkot which is now in Pakistan. Through his own hard work and self education, he was able to do well in his academic studies and was called by the then major sports company in United India, M/s Uberoi Limited to work there. He developed a shining reputation for honesty and was put under the personal supervision of Mr. Uberoi himself. At first he was made the inspector of branches of Uberoi Limited in India to ensure that branch offices were working properly & honestly and then as a reward for his good work he was sent to Rangoon in Burma in 1932 to look after the branch office there. Once again since he was successful in Rangoon, the company sent him to England.


Again the branch office in England was quite successful but during the 2nd World War between England and Germany the office was totally destroyed by bombs (it was situated in central London). Mr. Uberoi reluctantly closed down the office and told Mr. F.C. Sondhi to return to India. However, since no transport was available during the war days, and to go by ship was extremely dangerous, Mr. F.C. Sondhi had to stay in England and tried to make both ends meet by buying and selling various commodities.

Immediately after the war, Mr. F.C. Sondhi started his own small business in the Toy Trade in England in 1944.

Mr. F.C. Sondhi lived in England from 1936 onwards, but during the last 20 years of his life he visited India regularly every year and was keenly involved in projects and programmes particularly those for the upliftment of the poor and downtrodden.



In the year 1944, as already mentioned, Mr. F.C. Sondhi started a company in England by the name of F.C. Sondhi and Company Limited. At that time it was dealing only in Toys but after the partition of India in 1947, Mr. F.C. Sondhi felt that perhaps he could help the small Sports Goods Industry in Jalandhar by importing some goods from India and selling them in England.

With this idea in mind, in 1950 he journeyed to India by chance, with his younger son and set up a branch of his company in Jalandhar City. The branch was situated at No. 1 Basti Nau and he appointed a Manager, Mr. M.R. Khorana to look after the company.


Though the industry was only just beginning to settle down after the upheaval of partition, yet small quantities of Hockey sticks, Cricket balls, Footballs etc., were purchased from Jalandhar and exported to England.

In 1961 the Indian Government passed a law saying that all branch offices of foreign companies must be Indianised and the company then was converted to F.C. Sondhi and Company (India) Pvt. Ltd., with local shareholders. The company continued to export goods to F.C. Sondhi and Company Limited in England but also to other Sports Goods Importers in England. In fact Mr. F.C. Sondhi established contacts with others in England who started importing from the Indian Company. The company continued to be a merchant exporter upto the year 1967.


Year 1967

In 1967, the present Managing Director, Mr. P.C. Sondhi, (who was born and brought up in England) came to Jalandhar and started the manufacturing of cricket batting gloves and cricket legguards for a well known English company.

The beginning was very modest with just one skilled worker and one hand-sewing machine but slowly and gradually over a period of time, manufacturing activities expanded.


Initially work was done in rented premises but slowly and steadily the company started building its own factory in Basti Sheikh Road, which it settled down, in the year 1971.

During all these years Mr. F.C. Sondhi came to India regularly to provide guidance and advice to Mr. P.C. Sondhi who was stationed permanently in Jalandhar. A third generation joined the business in 1998 (Mr. Rajeev Anurag Sondhi s/o Mr. P.C. Sondhi).

Today, the FCS family consists of over 400 loyal and dedicated staff and workers. The entire factory is now housed at Sondhi Nagar on the outskirts of Jalandhar City. The total area of land there is 20 acres and provides ample room for expansion in years to come. The factory is beautifully landscaped with flowers and trees and is one of the most environmentally satisfying settings available for a factory in Jalandhar City. The factory is complete with a cricket ground, which is used for instant and confidential testing of the products manufactured.


FCS has grown manifold since it started manufacturing in 1967. Today, the company specializes in top quality cricket equipment including Top Grade English Willow Cricket Bats and a large variety of Kashmir Willow Cricket Bats and Cricket Balls for various levels of cricket.

