Friday, 25 October 2013

Blogmint - Online Media Partner of FICCI's TURF 2013

Glimpses of 5th global Sports Summit, FICCI TURF 2013, 23 & 24th October 2013, New Delhi

Blogmint - Online Media Partner of TURF 2013

Powering Live blogging at FICCI TURF 2013, New Delhi.

Mountaineers, Sports Celebs and Foreign delegates at FICCI TURF 2013.
Tea and Networking.

Delegates from the UK and New Zealand.

Blogmint brochures.

Dr. GSG Ayyangar,  Joint Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Mr. Rajpal Singh, Director, Sports and Youth Affairs, FICCI takes the podium for the launch of India Sports 2014.
A section of the Audience at the Inauguration of TURF 2013

Mr Abhijit Sarkar, Co-Chairman, FICCI Sports Committee and Head-Corporate Communications, Sahara India Pariwar.
Seeraj Katoch, COO, Tangerine Digital sharing about "Blogmint"

A point everyone missed: Mr. Sundar Raj Urs

The recently concluded 5th Global Sports Summit is another achievement FICCI can proudly showcase. The summit tagged as TURF 2013, ran high on success with the corporate majors interacting with the athletes and sports representatives to pen down measures required to develop the sports sector here in India and to see the nation placed amongst the top 3 sporting countries.
Sessions were organized to discuss upon various interesting topics which needed immediate attention, if we are to see the dream come true. TURF 2013, an initiative by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FICCI) sports and youth affairs wing, is into its fifth year and has been actively working towards the main agenda, developing sports and sports infrastructure in India.
The summit presented a platform for the athletes to come up and discuss their views with the eminent panelists. While the panelists were discussing upon improving the sports scenario and the ways to attract investments to fund the sports development plans, there was this gentleman who pointed out a question which everyone else in the house missed.

Mr. Sundar Raj Urs (Director of Physical Education, Bangalore University) was the one to highlight the issue that only the prominent sports personalities got the attention and the support to improve their game. Mr. Sundar Raj questioned,” Why do we see only Sachin and Virat endorsing products and not some upcoming athlete of a lesser known background?” He pointed out that the lesser known or upcoming players from a meager background do not see the limelight. Being the Director of Physical Education with the Bangalore University, he shared his views with the house, prompting the house and the panelists to think about the matter.
He highlighted the fact that only the prominent faces of the sporting world got to see the limelight and the benefits of developmental investments, which is much evident! But he was countered by Mr.V.K Mahendru (DM, ONGC) who stated with respect to the support provided to upcoming and approaching athletes by ONGC and its sports developmental programs. The panelists assured about the efforts made to develop sports within the country but also admitted that the system lacked some key factors. The panelists mentioned that the main agenda was to strengthen the already prominent sport and to slowly but steadily improve and introduce various other games as well.
FICCI’s initiative was well praised as well as many corporate house vouched to make amendments to their company policies favoring sports development and fund generation for the same. TURF 2013 became a stand tall event which enabled the sporting world to connect with the corporate world to work towards a unified cause.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sector Skills Council (SSC) in Sports: From Concept to Creation

Moderator - Mr Sumit Agarwal, Senior Associate, Tanjun Associates

Day 2 of TURF 2013: The final session of the two day Global Sports Summit concluded with a final post lunch session starting 1500 hours at the FICCI Confederation House, New Delhi.
The session on SSC in Sports from Concept to Creation followed a 45 minute session by SSC from UK perspective by a panel of experts from the UK sharing their experiences at the London 2012 Olympics.

