Player-cum-owner: How Manav Modi will play a double role in PTL
One of the teams in the Pro Tennis League (PTL) this season will see the owner doubling up as a player - Manav Modi of team Paramount Proec Tigers.
Having to give up your sporting ambitions for something better in life is not something very novel in India. But maintaining your passion for the sport even as you find success in something outside of it comes with its own set of challenges. Acing those challenges with ease is the owner of the Pro Tennis League (PTL) team Paramount Proec Tigers, Manav Modi.
Modi will not only be cheering for his team from the sidelines once the PTL action begins on December 1, but will also be at the centre of all the tennis action, playing for his team.
"I have been a part of multiple teams over the years as a player, but I have never really owned a team. This is a very unique experience for me," Modi said in a conversation with The Bridge.
A third-generation member of the prominent Modi business family of Modinagar, Manav took up tennis after a friend gifted him a racquet when he was just a 9-year-old.
"It was a wooden racquet (the one which his friend gifted). I used to go to a neighbouring club and play against the wall with that racquet. This was about 30 years back," Modi chuckled.
"Then my parents enrolled me in an academy once I started playing well, and since then I have been playing in the circuit," he added.
Manav Modi revealed that his tennis career eventually took a backseat when he joined his family business, but he continued to play just because of his love for the sport.
"In an ideal scenario, I would love to play 6 days a week. But, it is not possible. I stay busy with my work, so I try and take out time to go out and play at least twice or thrice a week. It is just about pushing yourselves, be it on the weekend or on weekdays post the work," he said.
Entrepreneurial skills gives team-building edge
With the Pro Tennis League around the corner, Modi believes his team has what it takes to go all the way.
"I believe we have a very balanced team. The auctions were very good for us. We did not spend money just for the heck of it. We spent it across the spectrum and have managed to bring in a very good mix of players," he said.
The auction is where Modi believes his entrepreneurial skills came to his recuse in team building.
"All teams had a certain budget during the auctions. My expertise in the field of business helped us in having a clear strategy on what we wanted," he said.
But with no prior experience in running a sports team, how has he planned to juggle the operations of the Paramount Proec Tigers along with playing?
"We have a co-owner in the form of Tushar. He was a part of a different League previously and has experience of owning a team. We would completely rely on his expertise on operating the team," he said.
For now, Manav Modi has his eyes firmly set on what he can contribute to the team out in the middle of a tennis court."The ultimate aim is to win the PTL title. It will be my first time playing in such big venues, and the focus is to ensure that I win as many matches as I can to help the team achieve that goal," he signed off.