When it comes to sports, the need is to capture the imagination of people, especially women, and push them into sports. This was stated by Mr Rajiv Yadav, newly appointed Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, while addressing “Scorecard 2015 -- National Conference on Business of Sports”, organized by Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), on September 1, 2015, at New Delhi. Mr. Yadav added sports was a serious business but a happy one too and that the idea was to focus and identify key areas of investment. On a motivational note, one person’s win in any sport was a matter of rejoice for all and gives everyone psychological boost. “Invest in proud Indians,” Mr Yadav said in his address.
Inaugurating the event in the morning, Mr Onkar Kedia, Joint Secretary-Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, Government of India, lauded the efforts of all the stakeholders in sports, including state governments, PSUs, NGOs, sports federations, and advised them to work in a synchronized manner. “To transform India into a formidable sporting nation, the need is to sensitize and seek perception change”, he said. Mr Kedia cited the example of China where, he said, talent was identified at a very young age and an ecosystem to support talent in sports exists. “India is gradually becoming a multi-sports nation and it is interesting to witness inflow of funds in non-cricket sports as well”, he added. He proposed that financial security and recognition would help draw people into the sports system.
Delivering the theme address, Mr Sanjay Gupta, Chairman, CII National Committee on Sports and, Chief Operating Officer, Star India Pvt. Ltd., presented an overview of unique opportunities prevailing in the Indian sports sector and ways in which this could transform the overall sporting landscape in the country. Exuding confidence in the prospects of the Indian sports sector, Mr Gupta said that despite some of the teething issues in sports, key factors driving sector’s growth were individual brilliance and support from private enterprise. According to him, sports industry, currently US $ 2 Billion industry, possess potential to reach the level of US $ 10 Billion in the next five years. Referring to some of the inspiring success stories of Indian sportsperson, Mr Gupta said that “explosive, dramatic and transformative forces are at play, leading to change in the perception of sports”.
Sharing his rich experience as a sportsperson having represented India at international level, Mr Vijay Amritraj, former Indian tennis champion, sports commentator and actor, said that India was standing at the tip of the iceberg in sports. He advocated that sports be based on merit and treated complementary with education. Some of the unique attributes associated with sports, he said, were its presence at the grassroots level; health and fitness; domestic competition, goodwill and communication. Stressing upon the prevailing opportunities, Mr Amritraj said that all the key determinants are in place which position India at the tip of the iceberg, and most likely next two decades would be India’s glorious period in sports arena.
This was followed by Air Marshal B B P Sinha unveiling the Subroto Cup Trophy.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), delivering the welcome remarks, suggested that in order to increase the share of sports in India’s GDP, there should be enhanced level of interaction between industry and sportsmen, along with an effective involvement of the private sector. Furthermore, Mr Banerjee suggested that all the stakeholders should jointly explore regarding how the sports sector could be granted the industry status.
1 September 2015