The distinguished panel.
The elite panel:
Dr Sandeep Tiwari, General Secretary, AIIC of Physical Education
Mr Dilip Chenoy, CEO,MD,NSDC
Mr Rajpal Singh, Director and Head, Sports and Youth Affairs, FICCI
Mr Hakim S Habibulla, Olympian and co-founder of Winning Matters
Moderator - Mr Sumit Agarwal, Senior Associate, Tanjun Associates

After an informative session by Mr Henwood and Mr Gittus on what Sector Skill Council has been able to achieve in UK and other associated countries, it came down to this panel to debate this further in terms of the Indian scenery.
Mr Chenoy addressed the audience about what the National Skills Development Council is trying to achieve at the moment. And just to emphasize the necessity of establishment of Sector Skills Council, he quoted his own life experience about how he quit playing football because the work positions available for him were well below his calibre. A sector Skill Council will help ensuring work opportunities that are apt to a sportsperson's qualification and skill sets.   

Mr Dilip Chenoy, CEO& MD, NSDC
After that, Mr. Rajpal Singh added some critical points of how FICCI intends to address the skill gap, infrastructural woes and lack of the right personnel. At this juncture, there were some insightful thoughts coming from both the audience and panel and with the discussion heating up, Mr. Agarwal commended how the conversation has a connect with everyone within the room and validating the purpose of a Global summit of this stature.

The concluding part of the session saw a book launch and a mass agreement on the consensus that the setup of Sector Skills Council is indeed there to bridge the gap between education and work within the sports sector so that relevant opportunities are always sustainable, and also to have a better structure in place to nurture athletes and support personnel alike.

Preparations and the way forward: Olympics 2016

Day 1 of TURF 2013@FICCI

Keynote Speaker: Mr Jiji Thomson, Director-General, Sports Authority of India
Moderator: Mr Digvijay Singh Deo, Deputy Editor, Sports, CNN-IBN
Session Panel:
Mr Adille Sumairwala, President, Athletics Federation of India
Miss Manisha Malhotra, CEO, Mittal Champion Trust
Mr Baljit Singh Sethi, Advisor, NRAI
Mr Mukesh Kumar, President, Judo Federation of India

One of the key area of discussions at the 5th Global Sports Summit was about the current challenges that are prevalent within Indian sports  and what can be done to solve them. That made the on goings of this session even more crucial because the views and opinions were aligned directly with respect to 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio,Brazil. The session was initiated by Mr Thomson who emphasized on the need of sports curriculum and how change in the mindset at both personal as well as Government level is required for any progress to happen.

Profligacy and media treatment

Mr Sumairwala's view was very insightful as he didn't mince his words on what is going on right now. He said that as a sporting nation, there is a lack of depth. This only results in the Indian athlete not being pushed enough. This just breeds complacency and nothing good comes of that. He also took the session moderator Mr Deo to task by saying media treatment of players needs to be managed in a much better manner than it is right now. By putting every second athlete on a pedestal, media only makes matters worse.
He was equally critical of the irregularities that exist at federation level these days.

Olympian Hakimuddin S Habibulla among the audience.

Importance of Support Staff

The need of a support team behind athletes is well-documented. These days it is just not about the coaches, its also about the fitness coaches, physiotherapists and nutritionists. For an athlete to stay fit and perform at peak fitness, having this support staff is imperative.
However, this is less of a problem and more of a conundrum. The lack of support personnel stems from the fact that sports sciences in India are scant. Add to that the abysmal remuneration involved, the alarming lack of interest is understandable. 

Need for ethical practices

Doping is another grave issue that is marring sports in India at this time. Mr. Sumairwala made an intriguing revelation that most athletes are introduced to prohibitive substances at school level by their physical education teachers. It was both shocking and sad to hear that.
If athletes start taking performance enhancers from such an early age, they will never work hard to improve in their sport and India as a sporting nation will continue being devoid of numbers which could have made up the bench strength.

The athlete of today is aware 

Ms Manisha Malhotra, an Olympian herself, admitted going to Olympics for the sake of experiencing the event. However, athletes these days are pretty used to foreign trips and exposure. She affirms that the current crop want to go to sporting events to win medals.

It is good to know that the priorities are set right. It is possible to ensure Olympics in 2016 is a rewarding and morale-boosting if these challenges are addressed.

