India Looks Beyond The Conventional Courses To Pursue Sports Management

Nilesh Kulkarni, Founder, IISMThe Sports Industry has seen a meteoric rise in the past decade and with big-ticket leagues like the Indian Premier League, Indian Super League, Pro Badminton, and Pro Kabaddi League flourishing, the sports environment in India is better than ever before. These leagues have created a huge demand for skilled professionals who can multitask to ensure the smooth functioning of a tournament.

After playing competitive cricket at the highest level, I have dedicated myself to the cause of growing the sports industry in India. The developments that have taken place in recent years have been nothing short of revolutionary and this has made the government sit and take notice of the plight of the sporting industry by putting forward proposals to create a world-class sports infrastructure for the future generation. Ashish Shelar the honorable Sports Minister of Maharashtra recently announced that the government will set aside Rs3000 crores for the development of sporting infrastructure in Maharashtra which just goes to show that India is moving in the right direction.

The Sports Industry can broadly be categorized into 5 career paths - 1. Administration and Operations, 2. Media, Communication and Public Relations, 3. Athlete, Team and League Management, 4. Sales and Marketing and 5. Sports Analytics.

In today's day and age, Sports analytics has proven to be an
important tool to enhance the on-field performance of the athletes. The support staff with the help of the Big Data have made significant strides in improving the performance of the individual / team and give them an edge over their competition. With a market size of only $125 million in 2014, sports analytics valuation jumped to $764.3 million in 2016 and is expected to reach a staggering $4.7 billion by 2021. Technavio's analysts estimate the global sports analytics market to grow at a CAGR of 56.66 percent between 2017-2021.

In today's day and age, Sports analytics has proven to be an important tool to enhance the on-field performance of the athletes

Parent's obsession with the conventional courses has led many students towards careers they do not want to pursue. A lot of students end up depressed because they are not able to live up to the pressures of their family and the society and many ends up dropping out altogether and feel like a failure. The few who manage to get through the hardship end up choosing IT which does not necessarily require an engineering background. The reason very few engineers actually stick to engineering shows that it is not the first choice of many students. When it comes to MMBS, while these courses have a good track record, the number of seats available for the 5.5-year MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery) degree is limited to about 50,000 all over India, spread over 400 colleges. Hence, many aspirants in spite of their best efforts do not get a chance to take up their dream course. At the same time, medical studies are much more exhaustive, requiring large portions to be covered, clinical work, and finally, a rigorous year of internship. The kids who are not passionate about MBBS and other such courses are often demotivated in life.

The sports industry, on the other hand, it is a million-dollar industry growing by 12 percent Y.o.Y. Hence, its sub-sectors like sports marketing and PR, sports events, sports grassroots development, sports manufacturing, and retail, and many more, demands manpower. According to FICCI's Vision Document 2014, this industry would require a whopping human resource of 4 million by the year 2022. There are numerous untapped opportunities awaiting the Sports Management aspirants. With the Athletes doing well at the world stage in various sporting disciplines it is now more important than ever to produce world-class Physios, Administrators, Managers and Coaches to enhance the performance of the Athletes.