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With sports restarting and companies looking to hire, this startup can help you land jobs

Online platform Sporjo that connects sports companies with job seekers, sees employment opportunities rising in the sector, and has plans to expand globally, having raised $2 million with a valuation of Rs 70 crore.

August 26, 2021 / 03:31 PM IST
 
 
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After being derailed by the pandemic, sports tournaments are now restarting, which is opening up more jobs for sports enthusiasts.


And Sporjo, a platform that educates, trains and employs people interested in sports management, is trying to get the right candidate for sports companies and the right role for people aspiring for a career off-field in sports.


Started in May last year by G Srinivvasan, who has been associated with Indian Super League (ISL), Indian Premier League (IPL) and was also part of Reliance Sports Group and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has so far placed 60 people across 36 companies through his platform.


Hiring in sports


Srinivvasan said companies that hired new talent include Mobile Premier League (MPL), Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra's foundation, Gun for Glory shooting academy which is Olympic medalist Gagan Narang's foundation, IOS Sports, JSW Sports, Tech Mahindra, Naval Tata Hockey academy in Odisha, ISL franchises and esports companies.

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He said 230 to 250 sports companies are looking to hire people for different roles especially with sports tournaments restarting. Hiring in the past year has been for verticals including sales, marketing, digital and operations.


"Unfortunately not as many in operations because there aren't many events happening but as tournaments start happening there will be more job openings as operations is the biggest vertical in sports," he said.


Srinivvasan said there are 30 verticals in sports management and within that there are more than 70 roles.


An edtech platform for sports


Each of these roles need specific skill sets which sports enthusiasts need to be ready with before looking for jobs.


For this, Sporjo is offering courses like Sporjo Mentor, Sporjo Plus, among others.


While Sporjo Mentor includes assessment, personal coaching, industry projects and placement, Sporjo Plus is for people at senior positions with at least seven years of experience.


The company is also launching Sporjo Coach which is a program that focuses on jobs for coaches in India.


"We are averaging close to about 15 people (enrolling for Sporjo programs) every month and that number is going to go up to 30-40," said Srinivvasan.


And there are nine mentors on the platform to educate and train people and the platform is looking to get 25-30 more mentors on board in the coming months.


Raising funds


To scale up, Sporjo has raised $2 million led by Punit Balan of Punit Balan Group who now has a 20 percent stake in Sporjo.


Starting off with his own investment of Rs 1 crore in the company, Srinivvasan also raised Rs 2.7 crore early last year from investors including Ajay Candade, Ex-Director Pvt Equity, KKR and Angel Investor, Sundar Raman, Former IPL COO, Pranav Marwah, CEO Marwah Sports, Lydia Buthello, Head, Jio World Experiences, ex-Star Sports and Navin Puri, ex-retail banking head, HDFC Bank.


After the recent funding round, Sporjo's valuation now stands at Rs 70 crore.


Sporjo's scale up plans


To utilize the new funding, Srinivvasan has two plans of action. One is the launch of 25-30 new programs including Sporjo Junior which will be a program at the school level.


"We will launch Sporjo Junior in a couple of months under which kids in school in grade eight onwards can enroll and make sports as a career option," he said.


Even the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 is focusing on multiple disciplines and allows students to opt for one elective. Teaching professionals are of the opinion that sports can become a sought-after elective especially after team India's performance at the Tokyo Olympics.


The second area of focus to use the investment is international expansion.

"To start with, we are looking at three to four countries including the Middle East, Southeast Asia, between US, UK, Canada and Australia. So, by the end of next year five countries and by the end of 2022 and Q1 2023 that is when we look to go fully global," said Srinivvasan.

Maryam Farooqui
first published: Aug 26, 2021 03:31 pm
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