 Federations need to be more accountable

Towards the end, Mr Thomson requested for better accountability from the federations as he believed that criticizing the Sports Authority of India was a convenient escape route. The mandate of SAI is to look after and train the elite athletes but at present, they are having to do much more than that as they address issues at both state and regional levels. Progress would come about if criticism is kept aside and there is a better sense of coordination amongst sporting bodies in India. 

Skills Development and the impact of Sector Skills Councils (UK Perspective)

Day 2: TURF 2013
5th Global Sports Summit
India's Largest International Convention on Business of Sports
23-24 October, 2013, New Delhi

Mr. David Henwood, Director - Operations, Skills Active
Mr. Ben Gittus, European Observatory for Sports and Employment.

The sports industry in the UK has a workforce of 371,800 people working in 176,000 business and organisations.

"SkillsActive’s work in sport covers a variety of training and funding, from helping people find the right training to get jobs in sports to providing help and advice for people looking to find funding for sports clubs and we deal with all levels of sport, from grass-roots up to high-performance." - David Henwood.

To help people find training and jobs in sports, they work closely with recognised training providers to ensure the sports sector has suitably qualified employees and volunteers. They also provide help with finding sources of sports funding to help with staff development and training all of which supports the delivery of sports activities to make the country become a fitter, healthier nation.

SkillsActive is the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning. It has been established by Employers in Sport and Recreation, Health and Fitness, Playwork, the Outdoors and Caravan industries.

As India seeks to replicate the model of Sector Skills Councils as facilitated by FICCI, the areas in which Skills Active could throw some light on were how to:
• Influence Government and decision makers 
• Promote the image of the sector to the public 
• Ensure the quality of training and qualifications 
• Help people find the jobs and training they 
• Help the industry attract and retain the right 
• Attract funding to meet employers training 

The panelists shared how Skills Active recently provided senior level advice and support for the development of a new training system for the European Health and Fitness industry and also shared experiences from the London when it hosted the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games. They presented how Skills Active ensured that London had the best people, with the right skills and qualifications, working at the world-class event. Their role was to research skills gaps, set standards, develop accredited qualifications and offer quality assured training across the sector. They also shared how this can be replicated in a set up like India.

SkillsActive has worked together with Partner Organisations to develop National Occupational Standards and Apprenticeships across the Active Leisure and Learning Sector. They offer programs like Young Apprenticeships in sports management, leadership and coaching.

"A hundred and fifty million skilled individuals by 2022": Dilip Chenoy, NSDC

Dilip Chenoy: FICCI TURF 2013

Dilip Chenoy, CEO and Managing Director of the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) is positive about joining hands with FICCI and to take a step closer to the ten year SSC vision.

While he lamented that the gap between sports and employment has not narrowed, he is confident about bridging the skill gap in the next 10 years. “Our structural setup and employment system is not yet in place and what exists now has not been reformed over years. There is a need for Private sector and public sector to come together with professionals to tackle our woes by bringing systemic reforms along with a change in mindset,” he prescribed.

Talking about the poor infrastructural facilities, Chenoy stressed, “There is deficiency in physical infrastructure. Further, there is a shortage of trained human power to train and mould new talent in the sports sector. Moreover, the quality of education, health, physical fitness and sports training in the country is poor with very less scope for absorption into the world of sports. We are working at changing this state of affairs.”

Chenoy added "NSDC is a public private partnership mandated to skill 150 million people by 2022. So far we have 28 proposals approved; 25 training organisations and three sector skills council. They will, over a 10 year period, train about 45 million people and the total financial commitment is 668 crores. This year our target is to look at 32 more proposals which will train between 15-20 million people over 10 years. We also propose to set up more sector skill councils."

What is the NSDC's role in facilitating SSC?
The government has set up the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC) in collaboration with the private sector to train 150 million of the 500 million target set by the Government, by 2022. The NSDC intends to achieve its goal by encouraging both for-profit and not-for-profit organizations to embark on skilling measures by providing them with funds for this purpose. The existing Government schemes are expected to create the balance 350 million employable youth by 2022.

