Exclusive: You’ll find a lot of people from the industry, especially engineers and back office guys, shifting into sports

Mr Modwel spoke about everything the course has to offer and how it will help the athletes grow their portfolios and enable working professionals to pursue a career in the sports industry.

The Mumbai-based sports business academy, the Global Institute of Sports Business (GISB), earlier this month, announced an Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Sports Management.

The course was unveiled in the presence of Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, General Secretary of the All India Football Federation (AIFF), Gaurav Modwel, Chancellor of GISB and Chairman of India on Track (IOT), and Vivek Sethia, Founder and CEO of India on Track in Mumbai, last week.

GISB’s new sports management program is off to a great start as the likes of Rahul Bheke, a defender for the Indian senior football team and captain of Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL), Farukh Choudhary, forward for the Indian senior national team, Jayesh Rane of Bengaluru FC, India U23 National team, Pratik Chaudhari of Jamshedpur FC and Karan Amin of Odisha FC, have joined this course to know about the other side of the sport.

From left: Vivek Sethia, Rahul Bheke, Farukh Choudhary, Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, Gaurav Modwel, Karan Amin, Pratik Chaudhari and Jayesh Rane.

At the launch ceremony, SportsMint Media got an opportunity of speaking to Mr Gaurav Modwel, Chancellor of the Global Institute of Sports Business and Chairman of India on Track. In this invaluable interaction, Mr Modwel spoke about everything the course has to offer and how it will help the athletes grow their portfolios and enable working professionals to pursue a career in the sports industry.

1. Will this course enable athletes to make business decisions for themselves in the sports arena?

Yess, 100%, this course will enable them to make their own business decisions. While it doesn’t show, they’re already very smart guys and they will become better managers than most people because they understand sports like no one’s business and they are also very resolute. They work really hard and achieve the goals set for themselves. I have personally interviewed each one of them, it’s not like just a brand ambassadorship and they are very serious about this.

2. How would you mould them getting into a corporate setup?

To begin with, they will undergo something known as international psychrometric testing, which will help us find their hidden strengths beyond football. Some may be good at networking and some of them will be having a business acumen of team making and negotiations. So, we take them through the process, then we do mentoring and a complete career counselling framework and then we will be deciding what they are good at. We know them psychologically so we can help them in preparing mentally for life after the sport. I am very confident about the athletes and I’ve promised that when they leave, they won’t be struggling like a lot of coaches are struggling. The life of a club coach is really less, six months down the line you could be fired. At times, the CEOs could be yelling at the coach when the team doesn’t perform. Due to all this, the players don’t want to get into the technical side but on the management side.

3. Could you speak about the affordability of the program?

The pricing of the program is 2.95 lakhs (sub three lakhs for the entire program). And there’s a premium program, which is for 4.35 lakhs, where we assure them they get internships, career pathways, live projects, and more. The duration for athletes might go for two years because they will take time, but otherwise, it’s one.

4. An athlete working in a corporate setup is not established in India, how will you propagate the idea through this course?

There hasn’t been such a course before in India, that’s why it’s not established yet. In this venture, we are aiming at the corporates and if they find the right individual why won’t they select that person? I’m running a company, if some of the ISL clubs don’t hire these athletes, then I will myself hire them. By the time they hang their boots, they are ready to take over as a CEO or HOD in top Indian clubs. The current CEOs didn’t do such a course, but these athletes will have knowledge due to this program along with the onfield experience due to which they will be able to understand a player’s psychology.

5. How is it going to reach someone who’s staying far away from Mumbai?

It’s not only for athletes; it’s for all working professionals. So you’ll find a lot of people from the industry, especially engineers and back office guys, shifting into sports. So this program is for them. However, athletes, who don’t have time, can also get into it. Many sports lovers are lawyers, CAs, and engineers, and all are tired of their jobs and are just in that industry for the sake of money. If they get an opportunity to get into sports, they would love it.

They did not get any opportunity yet, but now wait a few years, and there will be so many jobs coming up in the sports sector. The growth of sports is related to economic growth. When sports lovers have money, they will spend it on sports. As we economically grow, the industry will grow, and we will need a lot of people to come in.

6. Will it also enhance Indian sports?

100%, we are seeing it. For example, there are none in sports finance, so I need proper CAs to get into the sports business and work in sports finance, but the problem is that CAs are already working and earning 1-1.5 lakhs monthly. Now, why will he/she switch to this sector? If the CA leaves his/her job for 15 months, it will cost Rs. 20 lakh. Not to forget the fees. Another concern for the CA will be whether he/she will get another job. So that individual would rather do this course while working, and as soon as the course is over, that person will shift into the sports sector. The sports industry doesn’t have proper sports CAs, so I need them.

Sports CAs, Sports Finance, Sponsorship and Sales. There are lots of foreigners who are in the Indian sports sector, in which I want Indians to participate, but their problem is they can’t take a break from this course.

7. How will the proceedings progress after the commencement of the course?

It’s self-paced learning. It’s comprehensive learning. Any doubts if anyone has, at the end of the week there is a session for two hours in which our teachers can solve them over the web. There will also be industry projects and assignments. Our assignment, currently, in GISB is to present to the Chelsea board. Just like that, it keeps happening. Rest assured, everything is self-paced, live sessions, CEOs interacting, doubt-creating sessions, industry projects—it’s a complete 360-degree program. There’s no other program like this anywhere in the world.

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