We all have heard about the LinkedIn app which helps in connecting with the people that matter in the professional world. But can you think about a LinkedIn model for athletes? Bengaluru-based company Gamatics lets athletes stand out among others by making an online profile.
Gamatics CEO Shantala Bhat along with her husband Santosh Patil and Paralympian, Sharath Gayakwad together thought of this idea in 2014 to come up with an organization dedicated to the sports industry. For Shantala, getting her son into a competitive training for swimming was a different ball game altogether. Since she and her husband were not from a sports background, they found it very difficult to find the required information. That’s when I thought of creating a platform through which people can adopt sports easily.
The startup has been considering all the ideas and suggestions coming from athletes, coaches and parents across various geography and sports to address the gaps in the existing system.
The Importance of Having a Online Presence
According to Shantala Bhat, there is no place for athletes to highlight their achievements. On Gamatics one can upload his/her achievements to have a clean profile. You can show it to anybody to avail any job opportunity or get any facility.
"Down the line, the athletes can also start comparing their performances online with the global rankings. Also, every morning they can get up and check where they stand today and should they push themselves on the basis of rankings. That's why one can call it a LinkedIn model for athletes," she says.
Dealing With the "Authenticity" Concern:
Being an athlete herself, Bhat knows that the certificate uploaded online is a genuine one or a fake one. She can raise a concern anytime and ask the athlete to provide more information.
"If you don’t put the certificate online it will make our task more difficult. Also, when they put certificates they become really conscious because the documents are representing them online," she adds.
Online Vs Offline
The CEO of the IIM Bangalore-incubated company doesn't believe in any online vs offline model. She feels one should have a strong business model. She says, "You can’t just spend money to just get customers or number of downloads. It’s like a person entering the shop and exiting the shop without actually buying anything. So if you have something in the shop for the people whether it is the online or offline market, you need to have a strong business model."
Making The Most of Corporate Social ResponsibilityCSR is becoming more and more important in recent years. This year, Gamatics is planning to go big with CSR and reach the corporates.
"Last month, Karnataka government had a CSR for sports conclave and all the corporate asked for mainly three things: Transparency for selecting the athletes, no government mediator for handling money and performance tracking. Fortunately, we have all three in place and with this framework, it should be easy for corporates to put in money at a grass-roots level," says Shantala.