“Corporate India realized the business potential of sports ”
Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) is the largest & oldest apex business organisation in India. FICCI is India’s only apex chamber of commerce with a dedicated sports division and full time sports experts. Bureaucracy India had a detailed conversation with Mr Rajpal Singh, Director – FICCI & Head, Sports & Youth Affairs, Labour & Employment.
Mr Rajpal Singh is an alumnus of Shri Ram College of Commerce and Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. Thereafter, he finished his LLB and MBA from Birla Institute of Management and Technology. He is a national level judo player, black belt 3rdDan from International Judo Federation and has represented India in Judo.
Here are the excerpts:
Our readers would like to know the genesis of the formation of Sports arm of FICCI.
FICCI’s association with sports dates back to 2002. We were the first industry chamber to talk about business potential of sports in India. Our role is to “Corporate India has already started realizing the business potential of sports beyond CSR and cricket” create awareness about the sports development and business of sports. We are also closely working under the guidance of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) on several policy issues which are going to be milestones in helping sports get its due place in the economy.
Compared to other Chambers of Commerce, FICCI has been very active when it comes to Sports in India. What prompted FICCI to take Sports so seriously?
Corporate India has already started realizing the business potential of sports beyond CSR and cricket. Many international sports championships are happening in India, domestic leagues are getting started. Real estate developers are investing in multipurpose sports infrastructure development in residential establishments to attract home buyers. Elite private schools promote their schools’ sports infrastructure as USPs. Today, parents encourage their children to take sports as a career. Sports have huge
entrepreneurship and employment potential. According to a FICCI study, on “Sports as a Full Time Career” India will require a 0.3 Million sports personnel (support staff) by 2017. It says it all about burgeoning sports industry and business potential it has and hence FICCI’s focus on Sports.
What services can companies expect from FICCI when it comes to investing in sports?
With the help of our associates FICCI is equipped to act as a facilitator and provide platform, advisory services and handholding to international or national organization interested in launching business and services in sports. Besides, we have market intelligence available with us and are networked with the right stakeholders including states. We have resources available with us in terms of FICCI Sports committee members to facilitate ideation and development of projects that support our vision of profitable promotion of the game.
All this is in addition to FICCI’s USP of having Invest India and other direct connect with Sports World and most importantly market understanding and knowledge.
Turf is a flagship event by FICCI. What has been the response so far?
FICCI was first chamber of commerce to start “TURF” annual international convention on business of Sports. This is so far the biggest convention being held in India on business of sports. Year on year the convention is becoming bigger and better with exhibition, B2G and B2B networking sessions. Till date we had more than 2000 participants and more than 75 exhibitors and sponsors who join us for TURF every year.
There is a considerable increase in number of international delegates coming to India to attend TURF. We have had delegations from various European countries, Middle East besides participation from Australia, Singapore and SAARC nations.
What are the plans related to Turf in future?
In future, we would like to get more and more international delegates with their business plans to invest in India or other countries along with Indian sports enterprises. We want to show case India Sports Industry’s potential not just in sports goods manufacturing but also in sports business expansion and who can play a critical role in bringing developing
countries potential to world stage. We would like to scale up TURF to project it not just as Destination INDIA but also as Destination SAARC and Destination ASIA in the future.
Kindly give a small note of your personal journey to being the Director of such an important portfolio.
I have been with FICCI for the last 18 years and have had the opportunity of representing FICCI on various policy and regulatory matters across sectors and in forums like WTO. I also have been a part of 9th-11th five year plan of various
ministries of Government of India. I represent FICCI in committees constituted by Government of India which includes committees on
• Infrastructure status to sports sector
• Promoting PPP in sports
• National committee to award
individuals and organizations for
encouraging sports development
I have been actively involved in important task forces and committees of Indian Olympics Association, Sports Authority of India, CWG-Organizing committee and National Sports Federationin in both individual and
Can you briefly summarize your business interests as Director Sports?
We are here to interact with individuals and organizations interested in launching business and services in sports sector in India. We have provided consultancy and launch pad to sports business development projects in India through our marquee events, network and reach with Government, industry and academia. We would be glad to connect with stakeholders with interests in being part of Indian Sports industry growth story.