The factory has in-house facilities for providing a wide range of protective equipment for Cricket. This includes abdo-guards, shin-guards, chest-guards, arm-guards and thigh-pads. Plastic blow-moulded bats, stumps and bases and helmets etc. are also manufactured completely in-house. The company is manufacturing for major brands in UK, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and the West Indies.



With a view to aid or clientele with good quality sports accessories as per their standards, the company established an exclusive department to trace out the right merchandise and pack as per the specifications. This saves our customers going through the trouble of sourcing goods required by them from such a vast country like ours.

This department caters to all the needs of our customers and thus includes everything from training equipment like spring back stumps to sportswear.



To incorporate and implement the best manufacturing practices, which along with delivering the best quality products to our customers, also provide a healthy and safe working atmosphere to those engaged directly and indirectly in the manufacturing processes, and allow ample room for identification and growth of potential of all the resources involved, including human capital.



To identify and address the requirements of all those related to us for the benefit of general interest-employees, customers, associates, suppliers, vendors and community.



To value and respect all the resources utilized for commercial purposes through optimum utilization of such resources by implementing the best management and manufacturing practice-being used successfully worldwide and designing own need based concepts.



• To hold the customers in high esteem and to make every effort possible to see that they are satisfied.
• To manufacture and market quality sports goods and to ensure that the customer gets the best value for money.
• To deal with everyone in a fair, honest & straightforward manner whether he be customer, supplier, staff or

• To give the best possible working conditions, which are healthy and environmentally friendly, to our staff and
workers and to afford them whatever facilities possible for their personal growth and development

• To follow a child labour free policy.
• To remember our obligation to the community around us and in which we work.

To manage our affairs on modern lines to enable us to deal swiftly and effectively with all who meet us & contact us.
To continuously follow the pursuit of knowledge through scientific research.
To achieve cost effectiveness through efficiency.

To maintain a strong commitment to quality at all times.
To pursue the policy of commitment to the promotion of sports in India among all age groups and all sections of the society.
To act in a professional manner at all times.
Manufacturing Facilities


The facility has been laid out on a surface area of 20 acres, with spacious production halls, each dedicated to one type of product. The halls are very well lit and ventilated.

The factory is also called ‘The Garden Factory’ because of its lush green gardens spreading throughout the facility to provide a healthy environment to the staff in particular and society in general.

The factory has the most mechanized English Willow Cricket Bat manufacturing facility in Asia. This ensures that accuracy, precision, cost and quality, are always under strict control.


The factory also supports an in-house facility for foam compression moulding for all types of protective equipment, ensuring quality and cost control under close supervision.

Mechanization and automation upgrades are reviewed very regularly in all departments.

The company has working systems and procedures in place, in all departments, ensuring that each and every operation is done by the book as per laid down standards to ensure maximum strength, durability, performance and quality to the final product. More so, some systems have been classified as critical (based on their importance of affecting the performance of the final product), which are paid extra attention.



FCS has long believed that if one wants to produce a trouble-free quality product, then one must start at the beginning and test each and every raw material when it comes into the factory.

With the help of the Research Department and also input from customers, FCS has been able to set up a series of specifications for all major critical raw materials.

These specifications include such tests as ‘Abrasion Resistance’, ‘Breaking Load’, ‘Tear Strength’, ‘Colour Fastness’, ‘Stitch Tear Strength’, ‘Impact Testing’ etc.


In some instances, materials are not only tested in the raw state in which they come into the factory but also after processing.

Another example would be the plastic buckle used on a leg guard. FCS has laid down a specification of 85 kgs which means that a man weighing this much could actually hang from this buckle without it breaking. Therefore it is obviously strong enough to withstand any mishap in the field.

The raw material specification is always related to the end use of the product. For instance, PVC for the inside of the instep of a cricket legguard which rubs against the cricket shoe must have high abrasion resistance, whereas PVC for a batting gloves finger roll should have high tear and high burst strength.

This testing done by FCS has given them confidence in their own product as well as giving a lot of confidence to their customers.


FCS believes, not only in thoroughly testing the quality of the finished product, but also in building quality into the product through in-process quality control.

