The pioneering sports management institute’s Career Mentor speaks exclusively to Khel Now as it prepares to welcome its first batch.

Indian sport is on the upsurge. The Star Network bought the global rights of the Indian Premier League for a whopping $2.55b  last year. The digital ad revenue for the 10th season of the league, meanwhile, stood at  1.2b, double that of the previous year.

India has also seen a remarkable rise in alternate sports, with viewership and management for the likes of badminton, wrestling, kabaddi and football growing manifold in the last few years. With the phenomenal rise of sport and its management wings, the country has hosted diverse events like the U-17 FIFA World Cup that involved a lot of educated management enthusiasts.  

Working in the same vein, the Global Institute of Sports Business (GISB) is the brainchild of FC Pune City CEO, Gaurav Modwel. Based out of Kurla, Mumbai, the GISB’s flagship program is the GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management course.  

The program is certified by Madrid-based Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia (ISDE), which is a globally-renowned Law & Business School that has extensive experience in designing and delivering Sports Management courses throughout the world.

The GISB strives to augment the breadth and depth of managerial talent at a rapid pace in India. Khel Now met up with the institute’s Career Mentor, Modwel and he gave us some interesting insights into the project.

He started, “We decided that our flagship program would be an internationally-certified program in Sports Management and thus, the Global Institute of Sports Business was born. A result of years of engagement with industry leaders and top sports organizations around, it is the most effective and impactful way to design a course in order to best prepare students to enter and contribute to our industry.”

Modwel, the Stallions’ CEO, is also associated with Table Tennis League franchise Maharashtra United in the same capacity. He opines, “Over the years, working with these entities, I have realised the need to have quality individuals in our teams in order to effectively professionalize and collectively grow both, the organizations and the sports landscape.”

Modwel also feels that education is important and that the classroom experience is a key aspect of it. “In sports, as in other industry verticals, a blend of theoretical constructs and exposure to real-world scenarios is essential. Our focus of relevance stems out of this philosophy,” he continues. “In addition, the sports industry is dynamic and it is important that Sports Management students are regularly exposed to real-world scenarios and case studies during their programs.”

Harping on the importance of working within the industry on projects and internships, Modwel said, “Regular industry engagement in the form of office visits, live project experiences and internships are a must as all of these offer students an opportunity to better understand the landscape and begin to identify what part of the industry is best aligned with their interests and strengths. At GISB, we have ensured that all of the above is integrated into the course design.”

The conversation moved on to industry dynamics and the abject lack of opportunities for graduates of several foreign sports management programs. Modwel thinks the challenge lies in the stringent visa policies. Additionally, the expenses associated with pursuing a sports management degree abroad multiplies quickly and the returns take time to come in.

“When these students do return to India, they struggle to get a foot in,” Modwel gave us an overview. “This is primarily because most of them have been away from the ever-evolving Indian sports industry and often, their awareness and network is not strong enough to yield the desired results. The industry is in its nascent stage and the scenario is set to change in the posterity.”

The institute has a host of heralded names on its roster including Program Director Neel Shah, who was the former CEO of Pune-based DSK Shivajians. CEO, India on Track, Vivek Sethia is also on board.

To succeed, Modwel says, one must not look at their role as a mere job, but as an opportunity to contribute to an area of life which they are passionate about.  This mindset will help youngsters continue to remain positive and enthusiastic even during the numerous internal and external challenges that will inevitably come up during their sports management careers.

Modwel’s realistic target is for the venture to become Asia’s leading Sports Management educational institute in five years’ time. The plan, he tells us, is also to establish an Institute of Sports Sciences and Technical Development, where individuals can pursue certification associated with the technical aspects of sport.

Interested candidates can visit to know more about the program as well as to apply for it. Admissions are open and the first batch is filling up quickly.