CXOs in Sports: Interview with Amardeep Kaushal, Business Head, Paul Writer Strategic Services Pvt. Ltd.
- CXOs in Sports: Interview with Amardeep Kaushal, Business Head, PaulWriter Strategic Services Pvt. Ltd
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.
Amardeep Kaushal is a commerce graduate from St. Xavier's College,Ranchi, with rich experience in media, advertising & marketing and is currently working as Business Head -Conferences & Publications at Paul Writer Strategic Services Pvt. Ltd., where he is overall incharge of Sales & Marketing & revenue generation efforts including creation, segmentation, and execution of B2B CXO level conferences. He is a sports enthusiast, and we had a chat about his interests in sports and his opinion on the current state and future of sports in India.
1) How and when did you start following sports?
I started following sports when I was 8 years of age. My father who is also my idol and inspiration was an athlete. After I developed an interest in sports, my inclination like every other kid was towards cricket and I used to follow it religiously and still do that. We had radios that time on which we used to hear the commentary every now and then. I still remember the time when as a group we used to surround one single radio during an important cricket clash and how on every boundary and six we used to shout out loud.
It seems like a long lost memory but we enjoyed every bit of it. I started playing serious cricket when i was 12 years of age. I was a left handed bowler and right handed batsman. Slowly my habits reversed, but I was recognized as an all rounder. One of the greatest compliments I have got till date was that my bowling action resembles that of Shoaib Akhtar's. However later I had to leave the game due to physical problems but did not leave the game completely.
Then I started helping out people who wanted to make it big in the cricketing world. I teach cricket to physically handicapped people and coach orphan kids. I do take out some time to help people take up sports and stay fit. So I would say I have a life long connection with sports.
2) One of the features of your work is branding. How does branding in sports function, and do you think there is scope for improvement?
Branding is almost the same for every activity, be it sports or entertainment or business. Things have now come purely down to advertising. Its all about correct positioning. If you advertise smartly, your product is sold. So technically sports does not follow a separate plan of branding. However with so many companies coming up, big corporate houses should now focus more on equal distribution of resources.
A good company will always focus on promoting an under-rated sport. However if the Government authorities give it a boost, private firms will take over for good. Proper direction is required. The authorities should promote sports which are actively part of the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and Olympics. After all winning medals is a matter of pride for the entire nation. At the moment be it the government or private firms, all are partial towards a few sports, which will eventually ruin the sporting culture of India, However, slowly, brands have now started promoting other sports and even celebrities are taking active interest. If this continues, the sporting scenario will surely change.
In order to improve conditions we need to begin from scratch. Proper research needs to be done. First of all creating awareness is necessary. Surveys should be conducted to know what sport attracts more people. Rome was not built in a day. The analysis and research will show the actual results and awareness among people regarding Indian sports.
3) A sportsperson has more impact as a brand ambassador nowadays. What do you believe are the reasons for this?
Any celebrity today has more impact and we all know young actors and cricketers are among the favorites. Its a two way thing. Their on field performance in their respective fields make people believe in them and so they are able to be better brand ambassadors.
4) What sports do you follow keenly?
I still follow cricket keenly and test cricket is still my favourite; the only way through which one comes to know about the actual potential of a player.
5) Who was your favourite sportsperson growing up, and why?
My favorite players were Robin Singh, Mohammad Azharuddin, and Ajay jadeja. They were not necessarily big hitters but they were game changers in the true sense of the word.
From the current lot I like Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is an exceptionally good captain (and also my junior in college) and Bhuveneshwar Kumar for his unique cricketing skills.
6) One aspect of Sports that has always attracted you to it.
There are 2 things which have played an important role. One is passion of course, without which nothing is possible and apart from that the connection I have always had with sports. If you forget everything while playing or watching a particular sport, it means you are deeply connected to it. I still remember when I used to hear match commentaries and later watch it on TV there were matches which made me forget my hunger. I think its pure love towards the sport which can keep you hungry for so long time.
7) What has been your favorite sporting moment? Describe it to us. (Do share any anecdote that comes to your mind)
I remember one of the cricket matches from my school days. I was in the 8th standard and we struck a bet of Rs 100 with the class 12th students. We use to play 2 games, 10 overs each. They won the first match, and winning the second match was now a matter of pride. We were bowling first. I took 2 wickets and the captain took 2 wickets but they scored 110 runs. That total looked very imposing, and when our team started batting, our captain was bowled and the next player who came in was trembling with fear.
However he managed to move to the non-striking end, and from the 3rd ball onwards, I took over the match single handedly. I scored 72 runs in 28 balls, hit 3 sixes in one over and sealed the match. That is one of my most favourite sporting moments.
8) How do you think we can promote the growth of sports in India?
Looking at it from a branding perspective, the brand has to be visible at the end of the day. So if the corporates think wisely and invest in lesser known sports, and promote the sport widely, it will be greatly beneficial for both.
People are now opening their minds towards different sports as cricket is over crowded. Hence, the market is fresh, and with innovation and experimentation, sports overall can be taken to an all together different level.
9) A message for our fans.
Just stay focused and follow your dream religiously, the results will follow automatically. If you like a certain sport, follow it and meet people who like the same sport. Create a club, do something about it, organize matches and tournaments. stay connected and try to promote it in your own way. If you wont do anything about it, then there is no point depending on others to help you out. You have to take the first step; once you understand its importance, only then will people will start seeing what you have been seeing for so long. o stick to your goals and follow your dreams till you achieve them.Published 31 Jul 2014, 17:19 IST