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

MillionaireAsia India - - Feature - By Rama Ahuja

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.

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