Cricket star Yuvraj Singh has joined a small but illustrious club of cricketers-turned-entrepreneurs. The Economic Times reported today Yuvraj Singh has set up a venture capital fund called YouWeCan with a kitty of Rs 50. Yuvraj according to the report will be an angel investor to young entrepreneurs in the areas of healthcare, e-commerce, sports According to the 34-year-old superstar, his fund hopes to raise Rs 300 crore over the next few years from investors. Yuvraj Singh, still an active international cricketer who doesn’t feature in the Indian team anymore follows stalwarts such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Mahender Singh Dhoni in the entrepreneurship trail.
India legend Sunil Gavaskar founded the country’s first sports management firm PMG which was subsequently acquired by advertising tycoon Sam Balsara’s firm Madison World. The 1983 world cup winning captain Kapil Dev belonged to a business family. But he diversified into multiple sectors building on his family’s timber business. Like Gavaskar, Kapil too started off during his playing days. Besides a hotel in his hometown Chandigarh, Kapil founded a media and communications firm, quite like PMG, called Dev Features.
While an active cricketer at his prime, Kapil also became a marketing consultant for the footwear giant Bata helping the company popularise its new brand Power in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Those old enough will remember almost the entire Indian team in the 1990s—including the likes of Tendulkar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Navjot Sidhu, and Kapil himself sporting the logo of Power shoes on their bats. Kapil Dev’s marketing acumen gave birth to the multi-billion dollar association of cricket and sportswear in India. Kapil also dabbled in diverse businesses such as stadium lighting, coal imports and golf course designs.
Krishnamachari Srikkanth, a contemporary of Kapil, also from a business family, now runs a multimedia education aid business called EduStrokes. Anil Kumble, like Srikkanth, an engineer by education, runs a corporate training and mentoring firm called Tenvic.
Not many have been as successful as Kapil and Gavaskar. Sachin Tendulkar’s eponymous restaurant chains in association with restaurateur Sanjay Narang was a damp squib. Hotel businesses started by Virender Sehwag and Saurav Ganguly met a similar fate. Will Yuvraj’s fund fare any better?