Can an Athlete Be a Good Entrepreneur?


Athletics and entrepreneurship…two different worlds with a strong connect!  It is an ineludible fact that there is a striking resemblance between sports and entrepreneurship! It is noteworthy that just like in sports, starting a new business too, demands dedication, determination, discipline and working sedulously. These values which one learns on the field are highly applicable within the business world as well. Hence, the underlying correlation between sports and business not only needs to be recognised, but also nurtured in order to aid our endeavours while building back better for a new tomorrow.

Although the comparison between sports and entrepreneurship seems metaphorical, in actual fact both are two sides of the same coin. Both sports and entrepreneurship are very competitive professions, demanding burning passion, tenacity, agility and continued focus from ‘players of the game.’ Therefore, an athlete would certainly be a good prospect for entrepreneurship.

The entrepreneurial world can be a complete grind, which requires you to have  a “never quit” mentality; and this is the attitude our sportsperson reflect in their sphere of activity as well.   Although they might not initially have the know-how to succeed right away, but with the right guidance, athletes are great suitors to lead companies and enter the start-up world.

The skills that athletes use on the playing field are also the same skills that are needed to be successful in any aspect of life. For instance, teamwork;  in an  entrepreneurial effort is important because working alone can cause a lot of stress and isolation. Again, whether it is mesmerising the audiences with their sixes, ruffling opponents with their powerful serves, or shuttling their way to become world champions, sport stars have always been close to the hearts of millions of Indians rooting for the game. This adoration gives them the confidence to have a tryst with entrepreneurship as well, knowing that their ‘fans’ will support them in their endeavours. There have been many athletes who have made the transition to the business world and have been very successful because of the skills that they possess –

Yuvraj Singh – A dynamite at the cricket pitch, who has inspired millions of people not just by hitting six sixes but by also winning his personal battle against cancer. Now he is all ready to inspire startups through his investment firm YouWeCan Ventures.

Virat Kohli – Virat Kohli  last year launched his chain of gyms and fitness centres called Chisel in association with Franchise India. However, Virat’s entrepreneurial journey had already begun in 2014, when he had  launched his first fashion brand Wrogn. He is also a co-owner to Indian Super League football club FC Goa.

This ‘God of Indian Cricket’, Sachin Tendulkar, also seems to be god-like on the startup field. The master blaster has put multiple investments in budding businesses like Musafir (UAE-based Internet travel company), Smaaash (sports simulation), Kochi Franchise, Indian Super League (Sports League), S Drive and Sach (healthcare and sports fitness products), Universal Sportsbiz (celebrity merchandise), and Mumbai Franchise for the International Tennis Premiere League.

 Mahesh Bhupati started Globosport, a sports marketing and celebrity management company. The high came when Globosport signed up to manage the commercial interests of Andy Murray, who is ranked No 2 worldwide. In 2014, Mahesh Bhupati was also seen investing in Sports365, an online store specialising in sports goods and fitness equipment.

Thus, any self-driven, goal oriented, confident, determined, poised and persistent person, who is capable of handling failure can certainly be a successful entrepreneur. Well, didn’t I just describe the qualities of a sportsperson……… These are just some of the traits athletes possess through playing sports for years and if you are an athlete thinking about making the leap into the business world, don’t hesitate. You already have what it takes to be a great business leader!

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