'GISB has been designed with career creation and placement as the primary objective,' says Program Director Neel Shah

Neel Shah
Neel Shah
Sagnik Kundu

Having worked in the US and Indian sports industries for the past 16 years in addition to serving as Visiting Faculty for a few Sports Management programs, Neel Shah has developed a deep understanding of the type of information, training and exposure required to adequately prepare students for a sports career -- an understanding which has been validated by some of the biggest influencers within the industry. 

He has been involved in all aspects of the design of Global Institute of Sports Business (GISB) will now oversee its delivery as its Program Director, whose flagship program is the GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management course. The program, which is certified by Madrid, Spain based Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia (ISDE), is a full-time 20-unit intensive, informative and experiential higher education course specializing in the business of sports.

Neel, who studied sports business as an Undergraduate at University of California, Santa Barbara and as an MBA student at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, will look to create an ecosystem that will support each GISB student reach their full potential as future leaders of the industry. 

In a tete-a-tete, the man behind it all, he opens up to Sportskeeda on what makes GISB special and more.

Here are excerpts:

Q> Let me start by asking what was the idea behind GISB?  

Our organization, India on Track, has chosen to establish the Global Institute of Sports Business so that anyone who aspires to create a career in sports can get access to world-class sports management curriculum in addition to relevant industry engagement and exposure right here in India. Essentially, this Institute has been built to serve the industry we are all committed to professionalizing and growing.   

Q> What would you say is GISB’s USP? What makes it different from other such courses?

The Global Institute of Sports Business offers India’s only internationally certified Sports Management course thanks to our integrated partnership with Madrid, Spain based ISDE. The course has been expertly designed by global sports industry veterans to ensure that GISB students not only receive the tools, knowledge and experiences required to create fulfilling careers in sport but also gain access to relevant platforms in order to regularly interact with industry employers.

Through the global best practice curriculum, Industry Days, Guest Lecture & Masterclass sessions, Case Studies, Affiliate Network, International Study Tour and the Professional Placement Program, GISB graduates will leave our campus fully prepared to thrive and contribute as a part of the sports ecosystem. 

Q> What are the career opportunities in sports in this country? As compared to the rest of the world, where does India rank in opportunities in sports?

The sports sector is one of the fastest growing industries across the world. Globally, the sports sector is worth $700 billion USD and in India alone, this industry is worth 3.5 billion USD and expected to grow at 35% over the next 10 years.

There are a number of positions within sports management, sports technology, sports infrastructure development, sports facilities, sports events, sports media, sports sciences, coaching, sports medicine, sports psychology, and sports governance, where individuals are required in this industry. These are only a few examples however, there are hundreds of different jobs that the sports industry offers to an aspirant who possesses unique abilities to flourish in this demanding sector.

Beyond the traditional sports positions associated with leagues, franchises, agencies and government bodies, the Indian sports industry creates the unique opportunity to pioneer various aspects of the landscape as a sports entrepreneur. This is actually one of the primary reasons that, even though I’m a US citizen and have most of my family residing in the US, I’ve chosen to remain in India for the past 10 years versus shifting back to the states and re-entering the already established US sports industry. 

Q> What skills do you consider essential for success in sports management industry?

The sports industry is dynamic and broad so there are a number of skills that would be required to achieve success within the entire spectrum of the industry. In general, though, the individuals who I’ve seen grow and contribute to the industry no matter the role, organization or country had great communication skills, excellent attention to detail and had developed the ability to adapt to any situation. 

At GISB we will help students develop these vital skills through specialized modules, workshops and training sessions offered throughout the course. 

Q> What obstacles does an average student have to overcome in order to succeed in sports management? How does GISB help in overcoming these obstacles?

The most challenging part of a student’s journey into the world of sports management is getting a foot in the door. Sports is not a traditional industry that typically hires through University placement and online applications, which means that individuals who aspire to secure a job in sport must be creative, persistent and differentiate themselves from the hundreds of thousands of other people trying land a job in the same industry. 

GISB has been designed with career creation and placement as the primary objective as we know that is exactly why students will be choosing to apply for our course. We have put together a fantastic team of Career Mentors led by former FIFA U-17 World Cup Project Director Joy Bhattacharjya, guarantee internship placements for all students and even guarantee professional placement at a competitive salary for a minimum of 50% of the batch upon graduation which is something that no other sports management Institute can offer. We will do everything possible to ensure that no student leaves GISB without a position in the industry. 

Q> How can individuals apply for the GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management course? 

We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 batch of the GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management program. Interested students can apply by going to and filling out the online application form. We will then set up personal interviews for all cleared online applicants and look to fill the batch by the 15th of August.

I’d recommend that anyone who is serious about working in the sports industry apply for this program at the earliest as we are intentionally keeping the batch size small to ensure each student receives quality time and attention during the entire 15-month course. 

Edited by Sagnik Kundu
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