Booster Dose to Sports Industry- An appeal to GOI

Issues faced by sports business ventures and suggestions to boost growth of sports industry

During last five years there have been tremendous boost for sports especially at base level. GOI is rightly taking the sportsmen playing sports other than cricket seriously , by rolling out various schemes and ideas like Khelo India to give it a right push. The results are there to see with India gaining in international sporting competitions in a big way during last few years, recent highlights being Hima Das, Mary Kom and many more. There is a big hope for country’s future sports persons and light at the end of tunnel for sports in India is not far away.

It may also be stated that apart from GOI, there are lot of institutions , private and public, who are contributing in this endeavor in their own ways. There is huge potential in India for sports as a business as well and you may be aware that this industry has started providing employment to youth who are keen to work in their favorite area of interests rather than in routine professions .

It is needless to say that the sustainable sports business environment would not thrive without GOI support. There are many young/middle age entrepreneurs in our country whose passion is sports are also starting new ventures in various areas of sports management, event management, websites , media company etc. and engaging themselves indirectly to the mission of bringing India in top sports countries of the world.

We are a three year sports promotion company who are working at  grassroots levels and ensuring promotion, visibility of young sportsmen, helping them solving their problems in pursuing sports career , bringing best available support systems for them almost equivalent to those being given to top sportsmen in India. We are also campaigning for our mission ‘More Rackets Less Gadgets’ and doing a bit to motivate children to come back to ground and  not remain in four walls with increasing  addiction of  mobiles or gadgets . We have been traveling for the purpose all over India (rural and urban ) and have observed many hindrances faced by young sports persons and the sport eco system at ground level.

Few projects implemented by us in concurrence with our objective are as below

1.Sports conference for grass root sports persons

2. First Women’s Premier League in association with women’s cricket association of India and VPCC (a cultural Trust) for rural women.

3. Zero cost digital partnerships / news coverage for one thousand plus grassroot sports events/performances.

4. Sports Support system (sports science and management support) at affordable cost for grass-root sportsmen.

5. Various sports coaching camps, fitness tests, sports melas in school and  career guidance events in sports to young sportsmen.

6. Sports APP  for connecting employers and job seekers in sports Industry.

7.Raising issues of sportsmen through our website and social media platforms.

Though government is taking up the large scale responsibility to stimulate growth in sports in India  , without support of small organisations who are coming up and working hard and  passionately to bring change and achieve the goal would remain a dream .

We need to bring to notice of GOI few issues and  speed breakers encountered by us which we feel are hampering our genuine work and creating road blocks. We would like GOI  to look into these teething troubles and offer the relaxations wherever possible . This could go a long way in boosting the sports industry in our country and generate employment on large scale.

Following suggestions for kind consideration:

  1. New Sports business ventures who are startups owned fully by Indian citizens may be given zero/concessional  interest finance by banks with relaxed repayment schedule.
  2.  Sports ventures may be given full tax holiday for all types of taxes direct (I.Tax) and indirect (GST etc)  at least for five years as most of the new companies are merely able to manage the show with their own investments and actually face huge cash flow problems in the initial years of business as the sports business in out country in yet to become a structured and still a risk prone.
  3. Relaxation in various compliances  as a Pvt. Ltd company or otherwise would help the entrepreneurs to concentrate on business, rather than worrying about the GOI/SG department queries and time lines. This would also help entrepreneurs to save valuable capital and income generated at low margins only for core business purpose .Entrepreneurs would also be spared of additional inevitable consultancy expenditure of CAs, Company Secretaries , legal advisers etc.
  4. CSR funds for sports ventures are a very good initiative by GOI but Pvt. Ltd companies / partnership firms are not eligible for these. GOI may consider waiving of the clause that only Trusts or NGOs can accept CSR funds earmarked for sports . The waiver can help business ventures in a big way and would be additional source of capital or income for them . This can be shot in arm for entrepreneurs who have already formed Pvt. ltd companies, Partnerships or proprietorship firms with sports as a concept .They won’t be needed to form a Trust (which itself requires to raise an additional investment )  to tap this financial avenue . This would spur up the small business entities to have access to this important financial stream.
  5. Making avaialble grounds for sports events at low cost
  6.  We are expecting a positive actions from GOI to create a favorable climate for the young sports entrepreneurs to unleash the potential and take already growing sports industry to next level.

 Aju Deshpande

A Sportsnasha exclusive