The Man Who Brought Kabaddi to Indian Households For a country which has worshipped the ground cricketers have walked on, getting another sport to be showcased in a similar format was not an easy task. But Anupam Goswami and Marshal Sports are striving towards making kabaddi a world-class sport.

By Paromita Gupta

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, Pro Kabaddi League

In the world of the Indian Premier League, Marshal Sports took a gamble on the grassroot sport of Kabaddi nine years ago. And the rest as they say is history. U Mumba vs Jaipur Pink Panthers match in 2014 kick started a new annual sporting event "Pro Kabaddi League". For its latest season nine, the Indian men's professional Kabaddi league clocked in a viewership of 222 million, which was 17.5 per cent up from its 2021 numbers. Safe to say, Indian households are embracing kabaddi with love and enthusiasm.

For a country which has worshipped the ground cricketers have walked on, getting another sport to be showcased in a similar format was not an easy task. But Anupam Goswami and Marshal Sports are striving towards making kabaddi a world-class sport. "Pro Kabaddi has succeeded in presenting kabaddi as a world-class sport from India. When we started, kabaddi players were perceived as athletes of a lesser sport. However, we have made kabaddi careers aspirational and rewarding for kabaddi athletes in India through the Pro Kabaddi League. This is a very notable achievement attained by a handful of Indian sports leagues. Today, we have far more youth playing kabaddi in all parts of the country," shares Anupam Goswami, League Commissioner, Pro Kabaddi League.

At Pro Kabaddi, Goswami works with relevant national and international kabaddi federations, continental regulators, franchise owners, grassroots sports developers, and diverse authorities at the federal and regional levels. He joined Star TV Network in 2013 and in 2015 assumed the role of League Commissioner at Pro Kabaddi League and as the top executive at Mashal Sports Pvt. Ltd.

So, how does the Kabaddi chief define his leadership style? "I am good at discerning and acknowledging real and relevant thinking, competence, and application in my colleagues. This allows me to focus on my own task of aligning, balancing, and even resolving relevant points of view within the team, as well as with multiple stakeholders." Talking about his concern as a leader in the everevolving sporting industry, he shares "In the business of sports, media technologies are constantly evolving expectations as well as the choices of consumers and fans. This is a relentless process, and therefore, sports business leaders should always be concerned about becoming outmoded or losing relevance." PKL is now aiming to bring a new women-player format to the ground courtesy of the success seen by the men's league.

The toil of Goswami, Marshal Sports and Star TV Network has turned Kabaddi into a glamorous corporate- backed sport which is now being looked at as a full-time profession by Indian youths.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at 

Related Topics

Buy a Franchise

Learn the Secrets of Running 20+ Businesses as a Side Hustle — Finding and Nurturing Your 'STIC People'

Explore the critical importance of choosing the right franchise manager and the innovative 'STIC' approach.


Great Leaders Must Be Great Coaches — Here's How to Become One

To be a successful leader, you must become an expert in how to help others grow and develop. Here's a research-driven approach for entrepreneurial leaders to coach and effectively develop their teams.


'I Haven't Ticked All the Boxes Yet.' Hilary Duff Reveals Her Next Venture After More Than 2 Decades in the Spotlight — and the Surprisingly Relatable Key to Her Enduring Success

The actor talks entrepreneurship, secrets to success and her latest role as chief brand director for Below 60°, a product line of air fragrances.


How to Win Over the Room With Effective Persuasion Skills

The art of persuasion is not just about the notes, the data, and the pitch; it's about creating a connection that resonates with the audience. We explore how a blend of story, active listening, and genuine interaction can not only capture attention but also win hearts and minds, setting the stage for achieving success in any meeting.

Business Ideas

55 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2023

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2023.

News and Trends

Lights, Camera, Litigation: The Unraveling of Celebrity Web3 Collaborations

With a net worth of USD500 million, CR7 is one of the wealthiest athletes in the world. Others such as Leo Messi, Justin Bieber, Amitabh Bachchan, and Virat Kohli are associated with Bitget, Bored Ape, BeyondLife, and FanCraze, respectively