Mahatma Education Society’s (MES) Pillai Group of Institutions organised the FIFA/CIES/PILLAI Sports Summit on the theme “Sports Management as a Career: A fascinating opportunity” in Kochi on the 27th of March 2019. The Summit was a part of a series of Sports Management events organised by the Pillai Group in the lead up to the inaugural edition of the FIFA/CIES Executive Programme in Sports Management that will be conducted at the Pillai College Campus in Mumbai starting in September 2019.
The objective of the Sports Summit was to understand the linkage between the corporate and sports sectors. Recent developments have shown encouraging trends in this direction and the Summit brought together professionals who gave interesting insights into the way forward for both the sectors.
Welcoming the audience, Mr Padmakshan Padmanabhan, Director (Sports) at MES, who is also the Administrative Coordinator of the newly-launched Executive Programme in Sports Management,explained the rationale for such a summit. The recent growth in Sports Industry in India has provided immense opportunities to,both,players and non-playing professionals to make a career in this field.
Mr Padmanabhan elaborated on MES’s achievements in sports over the past four decades and noted that being part of the FIFA/CIES University Network will allow the Pillai Group to become a leader in the field of sports management in South Asia.
The Introductory Address was delivered by Mr. Franav Pillai, Dy CEO, MES, and Director of the PILLAI/FIFA/CIES Executive Programme. Mr Pillai expounded upon the commitment of MES to sports and how it led to the tie-up with FIFA/CIES. Explaining the need for such an initiative he said “Our partnership with FIFA/CIES has come at a crucial time where our country is all set to take its sports ecosystem towards a new direction. This prestigious collaboration will enable the Pillai group to significantly contribute to sports management in India. Partnering with the corporate sector will reap rich benefits for the participants of the Programme”.
The Kochi Summit was inaugurated by the first woman athlete to win a Gold Medal at Asian Games on Indian soil, Padma Shri (Ms) M D Valsamma. Speaking on the occasion, Ms Valsamma noted the collaboration of an Indian educational institute with a prestigious international body of the calibre of FIFA/CIES is good news for the country. She was appreciative of the emerging scenario in Indian sports & games. Blessing the newly launched sports management programme, she felt sure that the country would benefit by such an initiative.
The Special Guest at the event, Mr I M Vijayan, whose illustrious career saw the birth of a true son-of-the-soil hero, spoke of his transition from India’s leading football player to other domains related to the sport, including founding a sports equipment company, a football school, coaching, role as national observer for football and, most recently, the promoter of an entertainment company revolving around football. He noted that the Indian sports industry is rapidly growing and will continue to need qualified personnel at every level.
Arjuna Awardee, volleyball international, Mr Tom Joseph also graced the dais. Along with him, other dignitaries who graced the occasion included:
Mr Tinu Yohanan – Former Indian Cricketer
Mr Anil Kumar – Secretary, KFA
Mr Jayesh George – Secretary, KCA
Dr Prince Mattom – Secretary, KBA
Lt Cdr Manoj Vishwakarma – Secretary, Indian Navy Sports C C
Mr Bijoy Babu – Convenor, KVCC
Mr Shall Basker – VP, Thrissur Distt. Volleyball Asso.
Adv Srinijan – President, District Sports Association
Each dignitary welcomed this unique partnership between Pillai Group and FIFA/CIES and was gracious in extending support to the Executive Programme in Sports Management.
After the inauguration, the stage was set for an interactive session on the theme of the Summit:
“Sports Management as a Career: A fascinating opportunity”. Mr Franav Pillai and Mr Padmakshan Padmanabhan were joined on the stage by Dr Satish K Nair, Director, Pillai Institute of Management Studies and Research. The presentation gave a glimpse of the world of sports management and enticed the audience with figures of growth and size of the market as well as the gamut of opportunities that lay in store for those with a passion for the sector.