Leander Paes joins on board as Strategic Advisor and Ambassador
Online sports education company, Sporjo, has raised US$2 million in a Pre Series A fundraiser. A group led by private investor Punit Balan, who is the chairman of the Punit Balan Group and Punit Balan Studio, along with other private investors saw the company raise funds in hopes of expanding its product offerings, product experience and drive the expansion not only across India but worldwide.
Just over a year old, Sporjo is slowly becoming the go-to destination for individuals looking to build a career in the Indian sports industry. The company’s main goal is to let people turn their dreams and passion into reality while encouraging an empowerment culture. Not only employment opportunities, Sporjo also educates the individuals about career opportunities and provides detailed modules that helps one to understand the industry better such as Digital and Social media, Data and Analytics, Operations, Sports Science, Coaching etc.
The company, who sees Indian sporting legend Leander Paes join on as a Strategic Advisor and Ambassador, was founded in May 2020 by G Srinivasan. Sporjo is a brand owned by Breathe Careers and Consulting Pvt Ltd.
The tennis star spoke about the evolution of sports and how athletes have evolved in the recent years and the need for skilled professionals to understand the issues the industry faces. Paes said, “In the journey of a career spanning 31 years, I’ve had many learnings and one of my greatest understandings has been that having that right group of skilled professionals by your side to aid your success can make all the difference between winning and becoming a champion.
“The evolution of sports and the refinement of professional athletes over the past few years has created a valid need for skilled professionals that understand the nuances of the industry. Sporjo is a brand that has identified this and is making strides to equip the entire Indian sporting industry.
“I personally am very excited to be associated with a brand that is working towards creating an ecosystem of excellence right from the grassroots level. Becoming successful isn’t random or a matter of luck, it’s a mindset and through this association I hope we are able to aid and create an ecosystem that breeds successful individuals in the field of sports across all mediums.”
Founder and CEO G Srinivasan spoke about the road ahead for Sporjo, “While the Sports industry is in its infancy in India, the landscape has witnessed a significant transformation in the last decade. With the advent of IPL and other subsequent leagues, the industry has seen a massive shift towards investments in sports. Sports’ lucrative potential is clear with large corporations entering the segment.
“However, for a market estimated at INR 100 billion, Sports India contributes 0.1% to the GDP compared to the global average of 0.5%. This indicates tremendous potential for expansion. Challenges exist for both candidates and employers. A lack of credible sources, information and knowledge is a major hurdle for the candidates. Skill gaps, understanding of the business of sports, and incredible lead times to find the right person ail the employers. With jobs in Sports projected to grow at a CAGR of 6% by FY24, addressing this gap between candidate and employer through assessing, training and eventually placing professionals has been Sporjo’s genesis.”
Punit Balan, who led the investors, highlighted the goals for the company, “What Sporjo is doing for the Indian sports industry is transformative. With the Indian sports market poised for growth, there is an ever-growing need for professionals in the industry. Having backed athletes as well as a few teams over the years, I am acutely aware of the gap that exists in recruiting the right talent. It is also the right time to start educating parents, children and professionals about the varied careers that exist in the sports industry and providing them with a roadmap backed with an action plan. I am very proud to back innovators like Sporjo that provide that solution while empowering & building a community of sports professionals. I believe in their vision and I look forward to their continued growth and evolution.”
With proper investments, a clear goal and a sports veteran who can help the company understand the industry better, Sporjo seems to be on the right track to create an ecosystem of over half a million professionals in the sports industry by 2030.