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Global Institute of Sports Business is here to shape your career

Global Institute of Sports Business is here to shape your career

Sohinee Basu

Published: 3 Sep 2018 4:59 AM GMT
The enthusiasm and the fever of sports have dramatically taken an upward swing on the fluctuating graph with the season of the Jakarta-Palembang Asian Games. India is slowly learning to warm up to a sports culture, and Neel Shah & the management at India On Track (IOT) identified this growing trait and decided to tap into this surge at the perfect moment. Shah who has spent a right amount of his career devoted to the sports industries and been on the Visiting Faculty list of various respected Sports Management Programs over the globe has just the expertise to spearhead a similar one-of-a-kind program in India. With the Global Institute of Sports Business (GISB) in Mumbai, his dreams are finally taking shape. Indians interested in choosing sports business as their career won't have to look beyond the borders of India to pursue their passion.
Neel Shah This is the flagship program of GISB which has tied up with the Madrid based Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia (ISDE) who will be certifying the full time 20 unit intensive inaugural program. Not only is this course unique characteristically but much awaited. The course is a vertical and initiative by India On Track. Shah, who has had the foreknowledge of how the sports business world works, is the best person to be associated with GISB and has watched it grow brick by brick, one brainwave at a time. Having an undergraduate degree in Sports Business from the University of California and an MBA degree from Seton Hall University,  New Jersey, Shah cannot be more excited to see his country having its own Sports Business school finally. All this, thanks to the ideation of GISB-ISDE which promises to be a brilliant launchpad for all the budding sports business enthusiasts and push their presence in the world of sports to a flying start! Neel Shah, who is the Program Director of GISB-ISDE, took time off his busy schedule to elaborate on their exciting and unique venture to The Bridge in an exclusive email chat. Here are the excerpts from the enlightening conversation:
1. What is GISB’s unique selling proposition?
Neel: The Global Institute of Sports Business offers India’s only internationally certified Sports Management course thanks to our integrated partnership with Madrid, Spain based ISDE. The course has been expertly designed by global sports industry veterans to ensure that GISB students not only receive the tools, knowledge, and experiences required to create fulfilling careers in sport but also gain access to relevant platforms to interact with industry employers regularly.
2. Having been a part of various sports cultures around the world, what are the key learning you will bring in to the course that students can learn under your mentorship? 
Neel:  I studied sports business as an Undergraduate at University of California, Santa Barbara and as an MBA student at Seton Hall University in New Jersey and have worked in the US and Indian sports industries for the past 16 years in addition to serving as Visiting Faculty for a few Sports Management programs. Over this time, I’ve developed a deep understanding of the type of information, training and exposure required to adequately prepare students for a sports career; an understanding which has been validated by some of the biggest influencers within our industry.
3. How will the program play a role in providing an international standard of sports management education, while staying faithful to the unique demands of the Indian sports market?
Neel: The Global Institute of Sports Business is a platform for students to get access to international standard curriculum and business management training through our experienced faculty, education partner, global affiliates and international study trip. At the same time, the program will have a strong focus on guiding students with contributing to the growth of the Indian sporting landscape. The Indian sports industry is growing at a rapid pace and is set to be a $10 Billion industry by 2025. Most of the world’s biggest sports brands have either set up businesses here or are currently working on their India market entry strategies.  While aspiring to work abroad is something that our students can always consider, there is a tremendous opportunity for sports management professionals to remain in India and make a profound difference on the growth of the industry right here at home.
4. How will GISB be different from the other existing Sports Management courses in the country? Neel: We feel that the majority of the faculty of any sports education program should be actively working within the industry to provide students with an insight into the current going-ons of sports business. Regular industry engagement in the form of office visits, live project experiences and internships are a must as all of these offer students an opportunity to better understand the landscape and begin to identify what part of the industry is best aligned with their interests and strengths. At GISB, we will ensure that all of the above is integrated into the course design.
5. The program boasts of some big names as part of the faculty. Can you shed some light on the various industry experts who have joined the team? Neel: For any education institute to be impactful, it is essential that its faculty has industry experience and, more importantly, is committed to supporting students with reaching their full potential.  The individuals who have joined our faculty have not only worked in the sports industry for many years, but many have acted as pioneers in developing various aspects of the ecosystem. These are all good people who will be able to share their knowledge, wisdom, insights and anecdotes with the students while, at the same time, transmitting some of the soft skills that have supported their professional success and growth. Some renowned names include Mr Joy Bhattacharjya, Mr Ravi Chavan, Mr Hemant Dua. Mr Rishi Narain and many more. You can check out the entire list of our faculty here -

6. How important is it for a course such as GISB’s to remain in-tune with the demands of the industry? How have you planned to tackle the constant evolution of teaching such courses? Neel: The global sports industry is highly dynamic and rapidly evolving, and it is critical that sports management students are regularly exposed to real-world scenarios to adequately prepare for positions within the sporting ecosystem. Through the Institute’s experienced faculty, case studies, guest lecture sessions, industry visits, live projects, internships and international study trip, all GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management students will complete the 15-month program with deep an understanding of how the industry functions.
7. What types of sports management positions exist within the industry? What are the placement opportunities that GISB will provide its students? The sports sector is one of the fastest growing industries across the world. Globally, the sports sector is worth USD 700 billion and in India alone, this industry is worth 3.5 billion USD and expected to grow by 35% over the next ten years. There are some positions within sports management: sports technology, sports infrastructure development, sports facilities, sports events, sports media, sports sciences, coaching, sports medicine, sports psychology, and sports governance, where individuals are required in this industry. These are only a few examples. However, there are hundreds of different jobs that the sports industry offers to an aspirant who possesses unique abilities to flourish in this demanding sector. Beyond the traditional sports positions associated with leagues, franchises, agencies and government bodies, the Indian sports industry creates the unique opportunity to pioneer various aspects of the landscape as a sports entrepreneur. GISB has partnered with leading global and domestic sports organisations such as the Premier League, Perform Group, FC Pune City and Multifit to ensure guaranteed internship and professional placement opportunities for all students that are a part of the program.
8. What is your advice to students and professionals who want to be a part of the Sports industry? Neel: My main advice would be to develop a deep understanding of business management which can be combined with an existing interest in the sport. Also, it is essential to have a strong verbal and written communication skills to build a career in the sports industry. This is in addition to all of the other soft and hard skills that will be required at various stages. At GISB we will help our students develop through our intensive Foundation course curriculum which includes Awareness & Self Development, Decision-Making, Organizational Behaviour & Culture and Microsoft Office Proficiency. Through our rigorous and relevant Sports Course curriculum, students will not only develop a knowledge base of the many different areas of the sports ecosystem, but they will also learn how to apply that knowledge in any situation which is what employers are mostly looking for.
9. How can interested students use for the GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management course? Neel: We are currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 batch of the GISB-ISDE Certificate in Sports Management program. Interested students can apply by going to www.GISBIndia.com and filling out the online application form.  We will then set up personal interviews for all cleared online applicants and look to fill the batch by the 15th of September. I’d recommend that anyone who is serious about working in the sports industry apply for this program at the earliest as we are intentionally keeping the batch size small to ensure each student receives quality time and attention during the entire 15-month course.
Also read: GISB: India’s first internationally certified Sports Management course
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