Startups are a hard cookie to bite in. But for these Indian cricket players, it is just another pitch to show their talent. With the kind of dedication, practice, passion, and talent they have achieved the best in both the fields namely sports and business. Indian cricket team players have been the face of numerous brands over the years. But with the startup culture flourishing and having a positive environment in the country, many cricket stars are showing interest in new ventures and are backing them up by investing both their time and money into business enterprises they believe are promising and relevant.
Here are some Indian cricketers who have backed-up new startups:
1. Sachin Tendulkar
Also referred to as the God of Indian cricket this batting maestro has been the face of various brands over the years. After a successful cricketing career of 24 years, Sachin retired in 2013 and started his second innings with several ventures. Here is a look at the companies he has backed.
Musafir - It is a travel company based in Dubai and founded in 2007. Sachin is both the stakeholder and the brand ambassador of the company.
Smaaash Entertainment - Founded in 2009 it is a sports simulation technology based on various games like cricket, football, racing, and other recreational activities. It also hosts leisure activities that include a lounge, a spa, dining and music for men, women, and children as well as a gaming mall.
Sachin and Tendulkar’s - Sachin collaborated with the famous hotelier Sanjay Narang of the Mars group and opened restaurants. They are situated in Colaba and Mulund areas of Mumbai and one in Bangalore.
Kochi Franchise of Indian Super League - Sachin is the co-owner of the Kochi franchise of the Indian Super League along with Hyderabad-based PVP ventures. It’s a football team and the Kerala Football Association has full faith in Sachin’s and his entry is said to bring funding and revival of the game itself in the state.
Mumbai Franchise of International Tennis Premier League - Sachin has been known for his passion for Tennis and is a long time fan. He is the co-owner of the newly-formed Indian Tennis Premier League’s Mumbai Franchise.
Smarton India - In 2016, Sachin invested in the Bengaluru-based Internet of Things (IoT) company Smartron India and came on board as the brand ambassador of the company.
2. Yuvraj Singh
After successfully combating a cancerous tumor in his left lung and winning the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh started his foundation, YouWeCan. Established in 2015, it spreads awareness about cancer and the effects of the dangerous disease.
This fabulous batsman of the International Indian Cricket Team has inspired millions with his on-field and off-field batting. In 2011 after winning the World Cup he was diagnosed with cancer but he made an international comeback just in a year with newfound enthusiasm and courage.
A part of YouWeCan is the YouWeCan Venture which is an initiative to provide support to budding businessmen. The start was initiated with the help of Nishant Singhal who is both the co-founder and Chief Investment Officer.
In 2017, YouWeCan backed the online table reservation platform EasyDiner and Yuvraj Singh became the brand ambassador for the app. YouWeCan’s portfolio also includes healthcare marketplace Healthians, Bengaluru-based automotive services marketplace startup Cartisan, Gurugram-based Startup Buddy, an online marketplace for private jets and helicopters JetSetGo and startup incubators and media funds.
He also owns a sports based ecommerce store sports365. in .
3. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is the new captain of the Indian cricket team and also the new face of the Indian youth. He is one of the best batsmen in the world right now both on-field and off-field. Virat Kohli has earned accolades on the field and off-field made concrete plans for his retirement. Here is a look at some of his business ventures.
Wrogn - Virat Kohli started his fashion brand with co-founder Anjana Reddy. It is a youth fashion platform for graphic T-shirts, lightweight denim jackets and brand collar shirts.
Chisel Gyms - Known as a fitness freak Virat Kohli has launched Chisel, a chain of fitness gyms and fitness centers. The startup recently introduced technology-enabled workout routines that aimed at addressing the youngsters of information technology workers.
UAE Royals - It's the franchise of the International Tennis Premier League. Virat is the co-owner of the franchise with Neelesh Bhatnagar and Sachin Gadoya. It has availed the services of 17 times Grand Slam Champion, Roger Federer.
FC Goa - It’s the franchise of the Indian Super League and was the first investment made by Virat Kohli at the age of just 25 years. He is the co-owner of this ISL team and holds stakes of 12%.
Kohli partnered with Hong Kong-based consumer electronics company Zeeva in order to launch the audio equipment company MuveAcoustics in India.
4. MS Dhoni
The former captain of the International Indian cricket team’s both ODI and Test Cricket has ventured into multiple startups and businesses. Here is the look at some of his business ventures.
Ranchi Rays - It is a Hockey club franchise of the Hockey India League that is co-owned by Dhoni and the Sahara India Pariwar.
Chennaiyin FC - It is a Football club franchise of the Indian Super League that is co-owned by Dhoni, Abhishek Bachchan, and Vita Dani.
Mahi Racing Team India - With his interest in bikes, Dhoni has co-partnered this Super Sport World Championship team with Akkineni Nagarjuna.
SportsFit - Dhoni has co-founded his fitness brand in 2012. Sports Fit World Pvt. Ltd is a gym franchise with several stores open and functional in India already.
ZEVEN - He also launched a lifestyle brand ZEVEN and owns the shoe section of the brand .
Khatabook - The cricketer has recently invested an undisclosed amount of equity funding in Bengaluru-headquartered business ledger app.
Cars24 - In 2019, M S Dhoni invested in online used car marketplace Cars24 as a Series D investor.
5. Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble co-founded TENVIC Sports with international table tennis player Vasanth Bharadwaj in 2010. The firm intends at rendering structured coaching to assist kids to stand out in a sport of their choice. It also caters to businesses and sports persons by providing training and mentoring, along with vision and ideas to help brands improve leverage in their marketing. Its clientele includes schools like Pearson and Delhi Public School. Corporate clients include IBM, Weber Shandwick, Accenture, Pepsi, HP, etc.
6. Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev was the captain of India’s first World Cup-winning team.
PeopleEasy.com - As an angel investor, Kapil Dev has invested in online grocery startup PeopleEasy.com.
Samco Ventures - In 2015, the former Indian cricketer turned to a venture investor after picking up stake in Mumbai-based Samco Ventures.
Pumpkart - In 2018, Dev entered into a partnership with B2B marketplace Pumpkart for brand endorsements.
WizCounsel - Last year, Delhi-based online market network WizCounsel raised INR 1 Cr in an angel round led by the cricketer among others.
VAOO - Kapil Dev has also invested in VAOO, a Mumbai-based cab aggregator which offers free rides to passengers in return for viewing advertisements.
Suggest some more cricketers who are also entrepreneurs .
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