Star athletes join the inaugural class of the Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Sports Management at the Global Institute of Sports Business

The first batch has been dominated by Indian footballers who have represented their country at the international level.

The Global Institute of Sports Business (GISB), based in Mumbai, has formally announced the official launch of their Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Sports Management at the Novotel Juhu.

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 graced the launch ceremony.

The inaugural event included attendance by a number of prominent athletes from all over the country who will be part of the program’s initial cohort. Rahul Bheke, 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 and the India U23 National team, Pratik Chaudhari of Jamshedpur FC, and Karan Amin of Odisha FC in the ISL all attended the launch occasion in Mumbai on Monday. The first batch has been dominated by Indian footballers who have represented their country at the international level or are members of top Indian football teams.

About the program, Dr Shaji Prabhakaran, said, “The learnings from the Executive Program will definitely fill in the knowledge gaps that exist in the sports industry especially for the athlete community, they will find it extremely attractive to be part of it, because of the flexibility of the course. I’m sure once they go out complete the course and they start doing well, it will create more opportunities for others to step into their place and I think that’s important in India, these kinds of forces coming together is good for overall growth of sports in the nation as well.”

The Executive Post-Graduate Programme in Sports Management is a combination of intensive, informative, pertinent higher education course that specialises in sports business. The programme combines self-paced online sessions, live online classes, domestic and international immersions, and student mixers/networking events, allowing the athletes in the first batch to learn the essential abilities required to be part of India’s quickly professionalising sports ecosystem.

Speaking about how this course will help support the rapidly professionalising sporting ecosystem of India, Mr Gaurav Modwel said, “When any industry gets organized, it requires varied management styles. Sports is a very specific area; it is different from other management jobs. So, this course is very different from a normal management program. It’s important that people do this kind of a program and then switch over because it will create a clear pathway for executives and the best minds in the nation to switch over to the sports industry.

“I want profiles of highly professionalised personnel in the sports industry because they would come and help us build the industry. They will go on to make a big difference after this course because there is no program which is as effective and which is an online program or a hybrid program.”

The programme is co-certified by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and will feature speakers from the global sports sector in addition to networking opportunities with GISB affiliates for enrolled athletes.

Will Norton, Director of the McCormack Center for Sport Research & Education, said, “We’re excited to extend our global educational partnership with GISB, as the past three years of collaboration have yielded enriching in-class educational content and formed a strong connection between McCormack faculty and GISB students.

“Tapping into our industry-leading alumni network and faculty cohort allows us to create value through collaboration, and further the educational mission of sport management as a discipline. Tackling this challenge in India with a trusted, strategic partner in GISB has been a wonderful undertaking, and we look forward to helping develop future leaders of the Indian sports industry through GISB’s expanding academic offerings.”

Aditi Chauhan, the former captain and current goalkeeper of the Indian Women’s National Team, Nikhil Poojary, a player for Hyderabad FC who has also been called up to the senior national team camp in preparation for the upcoming Intercontinental Cup, Gaurav Bora, a defender for NorthEast United FC, Vinil Poojary, a player for I-League team FC Bengaluru United, Rohit Kumar, and Parag Shrivas, players for Bengaluru FC will be part of the first batch of the program alongside athletes who participated in today’s event.

Speaking about the need of such a course Rahul Bheke, said, “We cannot play football for life, we can only play till our body supports us. So, after that stops and then we have to think what now? So, there’s nothing else that we can think of other than football. That’s why we thought of joining this course during the journey of our playing career. If we are able to educate ourselves properly about how the sports industry works, then we can start understanding the gaps that need to be filled. So, that’s when we all came to the conclusion, we should do this course. We all want to try and help and contribute to the growth of the industry in the country even adding from our own experiences as athletes.”

Farukh Choudhary, concluded by stating, “It feels good to be part of this course. Obviously, I’m excited now the course is out there. So, I think it’s a very good way to start our journey into sports management. I’m both curious and eager to start learning and see what happens behind scenes in sports in India. So, I’m hoping that everything goes smoothly during the course, and I hope I can learn a lot.”

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