Mahesh Bhupathi: Knowing the Man Outside the Tennis Court & Inside Boardroom
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When it comes to tennis, Mahesh Shrinivas Bhupathi is the first name that pops up in our head. If this wasn’t for this man the country would have never followed tennis the way we did. Bhupati was one of the most dominated double players in the history of the sport.
He became the first Indian to win a Grand Slam title in the mixed doubles event at the 1997 French Open. And this was just the start, he became one of the players to put India out globally and be known for its skills in tennis.
Though the world has always known him for his sports skills, there is a lot to this man than just his racket. Entrepreneur India got in a conversation with him, to know the business side of the talented man.
Bhupati runs a management and brand solution company Globosports that has built an organized format to get the best potential outcomes from the players and celebrities. Talking about celebs understanding the potential of them as a brand he said, “I think we are still a decade behind the West but considering where it was 15-years-ago, it has come a long way. Luckily, celebrities understand the value, the ability to create IPs and getting behind some of these opportunities. I think we are heading in the right direction and it continues to evolve.”
Bhupati’s beauty company Scentials Beauty Care and Wellness Pvt. Ltd, recently also raised INR 25 crore in a Series A round from Unilever Ventures. Scential is a very celebrity-based beauty platform, a first of a kind in India. They have several beauty categories with endorsements from well-known celebrities. Like they have a fragrance line with Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli, skincare range with actress Lara Dutta and soon they will be launching a makeup line with actress Malaika Arora.
“With Unilever investing in us is a testimony that we are doing something right but there is still a lot to be done,” he said.
Other Potential Fields
While there are a lot of fields to make investments in, Bhupati is very clear that beauty is the sector he plans to focus on for the next four-five years.
Moving on to the basics, we asked him where are we lacking when it comes to creating global level talent. He simply said, it’s not that we lack talents but we don’t have coaches or fitness experts who can train them right are not available.
“India is an ambitious country yes but our ambition in sports is zero technically. The amount of support that our government gives compared to other countries is negligible. So till that becomes significant, we can’t expect any miracle,” he added further.
Bhupati has worked out all his life to play professional tennis and he plans to maintain that sanity even still. “Unless I am on holiday, I take care of my diet. We have to do what we can otherwise the body takes beating over time. At this stage we make sure it doesn’t break down,” he said.
Bhupati is very clear of the vision he has as an entrepreneur and working with his wife Lara Dutta by side, they are also the perfect example of a power couple.
Check out the video below where Editor-in-chief of Entrepreneur India, Ritu Marya talks to the talented man to know more: