Cricket Stars' Entrepreneurial Odyssey: From the Pitch To Business Success

Discover how top cricket stars have transitioned from the pitch to achieving business success through their entrepreneurial ventures.

Published On Sep 29, 2023 | Updated On Feb 22, 2024

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Cricket players, with the right financial planning, can lead a prosperous life even after they retire from the sport. Particularly, Indian cricketers tend to accumulate substantial wealth during their active careers, which typically is a span of merely 7-8 years. In recent times, the advent of domestic leagues like the IPL and PSL has opened up opportunities for players to earn millions of dollars. Modern-day cricketers, guided by talent management firms, make aggressive investments to secure their post-retirement future. Let's delve into the entrepreneurial ventures of a few prominent cricketers.

Here is all you need to know about the top cricketers and their entrepreneurship journey

Sachin Tendulkar, often celebrated as the cricket god, has also proved his acumen in the business world. Besides his cricketing accolades, he owns a 7.5% stake in Musafir, a UAE-based travel company. Tendulkar's involvement extends to a 28% ownership in Universal Collectabillia, a company specialising in celebrity memorabilia. He was also a co-owner of the Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. He owns restaurants like Tendulkar's and Sachin's and partnered with Future Group and Manipal Healthcare Services for health products. Tendulkar also has stakes in Smaaash Entertainment. He launched the 100 MB app, invested in Smartron, and recently put $2 million into JetSynthesys, a digital entertainment firm. These ventures span technology, sports, and lifestyle sectors, showcasing his versatility. Tendulkar's investments have propelled him to a prominent position in JetSynthesys, alongside notable shareholders like Adar Poonawalla and Kris Gopalakrishnan.

Virat Kohli, the former captain of the Indian Cricket Team, has ventured beyond the cricket pitch to establish a notable presence in India's burgeoning startup landscape. In addition to his cricketing prowess, Kohli is swiftly gaining recognition in the business sector. With a staggering brand value of $184 million in 2021, he stands as India's most valuable celebrity. Kohli has not only made strategic investments in a diverse range of startups but also introduced his own brands, including WROGN.

His recent investments span various sectors, encompassing health, insurance, and travel. Notably, he backed plant-based meat startup Blue Tribe and wellness startup Hyperice. His involvement in the Indian fintech startup Digit significantly boosted its valuation to $3.5 billion.
Kohli's investment portfolio underscores his versatile business acumen, touching sectors like fashion, technology, and sports. His ownership extends to several startup brands, including One8 Commune, Nueva, and Puma One8. Additionally, he co-owns prominent sports teams and has his luxury clothing brand, Wrogn, and a lifestyle brand for kids, Stepathlon Kids, adding depth to his entrepreneurial journey.

While fans may fondly remember MS Dhoni as India's Captain Cool or for his signature helicopter shot, his evolution into a tactful investor and entrepreneur often goes unnoticed. It's worth noting that Dhoni embarked on his maiden startup investment journey back in 2012. Today, he boasts a diverse portfolio of investments, with SportsFit World standing out as one of his most prominent ventures. Additionally, Captain Cool has lent his endorsement to the renowned shoe brand Seven.

Notably, Dhoni, a pivotal figure in the IPL's Chennai Super Kings, also holds co-ownership in Chennaiyin FC, a team in the Indian Super League based in Chennai. He shares ownership of Mahi Racing Squad India, a formidable contender in the Super Sports World Championship.

Dhoni's strategic investments extend to Run Adam, a sports technology company headquartered in Chennai, where he secured a significant 25% stake. It's worth mentioning that Dhoni's financial contributions to the nation are substantial; he paid a remarkable Rs 12.17 crore in taxes and earned the distinction of being Jharkhand's leading taxpayer. 

Sourav Ganguly, known as the Prince of Bengal, boasts substantial wealth from both cricket and business endeavours. Serving as the president of the BCCI, he primarily derives his income from various business ventures. While his initial investment in Sourav's restaurant chain, The Food Pavilion, faced setbacks, he later ventured into Flickstree, a digital startup. Ganguly also has a stake in the Indian Super League club ATK.

Anil Kumble, at 48 years old, co-founded TENVIC, a sports training and consulting firm. He is dedicated to nurturing young spin bowlers in Karnataka through his initiative, Spin Stars, which conducts talent searches for aspiring spin bowlers aged 10 to 19 in the state. Kumble is also the founder of Spektacom, a technology that employs chip-like stickers to measure the power of a ball strike, with the data tracked using a mobile application.

The Universal Boss, Chris Gayle, has diversified his interests beyond cricket. He owns the Triple Century 333 sports bar and a restaurant in Jamaica. Gayle serves as a global ambassador for the fashion brand Attitude.com and has invested in the Bengaluru-based startup FlippAR. He has also ventured into IONA, a gaming entertainment company, along with various technological investments.

The legendary Sri Lankan cricketer, Mahela Jayawardene, co-owns the renowned Ministry of Crab restaurant in Colombo, Sri Lanka, alongside Kumar Sangakkara. Jayawardene expanded his culinary empire by opening a restaurant chain in Mumbai, India, with chefs trained in Colombo.

Zaheer Khan, a premier Indian fast bowler, ventured into the restaurant business in 2005. What started as a simple eatery later evolved into a sports bar- meets- restaurant- meets- lounge. Khan also owns Toss, a sports lounge in Pune. Additionally, he has invested in a fitness venture called ProSport Fitness, which offers physiotherapy sessions and fitness training at two locations in Mumbai.


Photo: Instagram/viratkohli, mahela27

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