In the ever-evolving Sports Economy, while we have been witnessing progress in Talent Scouting, Pathway Development, Venue Discovery Initiatives, are there any entities engaged actively in scouting and discovery of sport innovations in and from the Indian Market? “Discovering and identifying the right Sports and Fitness Innovations is like finding diamonds and cutting, polishing them as per market needs” said an industry stalwart in 2016 and then a maven and an early adopter in 2017 brought up the “key role of integrators and connectors in the sports industry” (even though the quotes are rehashed a bit both may know who they are if this post succeeds in reaching them).
On the other side of the spectrum are the voices from international small-to-midsized companies about the challenges in navigating the diverse and dynamic Indian Sports Landscape and the plight of Indian companies to access the Global sport markets beyond the accelerator programs. There is evidently a missing link somewhere: a sport sector-specific market access gateway, a reference point, a business facilitation service tailored for the Indian Sports and Fitness Industry when it comes to promoting innovations, new age concepts/tech/products/equipment, et al.
Cutting to the chase, I am anxiously delighted to introduce my new venture, HiG Sports, to address this missing link and of course to fulfil my own entrepreneurial urge. The premise of HiG Sports is simple (yet unique in the sense that there are only two other such Commercial, Privately Operated B2B Consulting Agencies in Asia): fostering cross-pollination of innovations in Sports, Fitness and Leisure Industries between India and the World.
HiG stands for Hibiscus Innovation Gateway. Before some floriculturists raise their eyebrows about why a sport innovation company is named after a flower, look at your fellow horticulturists gleaming with pride after a certain phone company named after a fruit turned into a trillion $$ endeavor in innovation. Jokes aside, my thinking behind the brand name was simply the practice and the ritual of using Hibiscus as an offering to God in India (including my own home) and HiG’s motto is service offering to its clients (who are like Gods as per Indian and other eastern cultures). Furthermore, couple of western friends (and masters of their crafts) appreciated the name saying Hibiscus and Gateway evoke Indian imagery and Innovation being the focal point, HiG Sports sounds like a catchy acronym and has a sporty vibe to it.
As of today (31 st March 2022), HiG is supporting ten super cool sport innovation companies (polished diamonds, you see) for India and/or Global Market Access. Plus, the pillars of the HiG Parthenon are anchored by 1. Specialized Strategic partners, and 2. Six ‘low key - high impact’ Subject Matter Experts. It is a modest start to contribute to the Indian and Global Sport Ecosystems and we are open to engage with more clients, partners, industry stakeholders, and domain experts.
Signing off with brief words of sincere thanks and eternal gratitude to all of HiG’s early backers, adopters, supporters, critics, and even the coldest non-responders. In a couple of days, HiG is fortuitously embarking on a new journey at the dawn of a new year celebrated in most regions across India. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for any queries, inputs, bouquets or brickbats :) It’s game time and the ball is in your court.
- Abhishek Padwal (Founder & CEO, HiG Sports)**Disclaimer: HiG Sports is not into content creation or publishing reports, HiG is not an innovation accelerator, HiG Sports is not into organizing conferences, workshops, HiG Sports is not into skilling/career development. There are specialized, high quality, credible firms and experts around already doing this stuff. HiG Sports is like a quasi-team for 1. Our clients (i.e., product companies - both tangible and digital): consulting on market access/validation, business development, alliances & partnerships, fund-raising, and 2. For the sport entities: Offloading, Augmenting, Simplifying their scouting/discovery of innovations.