Sporting Promoter

Monday, August 08, 2016

Saumil Majmudar, Co-Founder and CEO, EduSports

Saumil Majmudar is the Co-founder, CEO and MD of EduSports - India's first and largest school sports enterprise. EduSports is India’s No.1 School Sports Organization with a vision of helping millions of children all over the world become healthier and fitter. EduSports currently works with over 550 schools spread across 250+ locations in 4 countries, and engages over 450,000 children in an inclusive and positive sporting experience. Saumil has been an entrepreneur since 1998. He holds a B Tech degree and is a Distinguished Service Alumnus from IIT Bombay. He also has a PGDM from IIM Bangalore, a Basic Mountaineering Degree from Nehru Institute of Mountaineering (Uttarkashi) and a Black Belt in Karate. In conversation with Dominic Rebello, Saumil reveals the way forward for his company and his ambition for creating a generation of healthy and bright citizens.

What is your vision for the company?
My vision is to ensure 100 million people play and experience the magic of sports by 2020. We also believe that sports is education. We are getting children to play by providing a sports platform from K-12 class using a combination of service based curriculum and technology. We are India’s No.1 School Sports and PE Organization. Spanning over 250 cities, we have successfully implemented and are managing the program across 550 plus schools covering over 4.5 lakh children. With our strong understanding of sports and PE, we are constantly innovating by developing new products for enhancing the sports experience for schools & children and effectively engaging with parents. EduSports plans to reach 1000 schools and 1 million children in the next 2 years.

How important is Physical Education and Sports programmes in schools?
Schools are trying to provide a holistic education. We are helping schools to do the same through the magic of sports. Sports have always been an integral part of education. The delivery of the in-school Physical Education or Sports programmes, in most schools, has not been inclusive, age-appropriate and has therefore not engaged all kids.

How big is the potential for a business like yours?
The market size will be in the range of 3500 cr to 4000 cr

Where do you see yourself five years down the road?
EduSports aims to reach 1,000 schools and get a million kids to experience the magic of sports in the next two years.

What are some of the challenges that you faced?
In mid-2008, we started knocking on school doors with the idea of making structured PE and sports program an integral part of education. Out of 100 schools that we tried to reach, 90 threw us out saying “Parents don’t want sports for their kids; they want their children to only learn maths and science”. But 10 of them said, “That is interesting. Tell us more”. Of these 10, three said, “Where have you been all this while? I know my sports program is broken, but I don’t know how to fix it!” When we started, we did not have any of the tools . We only had the desire to get children to play in schools. Some of the early schools trusted our sincerity and decided to give us a chance. In partnership with the schools and with a sharp focus on ensuring that the on-ground program delivery is world-class, we kept iterating and fine tuning the various tools used to deliver the program with accountability & transparency. The EduSports programme required at least one qualified and trained resource to be present in every school. Till date, availability of highly-skilled graduates from a sports/PE background is the biggest challenge to scaling-up. After the initial hiccups, when the EduSports programme gathered momentum across the country, it brought with it a different set of challenges; a majority of which were related to scaling the service delivery model in remote locations. The entire operations team had to be prepared to service a tier-2/3 city and we required the skilled manpower to execute the programme on the ground. Thankfully, we had the reporting platform in place, which helped us track the programme delivery in remote places.

Today, EduSports is present in more than 100 cities in the country and through its operations, hiring and training teams can help set-up a school with a minimal lead time.

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