The one common thing between a sports personality and an entrepreneur is that they never give up until they have achieved their goal or dream. The only thing that differentiates between the two is that one works hard on the field to fulfill the dream, while the other looks to overcome odds in the business world.
Sometimes Athletes look to venture into the new field once they have achieved their target and the best way to do that is to enter the business world. Today we look at athletes who have not only done a fantastic job on the field but also making a good run in the business world as well.
The 47-year-old cricketer had a stellar career as a player, where he led Team India in test matches and also picked up 619 wickets 132 matches. He is the second bowler in the history of test cricket to pick up 10 wickets in an innings. He achieved the feat against Pakistan at Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi in the year 1999. On 2nd November 2008 Kumble announced his retirement from international cricket.
He was then appointed as Team India’s coach in the year 2016, but his duration lasted for just 1 year after he resigned from the post due to differences with skipper Virat Kohli and loss in final of Champions Trophy 2017.
Talking about his career off-field, the legendary Indian spinner along with Indian table tennis champion Vasant Bharadwaj, started a business venture by the name of TENVIC in 2011. The venture focusses on behavioral training programmes based on sports for people development in corporate organizations.
TENVIC brings the spirit of sportsmanship into the world of business through training and mentoring by former sportsperson. The company has an impressive portfolio of clients like Pepsi, Oracle, IBM, SAP and Intel.
She has been the face of Indian Badminton for quite a long time and it was her performance at international game, that helped the game to flourish as more and more youngsters are now picking up the sport professionally.
She has been the torch bearer of the sport and has an impressive career so far.
Nehwal has achieved several milestones in badminton for India. She is the only Indian to have won at least a medal in every BWF major individual event, namely the Olympics, the BWF World Championships, and the BWF World Junior Championships. She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, along with being the only Indian to have won the BWF World Junior Championships or to have reached to the final of the BWF World Championships.
In 2006, Nehwal became the first Indian female and the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. She also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win a Super Series title. In the 2014 Uber Cup, she captained the Indian team and remained undefeated, helping India to win the bronze medal. It was India’s first medal in any BWF major team event. Nehwal became the first Indian to win two singles gold medals (2010 and 2018) in Commonwealth Games.
Previously, the nation’s top two sporting honors, namely the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award, were also conferred on her by the Government of India. In 2016, the Government of India conferred the Padma Bhushan – India’s third highest civilian award – on her.
Inspite of having such an illustrious career, Saina decided to venture into the business world and started investing in startups. She made her first investment in health startup ‘Paree’ and also endorsed the product.
The poster boy of shooting, Bindra is the only Indian shooter to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the shooting. He won gold in the 10 meter Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. He is the first and only Indian to have held both the World and Olympic titles at the same time, a feat he accomplished by capturing the Gold Medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, after having won the gold at the 2006 ISSF World Shooting Championships. Bindra also won the Gold Medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
After finishing his career Bindra decided to venture into sports entrepreneurship and in 2016 the ace shooter floated a venture fund that will invest in startups. The Olympic champion set up an incubation fund, called Shooting Star LLP, in equal partnership with consulting firm Franchise India and an initial investment of $2 million.
Speaking to Economic Times during the launch Bindra said “This is my first widespread and extensive business venture. A startup is very much like an athlete’s life… There’s no guarantee for success,”. “There are only challenges but that’s a life I’ve lived for the past 20 years.
Shooting is doing very well but it’s not a sport where you can earn a sustained living or economically gain a lot of benefit out of it,” said Bindra, the first Indian to win an individual gold in the Olympic games.