After the purchase of the raw materials as per the proper specifications, the materials are then processed and turned into finished articles. We believe that quality can only be achieved by satisfied craftsmen side by side with strict in-process quality controls at every stage of manufacture.


When an order is received, the counter sample is checked against the Specification Card of that product to ensure that the correct current counter sample is available. Once this has been determined then the processing of the raw material is started.

For example, when a cricket ball is manufactured, as many as 16 checks are done at the various stages to ensure that the quality is upto the proper specifications.

Finally 100% inspection is done of all finished goods. To educate the production staff, samples and specifications are displayed on the workshop floor.



In addition to the company’s testing of the raw materials when they come into the factory, and the very detailed in-process quality control, goods are not dispatched from the factory without the okay of the Quality Assurance Department.

The Quality Assurance Department is responsible for test checking all goods manufactured in the factory.

The department specifically checked each first batch of finished goods coming out of any production department against a new order. The product is first compared with the approved counter sample of the customer.

Also, any remarks made by the customer (which are recorded on the Specification Card for the product) are also seen to ensure that the product is properly compliant. Only after Quality Assurance is satisfied that the product has been made to the customer’s specifications and that quality is satisfactory, will they issue a first lot certificate, without which goods cannot leave the factory.

This department also ensures that the ‘In-process Quality Control’ is carried out in the specified manner, i.e. all the work procedures and systems are being followed and adhered to with special emphasis on critical operations. For example, glueing the ping-pong rubber sheet on the palm of a wicket-keeping glove, which is directly related to the performance and durability of this glove, will attract extra attention of the QA department.

Also, as mentioned elsewhere, continuous field-testing is done to ensure that products not only look good but perform well also.


FCS believes that a product should never be sold unless it has been tested in the field. To the extent possible FCS always tests its own products, at least under Indian conditions. Simultaneously it is recommended that the customers test the products under climatic conditions and ground conditions prevalent in their country as well.

On a regular basis one item out of the first lot of each batch of goods is sent through the Quality Assurance Department for field Testing. This is given, in a majority of cases, to experienced players who are also provided with a Test Report Form to fill in and return.

All returned products are studied jointly by the Production Department and Quality Assurance Department. In this way, any technical, design or material fault which may show up in the field-tested product can be immediately located and remedied.

New products are also tested, and normally FCS tries to do this on its own grounds which form part of the Sondhi Nagar Complex.

The cricket ground has a bowling machine, which helps in testing all probable strokes of the bat.

The cricket academy solves two purposes. One is that our equipment is field tested in our premises under supervision, which helps maintain the confidentiality of the design and pattern of the product. Secondly, kids get to play with international standard products absolutely free of cost !

ISO 9001:2000
The initial survey done by ISO consultants showed that FCS is already following the majority of necessary and relevant systems. The company achieved formal ISO 9001: 2000 in 2003. The certification was not renewed as part of recent cost cutting exercises !


The commitment of the company to scientific research originated in 1983 with the development and change in existing products. There was a need and demand for products offering better protection, and for lighter weight products. Simultaneously, more competitively priced products, at the lower and of the range, were required which would be affordable, to students.

Also, the drastic change in playing conditions, have necessitated a search for new materials, new designs and new products.


FCS is totally committed to the concept of improvement in all these areas and has its research laboratory along with testing fields where new products can be promptly tried out.

Now our design and development centre is functioning independently with two seasoned officers along with a team of highly skilled workers. They are responsible for scientific development of new products. Initial sampling to the customers is done by them keeping confidentiality of the products, design etc. At the same time, this centre is constantly working on new innovative ideas for product development and on new products for diversification.   



As Mahatma Gandhi has said, we believe that :
“A customer is the most important visitor to our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him.
He is not an interruption to our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our premises. He is a
part of it.
We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”


FCS being a Sports Goods manufacturing company, selling seasonal products, always finds that everyone wants their goods at the same time during the year. To achieve maximum utilization of production capacity and minimize overheads we are always keen to offer incentives to our customers for placing orders out of season.

