An Interview with Sports Entrepreneurs from IISM- Abhishek Kulkarni

Published On: June 1, 2021
Sports Entrepreneurs from IISM

Abhishek Kulkarni is IISM alumnus from PGP in Sports & Wellness Management Batch 2019-20. Abhishek is an ardent sports lover, cricketer and qualified fitness trainer. Hailing from a family of athletes, Abhishek always wished to do something remarkable in the field of sports. Therefore, parallel to being a professional sportsman, he pursued a Sports Management program at IISM to boost his entrepreneurship venture- Aim Sports & Fitness Club.

Here is a written interview with Abhishek that bids to guide Sports Management aspirants.

Tell us about your passion for sports?

ANS – My great grandfather was the principal of TIPE (Training Institute of Physical Education) Kandivali, Mumbai. My grandfather and father were national-level track & field athletes. I have played cricket for MCA (Mumbai cricket association) for 2 years. My passion towards sports grew more because of cricket. So, belonging from a family of sportsmen, sports is in my blood.

When did you decide to step towards studying Sports Management?

ANS – We have our own functional fitness clubs by the name of Aim Sports & Fitness where we provide training for Marathon and general fitness. My father being an Athletic coach and into fitness industry for past 20 years now, I wanted to expand our family venture and run it efficiently and that’s when I decided to study PGP in Sports & Wellness Management to get the formal education in this field.

What did you learn at IISM?

ANS – With the PGPS&WM program, my understanding of the Sports Industry broadened immensely. I learned a lot about marketing our services, managing diverse situations, dealing with people, etc. I am able to apply my learning to my own business and aid it enhance more. I am very thankful to the Corporate Relations team for providing excellent industry exposure, some of which were India vs South Africa Test match (Pune), India vs Sri Lanka T20 (Pune), India vs West Indies T20 (Mumbai) and Pesäpallo World Cup (Pune). Due to such exposure, I acquired skills such as Time management, Critical thinking, problem solving, Decision making, project management, leadership etc.

Tell us about your venture – Aim Sports & Fitness club?

ANS – Aim sports & Fitness club was started on 1st September 2000 to create, inculcate and nurture readiness about fitness amongst individuals. We are into functional Fitness and Marathon training. Our role is to provide functional training, increase mental and social well-being, beat insomnia, anxiety, improve pelvic stability, core stability, balance, flexibility, coordination, help raise the BDNF levels, repair falling Brain cells and protect healthy brain cells, focus on developing concentration, alertness, activeness and appropriate posture. We at Aim Sports & Fitness follow all latest scientific training methods.

What was the aim behind establishing it?

ANS – The main aim behind establishing Aim Sports & Fitness was to promote physical and mental health among everyone and nurturing athletes to par excellence. To make fitness programs easily accessible and available to all – from students to professionals. Our mission is to devise easy to follow routines to combat a sedentary lifestyle, reduce stress and muscle tension, create resistance to illness, ward off ailments and increase confidence.

How has your journey as Sports Entrepreneur been so far?

ANS – The journey has been very exciting. It feels good to have 100 plus clients training at your fitness club, out of which some are top doctors in Thane, come for the first batch which starts at 5.30 am. In the evening we have the kids’ batch from 5.00 to 6.00 pm. It really feels great to train these kids and see them active, enjoying their workout drills and having fun.

What are your views on sports and wellness/Fitness industry flourishing in India?

ANS – The fitness industry has evolved in all these years and fitness enthusiasts have been offered with lots of new opportunities and trends to look forward to which has helped in making it grow. The fitness industry in India is still in the developing phase. In today’s fast and hectic lifestyle, people manage to workout actively or follow a fitness routine. The growth in fitness services has been largely impelled by the alarming increase in obesity, rise in sedentary lifestyle and long time spent in front of the television and gadgets. In today’s Covid-19 pandemic situation one should exercise regularly which will help to reduce stress, anxiety and depression and increase strength, energy and stamina.

How do you apply your learning from IISM and sports management program for your club?

ANS – There were some subjects in the module like Sports Sponsorship, Sports Strategic Management, Sports Human Resource Management etc. which helped me improve my knowledge and also due to the internship opportunities I got the practical knowledge and experience, where I learnt a lot about managing different situations. Negotiations, dealing with people, problem solving, leadership etc. I try to apply these learning for the growth and expansion of my fitness clubs.

What is the scope for fitness lovers in Today’s time?

ANS – Fitness industry is going to be big and will keep growing. It is going to be triple the amount of what it is today. The amount of people who are interested in being a part of fitness industry will always keep growing. In this Covid-19 situation, it is difficult to predict or explain the picture of the fitness industry, but gradually it will become a part of our lifestyle, till then we need to mould ourselves according to the condition.

What sets Aim Sports & Fitness club apart?

ANS – We at Aim Sports & Fitness conduct functional fitness and marathon training with all latest scientific training methods. We follow the system of crawl, walk, jog and run. We provide with customized training program for our clients which are monitored by our team of qualified trainers. Individual attention is given to each and every one who come at our fitness club. We not only try to improve the physical strength but also mental strength.

Where do you see your club in few years down the line?

ANS – I want my club to be one of the premier organizations in India dedicated to inculcating fitness, motivating people to be healthy and nurturing sporting talent.

Where do you see yourself as a Sports Entrepreneur in the industry in the upcoming years?

ANS – Currently we have three outdoor functional fitness clubs in Thane and one in the UK (United Kingdom). My plan is to have multiple branches of Aim Sports & Fitness club all over India and to be one of the recognized organizations in India. So, in the upcoming years, I am ready to accept challenges and will try to add as much values and skills as I can.

A piece of advice for aspiring Sports Management students/ professionals/ entrepreneurs.

ANSIf you are planning to develop a career in the field of sports, then get ready for lots of hardships. You will need to have a lot of patience in this field, nothing good comes easy. If you are really passionate, I would say follow it with all you have got. No opportunity is small in this industry, each small step counts and never get demotivated. Just enjoy the journey and trust the process.

An Interview with Abhishek Kulkarni
Co-Founder, Aim Sports & Fitness Club
IISM Alumnus, PGP in Sports & Wellness Management Batch 2019-20

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