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“With Vidarbha Open, Krishang Sports aim to provide solid launchpad for young management professionals…”, Mehul Raval

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Mehul Raval, a Master’s in Sports Business and Innovation, founded Krishang Sports in 2021 with the aim to provide consultancy services to sportsmen, coaches, administrators and even people from non-sporting sector who want to explore the sports industry. Mehul wants Vidarbha Pickleball Open to be one of the key IPs of Krishang.

Why more people are getting into the sports industry recently?

Mehul Raval: This was a trend that started from last decade; but post-COVID it has taken a different shape. Most of the people have become aware of health and fitness, and therefore, the sports industry is also booming. This is where Krishang Sports step in. We want to be a connect among all the stakeholders of this industry- where a sportsman can coordinate with a coach, a health freak can get in touch with a nutritional supplement company or a sports gear manufacturer can tie up with administrators. So, we have this tried and tested consultancy service as one of our verticals. And the other vertical is events and operations. In that region Vidarbha Pickleball Open is our first event.

Why do you want to start with a Pickleball tournament?

Mehul Raval: Before the initiation of Krishang Sports, I, personally, organised a Pickleball League tournament. At that time I found how Pickleball has grown in the last 3-4 years. Taking cue from its huge growth potential, I thought of organising something big in Pickleball. And that is when I found that I am on the same page with Shreyansh Mohta, my batch mate at Loughborough University. He, based in Nagpur, also wanted to do a tournament at his hometown to spread awareness about the sport. So, that’s how Krishang Sports came on board and started working with Shreyansh, UA Sport and ISRAD for this Vidarbha Open.

What do this Vidarbha Open holds for young sports management professionals?

Mehul Raval: Generally when an event is done, the company organises the event in a specific location and is done with it. They go back there after a year or so to conduct another season as an annual offering. But, since I am a part of this sports education industry, I always wanted to meet the imbalance between the demand-supply chain. There are a lot of Sports Management institutes that have come up recently. There are also a lot of Sports Management graduates who are not getting relevant jobs. Krishang Sports want to give them good job opportunities. Like for example, through Vidarbha Open, we want to set up Pickleball centres in different districts of this region. Each centre will need around 10-15 individuals, and this requirement of 10-15 people will be filled through Krishang Sports. It will be a very good opportunity for young sports professionals to start their career. So, yes, it’s quite encouraging for those students who are studying Sports Management or Business and Innovations.

What challenges are you facing while organising a Vidarbha Open in Nagpur, where Pickleball is not a familiar sport?

Mehul Raval: Approaching and marketing this tournament is definitely a challenge in Nagpur. However, as we have started working early, we have got a few big sponsors on board. We are successful in convincing them that Pickleball is a viable option in sports. People remain fit and healthy through this and anybody can play this sport. I would say the corporate companies understood this and are ready to invest in Pickleball. So Vidarbha Open will be absolutely on a large scale and we are expecting that this will definitely be a boost for Pickleball in this region. 

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PoulomiKundu started her career in 2000 as a freelance journalist in Hindustan Times. Soon after she was selected an intern in Zee News, Kolkata. After her post- graduation in English, Poulomi joined the leading television production house of eastern India, Rainbow Productions. She was a journalist in Khas Khobor, a Bengali news magazine programme in Doordarshan and also headed the post production department of another programme, Khas Kolkata. In 2004, Poulomi moved to Delhi as a creative writer in an advertising agency, Brand Stewards Pvt. Ltd. In 2005, she again shifted her base for a better opportunity and that in Mumbai. There she got the job in Raa Media Pvt Ltd. as an associate director of two programmes for Doordarshan-Yuva and Paisa Vasool. In the meantime, she also wrote features in DNA as a freelancer. Poulomi directs promotional videos, develops scripts for films for Corporate and NGOs. But an ardent sports lover, Poulomi always had an urge to contribute somewhere in the field of sports. Her love for sports started from an early age when she played gully cricket and football for local teams. Academics and professional hazards sometimes took her away from her passion, but it never died in her. She always nurtured the never-ending dream. So she materialized her dream in the form of ‘SPORTSAVOUR’. It is an online sports portal that serves sports with the tagline ‘For the indigenous, unconventional, unknown’.

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