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CXOs in Sports: Interview with Chandrasekar Kandasamy, Founder and Managing Partner, LotusPool Capital

  • CXOs in Sports: Interview with Chandrasekar Kandasamy, Founder and Managing Partner - LotusPool Capital
Vinay Sundar
FEATURED WRITER
Exclusive
Modified 01 Jul 2014, 01:31 IST
Chandrasekar Kandasamy, Founder, LotusPool Capital

Sportskeeda brings another exciting series of interviews – CXOs in Sports, where we speak to eminent and prominent personalities, talking about their sporting interests and ideas for development of sports in general and of their sports work/interest in particular.

Chandrasekar Kandasamy is the Founder and Managing Partner at LotusPool Capital. He is a regular long distance runner and enjoys playing Badminton, apart from having a keen interest in sports in general. We caught up with him recently and had a chat about his interests in sports and his opinion on the future of sports in India.

1. What sports do you follow?

I generally watch Golf, Badminton, Cricket, and Football. If I have to rank them in order, Badminton and Cricket will probably outrank the others. 

2. What sports do you play and when did you start playing?

I play Badminton (try to play daily) and Golf (make it a point to play atleast once in 15 days). I started playing Badminton in college just because I wanted to play something to keep myself occupied. I started playing Golf around the year 2000, when I started participating in corporate tournaments.

3. Who’s your favourite sportsperson? Why?

I am not someone who watches sport a lot on television; more of a casual follower, so I play along with the crowd. I like watching Ronaldo in Football. In Cricket, it varies, I like watching both Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Robin Uthappa play. I watch Golf more as a fan of the game than players in particular, so my support varies from tournament to tournament while in Badminton I support Saina Nehwal. 

4. How has sports impacted you? 

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Sports has helped my lifestyle in multiple ways – I started running marathons last November mostly due to my neighbour’s influence and because I wanted to reduce some weight. The first half marathon I ran was in Pondicherry in February and then I ran the TCS World 10K last month back. Generally run about 70 kms a week.

It is important to take note of small achievements – like running the first half km and then eventually running the Pondy half marathon.

I have been playing Badminton for almost 20 years now; the regularity helps create a network of people that one can socialize with. Golf has always been more corporate and business oriented, as it allows one to strike up a conversation, like when you are meeting people who could be prospective clients.

5. What has your favourite sport taught you? 

Running has taught me a lot of things, primarily perseverance, the motivation to drive and achieve something, and push myself beyond my limits. Apart from all that, it has taught me to cherish my experiences, and running in itself is a great experience.

6. What has been your best sporting moment? 

My best moment would be when I finished my first half marathon in 2 hrs and 19 mins as I had set myself a target of trying to do it in 3 hours. It was a great achievement, and I was running with my colleagues and friends, and finishing before them was a good feeling.

7. What do you think can be done for growing the culture of sports in India?

Since I play Golf and run frequently, I do think there are things we can do better in those sports. Take the case of caddies – they are basically good players but a lack of sponsorship drives them towards caddying professionally. Golf has always been looked at as a rich man’s game, so I think we need professional organizations that can help bring the sport forward even more.

Running is more about motivation – doing it is not a problem, but the methodologies needed to expand the reach are not in place yet. I believe we need more marathon events so that we can come close to the frequency of running events internationally.

Community level involvement needs to be more – the numbers might not be high, but the habit needs to be inculcated, and small sponsorships/ incentives/ prizes should be awarded so that we can establish a the platform for the larger events.

For example, the TCS run is very crowded and I don’t know if it can continue the same way as I think some expansion is needed for the event to live up to its burgeoning reputation.

8. What do you think of the future of sports in India?

The future looks very bright and I think we can excel in sports. Unfortunately, Cricket is the only sport with the branding and the vision and it is maybe blocking out the other sports. Badminton looks like it is now growing.

The challenge is to sustain the sponsorship. We need to start initiatives, like maybe 2% of the profits should be invested by corporate organizations in sports to develop and identify sporting opportunities, and to create a platform.

9. A message or quote that you’d like to share with our readers

My only message would be that one should just play sport, no matter what their age.

Published 30 Jun 2014, 23:03 IST
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