‘I love sports… and I’m learning the business part’

‘I love sports... and I’m learning the business part’

It is hard to describe him just as an actor any more. Abhishek Bachchan is today actively involved in sports as an entrepreneur. He first bought Pro-Kabaddi League team Jaipur Pink Panthers. He also co-owns (with Vita Dani and MS Dhoni) Chennaiyin Football Club, the most successful franchise of the Indian Soccer League having won the title in two of the four seasons so far. Speaking to BusinessLine, Abhishek explains why he chose to invest in two non-cricket sport, the transformation the two leagues are bringing about to kabaddi and football in India, and his differentiated approach to business. Excerpts:

How is the business of non-cricket sport in India?

The environment in the market and among the people is prime right now. That is the best start you can have. You are not up against a system or an audience that does not want to see you. There are always slight hiccups along the way, and that is life.

India is a cricket- crazy country. What made you choose kabaddi and football?

It is changing now. I was a sportsman in school and college. When I came back and began acting, I remained a big sports fan. Also, I always wanted to get involved in an Indian sport in some way. I love cricket. But I realised that in cricket we are one of the best. For me it was: Can I be involved in a sport that I can make a difference to? Hence kabaddi, and then football.

Are you happy with your decision?

I think, on a professional front after the decision to become an actor, this is my next best decision. I just love being associated with sports. I am not talking about the business part of it. Being involved in it gives me a lot of happiness.

And the business part of it…

The business part is a learning curve. The kind of person I am, I like to jump into the deep end with both feet first and learn along the way. The learnings have been immense in the last four years. Kabaddi is a more profitable venture for me and has […]

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