Adi Akbar has had an interesting life: he was an engineer throughout his career where he specialized in the development of precision metal components. Throughout this time he’s been an avid squash fan, and playing the game for over 35 years. In fact, he’s competed in local national competitions and is also an L1 certified coach. But it was not until he retired that he finally had the time to dedicate to his passion for the sport, and the natural way to do so was through his sport’s equipment store, Adi’s Sports.
“Squash is an incredibly fun sport but it can sometimes be inaccessible. When I started this shop back in 2014, I wanted it to be a mama papa shop where everyone would feel welcome to try. It’s a very social sport, especially here in Singapore. We all know each other and we want to welcome others into the community. That was really the start of my shop!” explains Adi.
The shop started as a squash specialist but quickly expanded into adjacent sports of badminton and tennis. “For a neighborhood store like mine, it’s important to serve a diversity of audiences in order to expand the business. Trends and fashions change, so it’s important to stay engaged with the community” he says.
Over the years, the retail landscape has also changed and an online presence is vital to the success of any business. “My store is in a neighborhood mall but the majority of my new customers find me on Google” says Adi. “Online has always been very competitive, so it is important to stay engaged. Fairmart helps a lot by automatically generating product listings online so customers know what I have in store. This is how customers find what they are looking for today.”
What makes Adi’s store stand out is the unique products he carries. “I select a range of options for different play styles. Beginners will need larger and lighter rackets such as the Prince 18 Shark but more advanced players will want heavier and smaller options for more control, like the Babolat Pure Strike. They also want to choose their string, and this is why we sell a lot of our rackets unstrung so that our customers can choose the exact setup they want. If you’re looking for lessons, I can refer you to the best coaches in Singapore. This is not something an online store can offer.”
For Adi though, it’s always been about squash. And for his games he brings a Karim Jamal Signature Vibe squash racket. “It’s something unique and had a limited production run. A great, well balanced racket. You need to have something special in store for the big sports fans too!” says Adi.
Adi’s Sports is located in Bukit Timah Shopping centre, #B2-14A, Singapore, 588179. You can also reach him on +65 9680 3358 or follow his page on Facebook.