MAKING SPORTS THE FRONT RUNNER
Gone are the days when being an engineer, lawyer or doctor were the preferred choice of professions. There has been a paradigm shift of sorts and finally the idea of being a part of the sports industry is not being met with scepticism
Although the Indian sports goods industry is nearly a century old and is thriving due to a labour intensive, skilled workforce, the sporting industry itself is ironically still in a nascent stage. Case in point; for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, India supplied 80,000 soccer balls. However, the Indian team did not qualify for the World Cup. The silver lining in the cloud is that ours is one of the youngest countries world and the youth are more driven now than ever, to follow their passion. The increasing number of gym memberships, sports start-ups and growth in of marathoners; all point to the fact that India is finally giving sports it’s due.
Truth be told, the Indian sports industry has gone through a transformation of sorts over the last decade. One of the biggest drivers this growth has been the establishment of various leagues such as the Indian Premier League (Cricket), Hockey India League, Badminton League, Pro Kabaddi League, and the Indian Super League (Football). The Indian Premier League alone is valued at $4 billion today and is only getting bigger and bigger each year. With the commencement of these leagues, various jobs have sprouted across industries such as management of sports stars, events, equipment, retail, marketing and promotion; the list is endless. The best part is that this is merely the start. Statistics reveal that in India, the sports industry is growing at an even faster rate than GDP.
Undoubtedly, we are on the brink of exciting times. In order to better understand this nascent industry and track its growth and potential, we get talking with the stalwarts from the industry; Arun Pandey, Chairman & MD at Rhiti Group, Ramakrishnan R, Co-Founder and Director Baseline Ventures and Neerav Tomar, CEO & Managing Director at IOS Sports & Entertainment.