Do you breathe cricket or are you a football fanatic? Or would you rather go indigenous with kabbadi? Whatever the game, Follow Your Sport is your digital destination for all things sports.
Founded by the trio of Puneet Malhotra, Prateek Sood and Prateek Chhabra, Follow Your Sport is a platform for sports content, unparalleled event coverage and statistical indexing.
Co-founder Puneet Malhotra talks about how they stay ahead in the game.
How did follow your sport start?
We began like any other startup, where you talk to your friends, colleagues, and family before starting something new. The sheer perseverance of being an entrepreneur is all it took to take this significant step. It commenced with multiple discussions over 18 months on varied topics, areas of interest, and industries. However, there was never a second thought on doing something related to sports. Being a sports enthusiast and then converting that passion into work seemed like the right decision. We brainstormed on drawing boards over weekends, and while going back and forth, we identified that there is potential to create a crowd-sourced content app dedicated to sports. We wanted to be a platform where everyone – from sport pundits to industry insiders – could contribute and take their views to the fans. We wanted to give a comprehensive experience through our digital sports magazine to every sports fan in India and keep them ahead of the game at all times.
Post the launch of our beta version on 8th February, 2016, we committed to keep increasing our online presence. We started with our initial seed fund, which kept us afloat for 6 months, and we recently raised money from a private investor.
Define a usual day in your life.
For most of us, our day starts with checking responses on the website for the previous day, mapping progress with Google analytics reports, checking social media handles, coordinating with the team and planning for meetings and stories for the day.
Even if we want to relax after our regular working hours, the nature of the business doesn’t allow us to do so. T20 Cricket, IPL, EPL, Euro 2016, Copa 2016 at night, NBA in the morning, Tennis, Formula 1 and Badminton in the afternoon – this has been our schedule for the last four months. Though we have a 16-member team, we all have to work in multiple time zones on various things in a horizontal setup where everyone feeds into one another.
As founders we need to work with every team member working at any hour to support the member, whether it is web UI, website development, news coverage, promotion or marketing activity. There is absolutely no special treatment for being a CEO.
What would you have done, if not this?
I was part of a niche risk consulting firm and it required me to lead, execute, and participate in business development, HR, hiring and billing. That job was nothing short of being an entrepreneur because you owned the project you were working on. For me, it would have been difficult to continue without being an entrepreneur.
Prateek Sood would have continued to support his family business, Sports & Fitness. Prateek Chhabra, with his consulting experience with E&Y and his MBA in Finance & Entrepreneurship, would have also chosen entrepreneurship.
It’s great that we could come together to use our experience and reap the benefits for this venture.
Do you have a CEO/co-founder bible?
We don’t have a Plan B. We believe in working towards making Plan A work, no matter what it takes. We focus on high quality and strong processes to make it a success, and we are striving to connect the world through our common love for sports.
What do you feel about the importance of new-age content marketing?
Digital marketing is changing consumption patterns the way television changed print media consumption. It is redefining what we read and where we read it. Smartphones have become our primary screen and are keeping us updated with latest trends, stories and views. This has helped brands engage with users more effectively. Engagement is the key and return on engagement is essential. Content marketing can help us achieve that. It’s cheaper, and the young, affluent audience, which is hard to reach and harder to persuade, is brought to one place. Through continuous engagement, it also helps build popularity of the product and brand awareness.