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Here's Why We Need Sports Non-profit Start-ups for Children Sports for kids is the need of the day and can lead an entrepreneur to the top

By R Sundar

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If you are reading this article you must be among the brave and adventurous because you have decided to start something, and while "start-ups' as a pursuit is possibly among the most risky – 66% of them fail in 10 years. In contrast bungee jumping carries a risk of death of 1 in 500,000! So, a failed start-up doesn't kill you – but bungee jumping could! And we know that whatever doesn't kill you only makes you stronger. With that ethos – read on to understand the 5 reasons why Sports NGO and children are the right start-up to attempt!

1 Big Market: Sports - An Emerging Market Opportunity

While cricket is a religion in India – the advent of IPL and India's success in various international meets has spurred the interest in sports as a commercial market opportunity. Given the low penetration of sports culture in the country – the industry is at an early nascent stage, with very little organization and competition. Great to get in and be among the first movers- whether for profit or non-profit! If you compare the number of coaches to number of teachers in the country – that tells you the extent of penetration of sports training in the country, especially when it comes to the grassroots level i.e. among school children. And if you are a non-profit and intend to serve underprivileged children - then the need is everywhere and you can start and focus on what moves and drives you.

2 Big Impact: Children the Future

Whatever the sector or market – serving children, creating change among children - has big and lasting impact on society and country in the future. For underprivileged children – sports provide an alternate pathway to beat the odds, and lift themselves, their families, and community into economic liberation and not just acche din but acche yug! Looking for big impact well into the future – underprivileged children are the right focus segment, and good that is inculcated into them, magnifies multifold and impacts generations.

3 Customer Delight: Happy Children

Customers are the lifeblood of any enterprise – and "customer delight' is an ideal and key initiative in most organizations. Children love sports and love to play. It's just plain fun for kids to run, jump, swim, ride bikes, and play basketball! Your program, product or service that is delivered in this setting allows children to learn and assimilate skills and lessons without it seeming like a chore. The smiles on the face of every child who are part of the program clearly provide feedback on customer delight. Happy children – true customer delight! Even if your start up does not turn super profits, market cap or big impact – at least you spread a lot of fun, joy and happiness in children.

4 Be a Pioneer: Blaze a New Trail

A business that truly focuses on fun and joy for children is Walt Disney. While Disneyland is fun and happiness for the children – it is serious business at Walt Disney. They pay attention to every aspect of the customer experience from start to finish – that involves the staff, the show, rides, safety, fun, food, people, lines etc. Similarly every aspect of your program, product or service has to be meticulously crafted, tested, tuned and perfected. In a nascent industry like sports – when you are among the first movers, you are a pioneer. Creating a new industry, involves setting the people, processes, partnerships and a thriving ecosystem essential for a growth industry. All of this is hard work with lots of challenges, course corrections etc. – but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

5 Stressed: Don't Worry – Stressbuster Always Available

A start-up is a roller coaster ride – with many ups and downs, moments of doubt and lot of naysayers. When you are a "pioneer' in an emerging industry people are positive that you have no idea of what you are doing and advice (lots of it) will be offered. In the midst of all of this stress – you are guaranteed one sure "stressbuster'. Just go see the children enjoying your service – their smiles will melt away your stress and re-energize you and remind you why you are doing all this in the first place.

R Sundar

Co-Founder & Director of Hi5 Youth Foundation


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