Kumble's Tenvic system nurtures sporting talent
Apr 02 2012, 15:09 | By CNBC-TV18
Anil Kumble\'s Tenvic has devised a new system for nurturing talent.
Image: SME Mentor
Out from memorable innings with the Indian cricket team, former India captain, Anil Kumble has bowled his way into the entrepreneurial world with his venture, TENVIC. Founded in 2010 in partnership with former Indian table tennis champion, Vasanth Bharadwaj and sports entrepreneur and brother Dinesh Kumble, TENVIC hopes to support and mentor sporting talent for a fee.
TENVIC focuses on providing sports education and training at mainstream schools across the country. Started with 70 percent investment from angel investors and 30 percent from the three founders TENVIC caters to multiple sports including cricket, badminton and table-tennis and has already reached at 300 students across 8 schools in India. It is targeting 2 million school kids over the next five years and has already grossed revenues of Rs 8 crore.
Q: It has taken you ten years to perfect your strategy before you finally brought TENVIC to the world in 2010. In your first year of operations where have you placed TENVIC? What is the key differentiator that sets you apart from other sports management companies?
Kumble: There might be a lot of people in the sporting business mostly managing talent. We are not a talent management company. Even in the coaching space itself, there are a lot of players but it is not organized or structured. So that is what we bring to the table and we have iconic players from various sports. It is not just about cricket, it is about badminton, chess, table tennis and we want to add to that a few more disciplines as well very soon. We have all the iconic players who bring in the domain expertise. The content we have developed is cognitive, interactive, video based and it addresses the grass roots which also get all the wherewithal that you expect an international sportsman to get so that is the difference that we bring in.
Q: Talking about your USP, what are the facilities that TENVIC offers that perhaps no other sports management company in India offers?
Bharadwaj: We have brought in state-of-the-art world class content, video-based coaching manuals, software analytics which help analyze technique of young sport persons for the four disciplines that we offer today which is cricket and table-tennis, badminton and chess.
Q: Cricket perhaps is more organized and has a structure in place. You have got the BCCI, state level cricket boards but how does TENVIC focus on helping other young sportsman in India in sports that are not that organized?
Kumble: The main focus of the venture is to spread sports, bring in organized structured sporting activities across the country in various segments and develop a sporting culture in the society. Making money is certainly the objective but along with that if we can bring about a sporting culture and if we can make that little effort and change to encourage people to take up sports, I think we have done a good job.
Q: Was it easy, moving from the field of sports and getting into the business of business?
Kumble: Yes, it probably came naturally because I am very passionate about contributing back to the sport, not just cricket but sport in India. Cricket is followed passionately in India and no better tool than using cricket to ensure that we support the other sporting events as well. So that certainly drove me into starting this venture and taking it forward.
Q: One of the biggest criticisms is that India could have produced a lot more sporting talent if the system nurtured talent. How do you see that changing with companies like yours coming into focus?
Kumble: It is very important for us to think about it and the only way that can happen is if you bring in a structured effort from the grassroots and take it forward. To be patient and give them the right facilities, right interventions, be it supporting them outside of the game or skill itself, so all these interventions are very important and that is what we bring to the table.
Q: Do you also take on sportsmen who enroll with the sponsorship?
Kumble: No, that is something which is incidental. We certainly put them on to someone who manages because that is a space which we don�t want to be in because there is plenty of people who are doing a good job managing talent. So we just put them on to them and hopefully that will work and we don�t manage talent.
Q: Before going, share your plans for TENVIC. Do you have a five-year plan, do you have a ten-year plan, what is in-store?
Kumble: It is limitless. We would try to expand not just in India but beyond India as well. So that is something which we are conscious of and the response has been good in the last ten months. So I hope that more people will take up our programmes and they will benefit.
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