An interview with a Sports Entrepreneur from IISM- Mr. Rutvik Likhite

Mr. Rutvik Likhite is our alumnus from Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management Batch 2017-20. He has founded his own sports brand called Kitup. An idea of doing something of his own in the sports retail and goods sector made him a Sports Entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur, he aims to make his sports brand reach corners and corners of India, equipping sportspersons and witness them representing the national flag.

Here’s an interview with Rutvik Likhite that aims to show a way forward to young sports lovers who dream big.

  1. Tell us about your passion for sports?

At the age of 3, I entered the world of sports. I am professionally practicing karate from the past 18 years. I have been surrounded by coaches and players most of my life. I breathe sports and hence, I always had a vision of doing something related to sports in my career. Also, wanting to have some venture of my own in field of sports is what I have always wished for. Today, I have a sports brand of my own called Kitup.

  1. When did you decide to step towards studying Sports Management?

When I was appearing for my HSC, my mom and I were discussing of what I could study next. We had come across a text which mentioned Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management offered by IISM. That is when my mom and I explore more about it and came down to the decision of me pursuing BSM and heading towards my dream career.

  1. What did you take away from IISM?

IISM opened doors for me in the world of sports. It is due the institute that I got exposure and could learn about diverse sub-fields and sectors in Sports Management & Sports Industry. At IISM, I was provided with great opportunities, I could intern at esteemed companies wherein I developed contacts in sports industry. Not only this, I could polish my skills and learn much more about sports and back-end.

  1. What made you step towards launching a venture of your own? How did IISM contribute to it?

It was just another day for me! I was lying on my couch and something interesting popped in my mind. It is for sure that to play sports, athletes require equipment or goods. I thought to myself- wouldn’t it be interesting if I enter the sports retail sector? This made me ask a lot of questions pertaining to sports retail to my professors. At IISM, I was helped with the information required and also received a few contacts. After a span of 2 years, I could launch my own brand!

  1. Tell us about your initiative- Kitup Sports

Kitup is more of a platform where we help people to get ready or say KIT-UP with sports equipment. Kitup Sports has been in business of sports retail, wholesale and manufacturing of sports equipment and apparels since the early of 2020. Our moto is to always keep our quality and service provided to the customer intact and spot on! We believe in providing our customers quality products at reasonable price.

Our company is engaged in manufacturing, retailing and marketing of premium quality sports equipment and sports accessories. We offer a wide range of products for all indoor as well as outdoor sports equipment and accessories with complete strategy making training equipment. We try to keep improving quality of our products for comfort and better performance of sports persons. Kitup sports has been providing correct price for quality products and delivering them all on time and therefore, we have received overwhelming responses from our customers.

  1. How has your journey as Sports Entrepreneur been so far?

My journey as a Sports Entrepreneur has been full of ups and down due to pandemic and lockdown imposed. I had a few deals which couldn’t be accomplished and had to suffer losses. However, I would want to see at the positive side. I did get time in my hands to experiment with the products and work better towards our services. Every day gave me opportunity for trial and error or say research and development. I could focus more and did prepare better for the future. In the end, I knew where I had to target! All of it is working now.

  1. What are your views on Sports Goods & Retail sector? What is the scope?

Sports Goods Sports Retail Sector will always be in demand. Even during the lockdown, sales of indoor sports equipment was huge.  It can be said that as the population and awareness increases, individual or enthusiasts playing sports will also increase.

According to Research And Markets, the Indian sports and fitness goods market reached a value of US$ 3,621 Million in 2017. The market value is further projected to reach US$ 6,054 Million by 2024, growing at a CAGR of 9.0% during 2019-2024. This is a great sector to work on!

  1. What plans of expansion do you have for your business?

In contemporary times, we have an outlet in Uran (Navi Mumbai). Also, we are about to open 2 more outlets eight months down the line and 3 franchises in five months.

  1. What sets Kitup Sports apart from others in the market?

There’s a lot of thought processes which helped me establish Kitup. My aim is to make sports goods, equipment or many pertaining services available to the corners and corners of India. Huge brands target metropolitan cities for sales and are doing well. India is a country rich with sporting talent. An athlete in metropolitan cities may afford equipment or goods, but, a potential athlete from villages or remote areas may not have an access to it. I want to be resourceful for them all.

10. Where do you see your venture in few years down the line?

In few years, I’d want Kitup to be known as fastest growing sports brand & sports retail chain in tier 2, tier 3, tier 4 cities and villages in India.

11. Where do you see yourself as a Sports Entrepreneur in upcoming years?

I see myself to be someone who does the best for athletes from remote areas or villages. I want them all to have best equipment for training and that they get to play for the nation. As a Sports Entrepreneur, I want to be part of the change.

12. A piece of advice for aspiring Sports Management students/ professionals/ entrepreneurs.

I’d give two advices:

  • All you need to survive in sports industry is hard work, passion & an attitude that never lets you give up.
  • Pay attention during your lectures because anything said by your professor or your classmates can give you a wonderful idea which can change your life.

An Interview with Mr. Rutvik Likhite, Founder- Kitup Sports
IISM Alumnus
Bachelor’s Degree in Sports Management Batch 2017-20

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