NSDC has three roles, the first to create large-scale sustainable training organizations. These would be organizations that could train upwards of one million people in 10 years. The second is to fund organizations to set up or expand training initiatives either in a sector or across sectors. The third is to set up an eco-system that leads to skills development becoming a sustainable venture as well as a program that meets industry needs.

The enormity of the challenge being faced by the country in the skills development arena can only be overcome if both the government and private sector work hand-in-hand. Government alone cannot address the needs of the large number of people that need to be skilled. Industry has to provide leadership in setting up skills development centers, putting together world-class standards and curriculum and ensuring that global best practices are brought to this sector.

Each one of our proposal comes with a business plan and when we fund them it is based on a milestone that they are supposed to achieve every year. Based on that we release next tranche of funding.
We have funding in place for sports and we are focused at the grassroot levels. It operates at three levels of support and funding for achievers, innovators and initiative. We are ready to help fund 75% of the project if you can bring in the rest. We have a streamlined system of assessing progress.

We have a monitoring exercise where we conduct a monthly conference call. We have an auditor who visits the players every quarter to audit both technical and financial details and see if the players are with in the parameters laid down in the project report. We also conduct half-yearly partners meeting where all partners meet and exchange best practices, identify areas that need to be worked on etc.

On Sachin's retirement from the Game?
There is a mixed feeling of sadness and yet happiness that he has done so well for the game and for the face of India in the world of sports and now he deserves his rest. There is hope to continue to see him on the ground though as his son is entering the game and we hope to see him in a different role but continuing to promote sports in India.
The greats never die and here's looking to India producing another Icon of his stature in the near future.

Return on Investment in Sports Brands : Day 2 TURF 2013

Into the second and the final day of TURF 2013, the 5th Global Sports Summit witnessed some serious discussions, on very relevant issues such as the need of investments directed towards developing sports infrastructure and exploring the returns opportunities from investments.
The second session concentrated on the aspects of returns on investment. The discussion was paneled upon by Mr. Hrishikesh Shinde (Marketing Director for Adidas), Mr. Rukn Kizilibish (GM, WWE India), Mr. Sundar Raj Urs (Director of Physical Education with Bangalore University) and Mr. Mousum Pal Choudhary (VP, Avigo Capital Partners). Mr. Abhijit Sarkar (Co Chairman with FICCI sports committee and Head of Corporate communications, Sahara India Pariwar) addressed the house and presented a key note speech whereas Mr. Varun Paliwal (Co-founder, Winning Matters) moderated the session.

Mr. Abhijit opened the session with enlightening the audience about the current investment associations between dominant brands and successful sportspersons. Varun soon took over to introduce the panel to the house and started with the already heating up debate.

Mr. Kizilibish applauded the Indian fan base supporting and cheering for WWE, highlighting the popularity, WWE holds in India! He did not forget to mention wrestler, Ryback’s recent visit to India and also shared about how the Indian Wrestler, the Great Khali had made an impact in the Wrestling circles. Adidas Marketing Director, Mr. Hrishikesh commented on the science behind investments in sports brands. He emphasized on the importance of association and promotion of a brand through an iconic sportsperson.

The debate heated up with Mr. Sundar Raj questioning the biased investment ventures restricted for the select few and pointed out his demands to promote emerging talents, beginning from the grass root levels. Doing this would encourage the upcoming athletes as well as provide a means for them to develop their skills and game.

A former Indian female marathon winner praised Adidas for its active contribution in promoting and developing the sports sector and also urged the management to push its co-brands, in doing the same.

Mr. Mousum talked about the investment opportunities available, threw some light on investor’s mind, the returns on investment and the benefits involved.

Time limit  was waived off, as the intensity of the debate took twists and turns in an amazing way. Both the panelists and the house participated and hence deserved to be fed well. 

See you all then. Session continues after lunch.