By Edward Winterton, Commercial Director at Bibby Financial Services.
Coventry-based BOOM BOOM Cricket knocked the sporting world for six when it arrived in September 2009, building on the legendary fanaticism for cricket in countries such as India, Pakistan and now Afghanistan.
Business owners Zahid Soorty and Ali Ehsan saw the potential to bring a new kind of professional cricket product to market, which appealed to the mass of fans around the world with a more streetwise image to help push their brand of bats, balls, pads, gloves and clothing. BOOM BOOM Cricket is focussed on producing products based on innovation to make the goods lighter, stronger, and faster.
The distinctive look and feel of BOOM BOOM Cricket owes more to the back streets of Lahore and Mumbai than any English village green, and the name is taken from the term used to describe how masters of the bat such as Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Herschelle Gibbs (South Africa) and Jade Dernbach (England) enjoy knocking the ball all over the park.
Thanks to the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka in September, BOOM BOOM Cricket was able to reach a global audience as their particular design and product suits the 20/20 form of the game, where the emphasis is on rapid run rate. The company is also supplying its products to several players of the Afghanistan team, which has come through decades of war to emerge as the next big cricketing nation. BOOM BOOM Cricket has achieved more in just two years than other cricket brands have ever achieved, and has sponsored four international teams at once; Pakistan, Ireland, Afghanistan and Kenya.
Director Paul Nash says the emphasis for the business has been to push resources into marketing the product and creating a brand identity. But, as many start-up businesses discover, one of the biggest challenges has been establishing a smooth cash flow.
With an operations base in Coventry, and a factory in Pakistan, Mr Nash said the business did not want to invest any more resource in a back office operation, which is why they chose to work with invoice finance specialist, Bibby Financial Services, and outsource the role of building cash flow and chasing invoices to a third party.
Mr Nash says: “BOOM BOOM Cricket is the fastest growing cricket brand in the world, having started from scratch two and a half-years-ago, and has a footprint on every continent today.
“We understand the demand in countries such as India, Pakistan and elsewhere around the world, where the majority of people playing do not necessarily relate to the image of a team in cricket whites playing on a village green. That is why we have styled everything to look more modern and went with the name BOOM BOOM because it means so much more to that market.
“But growing at such a rate creates some cash flow issues and we felt that an invoice discount product would be the best way to address that.
“We did talk to our bank about setting up such a facility, but we felt they were taking too long to make a decision about it. We spoke to Bibby Financial Services and they were able to set up the agreement within 14 days. That was great for us as things are really moving so quickly in the business.
“With that facility in place, providing the cash flow which is so vital to the smooth running of any business, we are able to focus on building the company further and realising our global ambitions.”
With the support of Bibby Financial Services, BOOMBOOM Cricket says it is dedicated to manufacturing innovative and first-class cricket gear and apparel that give all levels of players freedom to play.
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