Although FCS does not call itself a professionally managed company, yet it does try and adopt a systematic and scientific approach to management, in other words, a professional approach.

We try and be extremely efficient in our dealings with customers and wherever possible, reply to them the same day.

We spend time and money on research and development and are always keen to try new ideas or even evolve new products for our customers.

We are constantly moving around the world and in addition to that we welcome and facilitate the visits of buyers to Jalandhar which has become much easier with an airport just one and a half hours away.


FCS is basically an export company with over 85% of its production being exported every year.

The major markets to which the company is exporting are the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & West Indies.

The company is trying to achieve the same delivery schedules that its overseas customers get from the Far East. This is 90 days ex-factory for an initial and bulk order, and 60 days ex-factory for additional and/or smaller orders.

These days 99% of our consignments that are full container loads go through the Inland Container Depot at Ludhiana (a town approx. 65km away). Goods are stuffed in containers at the factory. The container is sealed by the customs department at Ludhiana in the presence of our own person, and no further checking is done until the container arrives at its destination.

Containers are sent by road from Jalandhar to Ludhiana and by train from Ludhiana to Mumbai. Since the containers are packed in Jalandhar, the goods arrive at the destination in better condition. We are getting very good feedback about this from our various overseas customers.


FCS has entered the Home Market very intrepidly. The company is very keen indeed to give world quality equipment with world quality service but at affordable prices. FCS is trying to keep stock of the main items of constant demand so that they can execute orders within 24 hours. The company is also keeping in constant touch with all its customers and keeping them informed regarding dispatch of their consignments.

The response to the PROTOS brand has in fact been far greater than expectations and the network of dealer is expanding rapidly. At present FCS is not spending too much money on advertising and signing up players but prefers to pass the benefit onto its customers so that the customers get more value for their money.


Today, FCS consists of a dedicated team of nearly 400 employees whose sincere work reflects in the performance figures and aspirations of the company. It has also adopted progressive policies in scientific planning, recruitment & selection, utilization, training and motivation of the team. Everyone at FCS is equally important to FCS.


To attain organizational excellence by developing and motivating the company’s true capital of human potential.

For this FCS is providing ample room and opportunities for growth, development, empowerment, satisfaction and enrichment..


To create a knowledge bank in the organization by embedding a culture of training, learning, innovation & team work, leading to a competent, creative, aware, adaptive and empowered team.


To provide opportunities to all to explore their maximum potential
To develop leadership qualities in all individuals at all levels
To provide job satisfaction by placing the right person on the right job

To upgrade skills & competencies by giving more responsibilities & opportunities for training & development
To foster a climate of creativity, innovation and enthusiasm
To enhance the standard and quality of life of our employees


The core value of the company’s HR policy is based on the realization of responsibility on the part of the company to develop and transform its people into better citizens. This is done through ‘walking the talk’ rather than just preaching the values.



The payment system of a company determines whether the company is able to keep its suppliers happy. FCS have adopted a payment system that makes sure there are no delays in payments. The supplier concerned does not need to make continual reminders; instead, the company delivers cheques at the doorstep of suppliers. Tardy payments are often a failing of many companies, therefore the company feels proud of its reputation as good paymasters.


We established our Stitching Centre Service Cell in August 1996. This has enabled us to successfully provide Single Window Services to our various stitching centres. Among other services, the SCSC is ensuring door-to-door delivery of goods at the stitching centres in villages and within Jalandhar City.

Taking work to the stitching centres in villages is very environmentally friendly because it saves the ladies working in those villages coming into town everyday. In order words transport and congestion on the roads is indirectly reduced and at the same time the women in the villages hardly have to walk 5 minutes to come to the stitching centre and can pop home at lunchtime to see that their children are ok (normally looked after by some other members of a joint family).


The Government of India gives numerous awards to various categories of exporters. But perhaps the most prestigious is the NATIONAL AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING EXPORT PERFORMANCE.

