Bhubaneshwar: Celebrating the spirit of innovation, effectuation and inclusion, XAVIER-EMLYON Business School, a one-of-a-kind Indo-French collaboration between XIM University, Bhubaneswar and emlyon business school, France and Odisha’s only Sports Industry Management High Performance Academic Center of Excellence hosted the second edition of SPORT IT virtually on April 15-16 in a grand fashion.
The event organized in collaboration with the Department of Sports and Youth Services, the Department of Tourism, Odisha Startup and FICCI saw the participation of more than 30 start-ups, investors and industry experts from different regions of the country. The event took place on a platform exclusively organized by FICCI and this year’s theme was “Sports, Tourism and Technology”.
The inaugural session was attended by Additional Secretary, Tourism, Durga Prasad Mohapatra; Co-Secretary, Department of Sports and Youth Services, Ranjit Parida, Editor, Sports, Aaj Tak, Vikrant Gupta; General Secretary, Indian Wrestling Federation, VN Prasood; Founder of the sports app, Shashank Mishra; Dean, XEBS, Professor Arun Kumar Paul; President, XEBS, Ashley Fernandes and was moderated by Senior Director, Operations, XEBS, Diksha Tiwari.
Although the Minister of Sports and Youth Services of Odisha Government, Tusharkanti Behera was unable to attend the session, he shared a message by which he welcomed entrepreneurs and experts from the industry participating in this unique event and appreciated the efforts made by XEBS to promote a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship within the sports community.
This was followed by the kick off of the Startup Mashup which was a virtual exhibition for startups working in sports, technology and tourism. The first day also saw students and entrepreneurs participate in the National Innovation Challenge organized in collaboration with Start-up Odisha and AIC Nalanda. The competition was opened a month ago on predefined themes for ideas/prototypes in the sports and tourism sectors and the final saw the participants participate in the same.
Later in the evening, a round table was held on the theme “Sports and Tourism: Responsibilities and Opportunities”. Panelists included Hockey India CEO Elena Norman; MD QTT Adventure Sports Academy Pvt Ltd and Indian Surfing Federation General Secretary Jehan Driver; former Rajya Sabha MP Sasmit Patra; MD (operations in India, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Nepal), Atmosphere Hotels and Resorts, Souvagya Mohapatra; FICCI Sports Committee Co-Chair and Founder of WordsWork Communications Consulting, Neha Mathur Rastogi and Entrepreneur, Fitness and Wellness Expert, IRONMAN India Franchise Owner, Deepak Raj. Moderated by Diksha Tiwari, the session highlighted how sport and tourism are increasingly linked and the immense opportunities it offers. When big marquee sporting events take place, they provide a huge boost to the local economy and are a major driver of tourism, with the 2018 FIH Men’s Hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar being a prime example.
Day two began with an Investor’s Corner, an exclusive interaction session where emerging entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch in front of investors, which included ah! Ventures, Kolkata Sports Ventures and thinQbate.
This was followed by a panel discussion on “Sports Industries in India: The Challenge of Management and Mindset”. Panelists included, Founder, SportsCourses, com, Arup Soans; Project Manager, Odisha Naval Tata Hockey HPC, Rajiv Seth; Head of Digital Marketing and Communications, Decathlon Sports India, Gaudham Ganesh; President, JUM Consulting, Paris, Julien Montel and COO, Marwah Sports, Aritra Chatterjee and XEBS Chairman Ashley Fernandes was the moderator. The panelists were optimistic about how far India has come in sports management in India over the past decade and with the public-private partnership growing stronger every day, they spoke of a bright future. for the sports industry.
The day also saw the Department of Tourism and the Department of Sports give a window for entrepreneurs to showcase their start-ups/products. While the Additional Secretary, Tourism heard from tourism entrepreneurs, Sports Secretary Vineel Krishna and CEO, Hockey India Elena Norman listened to sports entrepreneurs.
These sessions were highly appreciated by entrepreneurs from different parts of the country due to the willingness and intention of the government of Odisha, especially the Department of Sports (since many participants came from outside Odisha for the presentation session) to encourage and support young talents.
This was followed by a panel discussion on “Sports and entertainment: finding the right model”. The panelists for this discussion were, Delhi Football Association President, Shaji Prabhakaran; Shibani Kashyap, Bollywood singer and IPL performer; Indian national hockey player, PR Sreejesh; COO, IOS Sports and Entertainment Pvt. Ltd., Rahul Trehan and CEO and co-founder of The Bridge, Arshi Yasin. The session was moderated by Diksha Tiwari and the panelists discussed the evolution of sport into entertainment, the revenue derived from it, how it benefits the ecosystem while emphasizing that the most important is the sport and the performance of the sportsman himself. . The panel also emphasized inclusion and the need to look to sports other than cricket.
The closing panel discussion focused on “The Future of Global Sport: Technology, Innovation and Inclusion” and panelists were Marwah Sports CEO, Pranav Marwah; Manager – Investor Relations and Strategic Alliances, ah! Ventures, Harsh Deodhar; Co-founder, JOIN and Yakar, Jonathan Szwarc; Former cricketer and entrepreneur, Jaya Sharma and Head of Student Affairs and Recruitment, Tony Parker Adequat Academy, Maureen Reat. The session was moderated by Arup Soans and panelists deliberated on the growing need for technology by sports teams and associations which has fueled several start-ups and innovators. Data-driven technology has become crucial for evaluating team performance, fan management and the stadium engagement experience.
The closing ceremony of the event, sponsored by the WTO and supported by the Department of Industries, saw the announcement of all the winners. For NIC, in the student category, the first prize, a cash prize of Rs. 30,000 went to Prajukta Mohanty from SAI International School, Bhubaneswar and the runners-up prize, a cash prize of Rs. 20,000, was given to Spandan Srinivas and his team, from XEBS. In the entrepreneur category, the prizes were awarded to Jaydev Mahapatra, founder of ARDOR FOOTBALL ACADEMY LLP and Zahid Akhtar, founder of BHIMKUND ECO TOURS. They received Rs 50,000 and Rs 30,000 respectively, all sponsored by Start-Up Odisha.
Start-up Mashup winners were Sujit Panigrahi and his Haryana-based Sequoia Fitness and Sports Technology Pvt. ltd. and Ananta Prasad, founder of Mutt Hospitality Ventures Pvt. ltd. The two received cash prizes of Rs 2 lakh each on behalf of the departments.
The event was a great learning and networking platform for entrepreneurs. Investors and government have already expressed interest in having a second round of talks with some of the attendees.
“XEBS challenged the status quo and tried to offer a unique value proposition. In difficult times, more than ever, we have been reminded that we must share, care and dare. Now on the road to recovery, SPORT IT is just another expression of this dynamic of information sharing, caring for all stakeholders by providing them with new opportunities and daring them to create a better and inclusive future. . Innovative public-private partnerships, cross-fertilization between sport and tourism, sport as an inclusive and impactful social model are all signs of the very forward thinking of the government and administration of Odisha,” shared Ashley Fernandes, president of XEBS and hoped for a brighter future. and a better future.