Sports Conclave on “Business and Sports: Creating Win-Win Partnerships” on 19th March, 2019 at Bengaluru

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Mahatma Education Society’s Pillai Group of Institutions organized a FIFA/CIES/PILLAI Sports Conclave on the theme “Business and Sports: Creating Win-Win Partnerships” on 19th March, 2019 at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Bengaluru. The objective of the Sports Conclave was to understand the linkage between the corporate and sports sectors. The Conclave was supported by International Women’s Federation of Commerce and Industry (IWFCI), India National Chapter. Dr Daphne Pillai, Secretary, Mahatma Education Society, is also currently the President of IWFCI. Welcoming the audience, Dr Pillai explained the rationale for IWFCI to partner for this Conclave stating that Chamber’s such as IWFCI can play a catalytic role in conveying the information about such a unique executive programme in sports management to the women employers and employees across various sectors. Elaborating on MES’s achievements in sports she noted that being part of the FIFA/CIES University Network will allow the Pillai Group to become a leader in the field of sport management in South Asia.

The Sports Conclave was inaugurated by Dr. Jeethendra Shetty, Deputy Director, Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports, Karnataka State. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Shetty was appreciative of the collaboration of an Indian educational institute with a prestigious international body of the calibre of FIFA/CIES. He commended the role of the corporate sector in the development of sports right from the grassroots level. Giving his blessings to the newly launched sports management programme, he hoped the country would benefit by such initiatives.

The Special Guest at the event, Mr. Charu Sharma – acclaimed sports anchor/commentator, sports management professional and Founder of the Pro-Kabaddi League shared his perspective on the corporate sector’s involvement in the development of Indian Sports. Noting that the burgeoning sports industry needs a large number of qualified professionals at all levels, he lauded the efforts of the Pillai Group in bringing such international programmes to the Indian subcontinent.

The Guest of Honour, Ms Shukla Bose, Founder & CEO, Parikrma Humanity Foundation, spoke about her experiences with engaging the underserved children in rural and urban areas through education. She stressed upon the importance of sports as a developmental tool and illustrated this with her own Foundation’s initiatives such as United Parikrma Sports Programme.

The inaugural session ended with a symbolic gesture of signing a football by all the dignitaries on the dais. Delivering the Vote of Thanks, Rema Ramchandran, Director – Services, IWFCI India thanked all the dignitaries and guests and said that with the upcoming Women’s U-17 World Cup and many more prestigious sporting events being hosted in India, it is initiatives such as these that will encourage women to embark on careers in sports.

The inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion on “Business and Sports : Creating Win-Win Partnerships”. Recent developments have shown encouraging trends in this beneficial linkage and the Conclave brought together professionals who gave interesting insights into the way forward for both the sectors. The panelists were Ms. Ashwini Nachappa – Arjuna Awardee and Founder of Karaumbiah’s Academy for Learning and Sports, (KALS, Coorg), Ms. Deepika Das Periera – Lead – Client Servicing, JSW Sports Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Adhip Bhandary – Founder / Director, Bangalore Youth Football League and Mr. Dhruv Mullick -Partner, zlait Sports Bangalore LLP. The speakers commended the Pillai Group for such an opportune initiative. They emphasized that the Corporate Sector is a key stakeholder in the Indian sporting ecosystem. Each panelist gave exemplars from his/her own experiences on the win-win nature of corporate and sports sector partnerships. The panel discussion served its purpose of bringing out significant insights that would help the Pillai Group in localization of its programme’s content.

Other dignitaries who graced the occasion included Capt. Dileep Kumar (International Kayaker & Asian Games Medalist) – Treasurer, Indian Canoeing & Kayaking Association, Secretary, Karnataka Association & Executive Member, Karnataka Olympics Association, and Mr. Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Head (Operations-South India) from Bhaichung Bhutia Football Schools among others. Each dignitary welcomed this unique partnership between Pillai Group and FIFA/CIES and were gracious in extending their support to the Executive Programme in Sports Management.

While concluding the event, Mr. Franav Pillai, Director of the PILLAI/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme added enthusiastically, “Our partnership with FIFA/CIES has come at a crucial time where our country is all set to take its sports ecosystem towards a new direction. This prestigious collaboration will enable the Pillai group to significantly contribute to sports management in India. Partnering with the corporate sector will reap rich benefits for the participants of the Programme”.

The Conclave was well attended by over 100 sports professionals from the corporate sector, students pursuing sports education and members of IWFCI.