This award is open to all exporters throughout India. Multi-million dollar turnover public limited companies, Government owned banks and Government owned trading companies or even the smallest in the small-scale sector, all are eligible for this award.

Normally there are only 70 recipients each year from all the exporters all over the vast country of India (population 1 billion people).

The President of India personally presents these awards to the recipients. FCS has had the honour of winning this Award on four different occasions during its history.


Besides the above, there are certain other uncredited achievements that the FCS team can be proud of :
Top notch International Players use Cricket gear made by FCS.
The brands that we manufacture for have been credited with various recognitions for the equipment made by FCS. For e.g. one received Best Bat
Award and the other has been polled to have bats with the Best Stroke.
FCS has been Graded ‘A’ in Technical Audit and Social Accountability and Environmental Standards Audit which is done by third party auditors.
Corporate Social Responsibility


Politics without Principle
Pleasure without Conscience
Wealth without Work
Knowledge without Character
Commerce without Morality
Science without Humanity
Worship without Sacrifice

FCS has always assumed its responsibility towards the society. Such are the reasons that we indulge in a lot of community and social work within and outside the company. One reason, which keeps us walking down this lane, is what we do is not because we should; it is because we want to.


• FCS believes in mutual respect at all levels and considers the ‘dignity of labour’ as the company creed.
• The environment and buildings of the factory are kept clean and tidy; all buildings are well lit and well ventilated.
• The factory has been designed in such a way that wherever one stands, one can see either trees or green
lawns or flowers.
• Free tea and subsidized food is given daily.
• Numerous saving schemes are in operation.
• Free medical check up facilities for the employees and their families are provided from time to time.
• Every winter, woolen gloves or caps are distributed to all the employees of the company.


An Annual Function is held every year. All employees and their wives and children participate in it. A utility gift is presented to each employee on
this occasion. Awards for attendance are also presented at this occasion.
To help it’s lady workers, a bus facility is provided to and fro from the factory to the city.


The company gives an inscribed clock to everyone who completes 10 years & a solar lantern who completes 15 years continuous service.
A small offering is presented to each and every employee on self-marriage or marriage of a child.
FCS awards scholarships every year. These are provided for education of children of workers.
The company runs a ‘Working Executive Skill Enhancement’ scheme wherein the company pays for self-education of employees at any level in
the organization for self-improvement and enhancement of skills.



FCS is conforming to global environmental norms and contributing to society by providing a healthier and greener environment for the generation to come. We have always had a clean, comfortable and green working environment which is exemplified by the well-maintained lawns, flower beds and numerous trees on the factory campus.

In line with the global thinking once again, FCS has appointed a Senior Manager to look over all environmental matters. The current thrust is on Waste Management i.e. effective recycling wherever possible and safe disposal of waste product. This is gaining momentum, which we are able to gauge by the amount of non-biogradeable waste is being generated-the volumes of this are coming down significantly.



In addition to environmental concerns or rather as part of it, FCS is busy studying health & safety standards. The company is ensuring that all their production procedures comply with the necessary global standards. For examples, safety measures on machinery, ventilation systems, availability of fire fighting equipment and so on and so forth.


FCS is proud to show the factory, often described as unique, for people to see the working conditions.
His excellency Mr. I.K. Gujral, Former Prime Minister of India visited the factory during his tenure as Prime Minister of India. He was very happy to see international standards maintained for the working environment, particularly with respect to health & safety aspects. He also showed keen interest in seeing sports equipment being manufactured for exports.



The FCS group of companies support and also donate liberally to a CHARITABLE TRUST named after the founder of the company, Mr. F.C. Sondhi.

This is a public Charitable Trust that helps those outside the FCS Company. The Trust provides about 300 scholarships and about 150 grants (help to widows and destitute men and women). These figures vary from year to year. (In 2002-03, approximatery USS 21,932 was distributed). A number of people living abroad donate liberally to this Charitable Trust and those monies in turn are provided as scholarships and stipends to the poor in and around Jalandhar. No amount is given to anyone without proper verification.


