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A Founder's Slam: How Sanjay Dasari Draws Inspiration by Being on Court He firmly believes that there are no agendas on the basketball court but pure love for the play

By Paromita Gupta

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Sanjay Dasari, Co-founder, WayCool Foods

Playing basketball has converted several strangers into life-long friends for Sanjay Dasari, Co-founder, WayCool Foods. Co-heading the food and agritech startup, Dasari draws inspiration from the sport and firmly believes that there are no agendas on the basketball court but pure love for the play.

When did you get acquainted with the sport?

I moved around a lot during my childhood, but sports were always a constant. I dabbled in Basketball for as long as I can remember, but I started playing consistently in 2015 after college, as I had torn my ACL playing Rugby in my final year and couldn't play that sport anymore.

How often do you play? Do you have a group?

As often as I can, 3-5 times a week if I'm lucky. The beauty of sports is that you can make friends quite easily, so I have a designated group of friends in every city I frequent (Chennai, Bangalore, Boston, etc) so I can be assured of a game whenever I'm travelling.

Can you share a fond memory from your playing sessions?

During a basketball game in Bangalore, our team trailed by 20 points with 10 minutes left. After a strategic timeout, we revamped our defence to focus on the opponent's key player and adjusted our offence for more passing and open three-pointers. Our team's defence smothered the opposing team's best player who did not trust his teammates enough to pass the ball, and our three-pointers got us back in the game. The plan worked, leading us to a comeback victory by 3 points.

Any similarities between the strategies used in basketball and those used in the business?

Basketball is an incredible sport because of how intensely you have to read and react to your competition and how much faith you have to have in your teammates (colleagues). There's a common phrase used in coaching circles, "the best players have short-term memory." Effectively this means that in order to succeed in the long run, you need to be able to move on from your successes and failures equally quickly. Nothing is guaranteed, and like in business, it's important to take risks but not dwell too long on the result. You have to learn how to win and how to lose, and not let yourself get too high or low. Regardless of what happens, always focus on what's in front of you and empower your teammates to do the same.

Any lessons from basketball that you apply in running your startup?

As in Basketball, theory or talent doesn't matter in entrepreneurship, and everything rests on the strength of your ability to execute while in high-pressure situations. No matter what, in basketball or entrepreneurship, talent and resources will fall to teamwork and execution every time.

Playing basketball makes you feel…

Like a child again

Favourite basketball player…

Dwyane Wade

Favourite sports brand…

Under Armour

Favourite team/ club

Boston Celtics

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 
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