The recent years have seen a number of promising ventures bloom, subsequently growing to be called “unicorns”, powered by billions of dollars in investments being pumped into the Indian startup ecosystem.
Led by Ecommerce, the economy saw many industries open themselves to innovation. Healthcare, transportation, fin-tech, education, Data analytics, hyperlocal businesses, home improvements & decor, logistics saw the emergence of brands to be reckoned with.
One large, rather humongous, industry in this 1.3 billion strong cricket-frenzied nation is yet to see such a spurt; sports. This is, in fact, quite ironic given the large audience.
Businesses like Kooh sports, ventures back by veteran sportsmen, sporting platforms like playo and playwithpassion, ventured into this space and have since, played their innings well. However, we are yet to see a cracking double / triple century from these adventurous institutions.
With popularity for sports other than cricket on a rise, driven by glamorization and additional support now being available for football, kabaddi, badminton, and the long ignored national sport hockey, the Indian economy indicates a favorable spin for a culture of sports.
Will this environment be capitalized by young entrepreneurs, sportsmen, governance, and existing business houses, thereby driving growth in an industry that’s been dormant for eons?
A few sparks have given birth to embers. We at IISM have begun our innings. Will more stakeholders follow? Will this industry akin to Mt. Mauna Kea erupt?
I for one, believe the time is right.
-Nikhil Srinivas is visiting faculty at IISM