The scholarships and stipends sponsored by well-wishers are paid entirely to the students and stipend holders. All other charges, such as administration, postage etc,. incurred, are borne by the Trust itself.

The Trust also provides Vocational Training scholarships to enable poor students to get specialized training to earn a better livelihood.



Every two years, the trust holds an Awards Function. The students getting scholarships from the trust along with the beneficiaries are ferried from the city to the factory in chartered buses. The brilliant students who have fared well in their previous classes are given prizes to recognize their hard work and efforts. A gift such as a woolen blanket is presented to all grant beneficiaries on this occasion. All students are given a small gift and all present are served lunch.



F.C. Sondhi Trust also publishes a regular newsletter by the name of ‘Ideas Exchange’ every month containing, moral and commercial ideas for those too busy to read such articles in full. It is subsidized by the trust.



Realizing its obligation and with a view to beautifying the city, FCS had adopted one of the roundabouts in the town. It had a statue in the centre illuminated at night by bright multicoloured lights. Its visual beauty was further enhanced by beautiful water fountains.

When the Municipal Corporation wanted to speed up traffic in the city, they decided that many of the roundabouts needed to be replaced by traffic lights. F.C. Sondhi & Co. was the first to volunteer, in the interest of the smooth traffic flow, that their adopted round about could be demolished.

The statue in the roundabout was of a large hand offering a football. We did this in the days when we made footballs. The object was that this should have various interpretations.

It depicted the hand of God symbolizing the gift of God to Jalandhar since many people in the city have gained employment by making footballs.
It symbolized the offering of Jalandhar to the visitor i.e., that they can buy footballs here.
It also symbolized that footballs are made by hand with great care.

As mentioned above, the roundabout has since been removed in 1996. However due to public request F.C. Sondhi & Co. have built a small replica of this roundabout on one of the traffic light islands near the original statue.
The Road Ahead


The world is changing at a very fast pace and as one would expect, this is changing the business environment around the globe. Gone are the days when one used to get orders for the full season or the whole year !

The customer is getting more selective and wants the product to match very exact specifications. On top of this, orders need to be delivered in a very short period.

To match the increase in pace and precision requirements of the business, more of the manufacturing process is being mechanized.


FCS is mechanizing the various stages of bat manufacture. Bandsaw and other conventional machines are being phased out and are being replaced by “Special Purpose Machines” (SPMs). The company has introduced hi-tech and hi-production machines to make our bats and other wooden products. To improve the environment of the work place, dust extraction units have been installed. FCS is undergoing an extensive mechanization process with considerable amount of investment. This is being done in all production areas. The company has added advanced machines to mechanize the production of Batting Gloves, Leg Guards & Protectors.

FCS invites esteemed customers to come and see for themselves.



The company has around 30 work stations so far in various departments to increase its working efficiency.

FCS already has computerized Accounting, Invoicing, Sales, Export & Shipping, Stitching Centre Service Cell, and Stocks. Costings are already completely computerized. There are plans to computerize raw material ordering among other areas.

The company is trying to achieve the goal of a paperless company by installing more computers. FCS has also adopted advanced computer technology to make its products better and more competitive.



FCS is working on professional targets such as Computerization, Zero Tolerance on Quality Issues, Stitching Centers, Line Production and Corporate Responsibility.

The company hopes that by achieving economies to scale, it will be able to offer products to customers at reasonable prices and in shorter lead times.

In addition to continuous specialization and improvement in cricket and other allied product; the company also plans to invest much more time in scientific research.


As regards computerization, FCS is in the process of planning computerization of the Production departments enabling the management to constantly monitor progress of various customers’ orders. These would then be linked to the Scales and Shipping Departments (which are already computerized).

The company is also in the process of implementing the latest management and manufacturing concepts like that of lean Manufacturing and Mistake Proofing among others.

FCS has achieved considerable efficiencies over the last few years and we feel that with our constant and sincere endeavors, this efficiency will grow even more, in the years to come.