Ideas that can change the lives of Sports Management students- An interview with Ms. Avanti Desai

“A professor affects eternity: he/she can never tell where their influence stops.” One such professor to IISM is Ms. Avanti Desai. Ms. Avanti is the ‘Incharge- Academic Outreach at IISM’ and have been associated to the institute for many years now. She is a Management Faculty, Soft Skills Trainer, Sales and Marketing Evangelist and Research Analyst. Ms. Avanti shares with us, her experience and perception about management and its importance for students in their journey of becoming professionals entering Sports Industry.

  1. Share with us about your experience in the Sports Education industry.

My foray into sports education industry happened with a conscious decision of teaching for a college, which has created a niche for itself in the education industry. Sports in India is growing rapidly & in last 5 years I have witnessed tremendous change in mind-set of young generation who wants to make a career for themselves in sports if not as an athlete. I have also noticed change in the mind-set of parents who are willing to support their children in their passion. Being in the sports education industry has taught me to be dynamic in my thoughts, & has encouraged me to delve deeper into the understanding of “sports” from a teaching point of view. Interacting with people who are associated with sports made me broaden my horizon of the way sports functions and even casual conversations interactions can give you deeper insights on strategies that can work.

  1. Some insights on the subjects: a. Management b. Communication c. Sports Management.

I always believe management & communication are key to success in personal & professional growth. If these two subjects are blended well & practised earnestly, they pave the way for future leaders & great performers.

Teaching sports management has been enriching experience all together. Applying management principles into sports and teaching students of these concepts in action has been very fulfilling for me as a faculty.

My perspective on each subject:

  1. Management – this is the foundation applied across any work/business scenarios and provides a framework for successful growth of the business & its leadership in the industry. Deeper understanding of this subject is hence integral to shaping up our future leaders for the challenges of tomorrow.
  2. Communication – effective communication leads to effective management. Any progressive and well-developed businesses have powerful communication strategies that provide the desired impetus to its growth. I believe this subject provides students the sharpening required to present themselves effectively in the corporate world.
  3. Sports Management – applying Management principles in an area of specialisation – such as SPORTS – helps sensitise students with the nuances of the industry; and blended with case studies and real-life examples from the industry allows students to build the right mind-set and prepare themselves better for the what is required of the when they enter their work place.

 

  1. How important is Management in the contemporary industry?

Management theories and practices have been evolving constantly. While key management principles continue to be pillars applied anywhere, in today’s fast evolving business environment – how these principles get aligned are very different. Contemporary industry, changing generations in the work place, and particularly niche industries becoming a norm – requires professionals to be adapt quickly, and embrace changing requirements frequently. I believe Management is integral to building robust businesses, evolving, and sustaining successfully in the future. This is the core for any industry.

  1. How does Management help students grow?

Management helps to adapt to change in the ever evolving and competitive scenarios in industries today. Students of Management are made familiar with concepts such as Teamwork, Team building, planning and organising that helps them to grow both personally and professionally. It also teaches them to be able to learn from failures and grow from the learning. Practice makes a ‘management’ perfect. Therefore, we provide students with real-time experiences, exposure to management activities, case-study learnings and much more to build and hone their managerial abilities.

  1. How does Communication help professionals?

Communication helps you to be transparent in your approach. Transparency is key to any successful professional associations. Clear communication helps to build credibility amongst each other and lay the foundation for effective coordination. In today’s fast evolving world, communication helps professionals to build and share their ideas, align to the speed of work, allows you to make quick decisions to achieve your goals and most importantly – to stay connected and networked.

  1. Need for sports professionals to have Management & communication skills?

Sports Professionals at any level, individual or team games, represent their country, culture, ethos and attitude to the whole world. They are often role models for many generations. Nothing else can teach you team spirit the way sports can teach you. Moreover, the key for any effective management is Teamwork and the thought of ‘together-we-can-Win’. In order to be together – your communication is extremely essential. As mentioned earlier, communication and management is the foundation of any association.

Sports professionals at any level have tremendous potential to contribute to the industry beyond the sport itself. In the age of social media, industry interactions and sharing of ideas for future growth, sports professionals developing their management abilities and communication skills help them to enlarge their horizon and stay relevant with the sport and industry.

  1. One idea that can change the lives of Sports Management students?

Sports is everywhere we look. As kids – we played games with family and at school, and as adults – we see many avenues where sports is beautifully expressed. This is exactly where a world of possibilities lies for Sports Management students. From organising mega-sports Events, to providing opportunities for coaching future sportspersons and in athlete management. Sports is here to stay and will be ever evolving.

“Leverage on your core strength (sport) – and explore the many possibilities that the sporting fraternity provides you with. Taking the first step in the industry is most important. More than ‘what’ work you do – it is ‘how’ dedicatedly and passionately you do that is essential.”

An Interview with Ms. Avanti Desai
Incharge- Academic Outreach at IISM

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