By Arun Kumar
Washington–Mixing business with pleasure, Sanjay Govil bought an Indian badminton team, The Delhi Acers, which ended up being crowned the champion of India’s Premier Badminton League.
Now the Indian-American entrepreneur, who hails from Delhi, would like to translate his success mantra to bring cricket to America in a big way.
“It would be really amazing to see players here in the US compared to the greats of the sport across the world,” said Govil, chairman of Infinite, a Silicon Valley computer solutions company he founded with only a $1,000 investment in 1999.
Govil, a “big fan of cricket” who has “played this game my whole life”, joined a recreational cricket league in the American capital forming a team called the Infinite Eagles.
“Cricket has an interesting history in the United States, elbowed out by baseball, but there is a rich cultural history that I’d love to see start again,” Govil told IANS in an email interview.
“Sports is a great unifier and equalizer,” said Govil, when asked why a successful businessman like him delves into sports.
Working on a team together to accomplish the same goals transcends “race, religion, experience and gender”, he said.
“The idea to merge my passion for sports with business was definitely a mixing of business with pleasure, but I anticipated that it would be a good business decision as well,” said Govil.
He decided to purchase Delhi Acers because he “grew up in Delhi and there is always the sentiment of home team pride”. More importantly, “badminton is rapidly growing to be one of the most popular sports in the global arena.
“Even in a cricket loving nation like India, badminton has gained national interest ever since the badminton league was launched a couple of years back.”
With such growing popularity of the game, Govil “saw it as the perfect chance to put Infinite on a global platform that is outside of the sphere of business.
“This partnership with the league has allowed Infinite to be a part of an international community of sports-loving individuals and has even inspired our employees to adopt a more active and healthy lifestyle.”
As of now, Govil is “completely dedicated to building the legacy of the Delhi Acers team, who are on a roll after having finished in first place in the last season of the Indian Badminton League.
“However, if and when an opportunity like Delhi Acers presents itself, I will certainly be open to the possibility,” he said when asked about his plans for further involvement in sports in India.
“Being involved in the local scene has helped me to connect with my employees in DC in a way that I would not be able to do as quickly in a meeting room.”
Turning to business, Govil said for its Indian clients Infinite focusses on its “smart and highly integrated” messaging suite of products and platforms that enable “communities to connect across states – at a more complete level than what was possible before”.
Another USP of Infinite is its healthcare platform, he said.
“Healthcare is changing and evolving in India – as awareness around health grows our patient centred healthcare platform has remained an important part of business for our India-based customers.”
Govil said his company was also helping clients bridge the gap with their customers with a faster and more secure background system.
“We are a collaboration tool,” he said. “By having faster go to market speeds, we are able to help our customers stay competitive in over-saturated industries.”