Interview with Mr. Puru Singh, Founder of Push Sports & Crickentrepreneur
Puru Singh, ex-Delhi player does not need any introduction to cricket, however, his entrepreneurial journey, post his coaching career does need mention.
An experienced Cricket Coach with a proven record at the highest level, Puru had been a part of the winning team of Chitwan Tigers in Nepal’s Everest Premier League.
He has also coached the Delhi Women’s U19 and U23 Teams, helping Delhi reach the finals of the Competition.
With an experience of having conducted more than 10000 Man hours of Cricket Coaching, working with different age groups on Technical, Tactical, Mental and Physical aspects of the game, he had played with many cricketers from the National Cricket Team of India.
Puru is well known in the circuit as the highest wicket-taker in the North Zone when he represented Delhi in U22.
Tell us a little about yourself
Puru Singh: I did my schooling at Sardar Patel Vidyalaya and went on to do my graduation from St Stephen’s College. I am also an IIM Kolkata Alumni.
The unique exposure to business strategies and cricket made me comfortable with both management and following my own entrepreneurial passion into Cricket.
I have been part of various Delhi State Cricket teams like Ranji Trophy, Under 19, U22 and U25. This made me quite aware of the pains of budding cricketers and sportsmen.
I was the highest wicket taker in North Zone during my U22 days. Still I left cricket after two years as there was no mentor to help me with a road map.
I wanted to start something unique that can actually become a support to the next generation kids pursuing sports.
Please tell us a little about your entrepreneurial journey
Puru Singh: My journey as a coach started with ‘Safe Hands Sports Management’ where I saw this as an opportunity to follow my passion and diversified the organization.
We were only imparting cricket coaching in groups when I joined. But in less then 18 months we had ventured into Sports tourism, corporate matches, corporate tournaments, corporate sports events and corporate product launches.
Even the coaching was diversified and domestic and international cricket tours were added. I was also responsible for starting personal coaching sessions for kids ranging from 6 to 16 year old.
The journey continued as I joined as Assistant Coach of Delhi Women’s U19 Team for season 2018-19 and later I was given the reins of U23 girls next season as the Head Coach.
As a unit we had phenomenal seasons as we reached the finals of 50 over competitions and reached the super league in T20s.
Later I joined Chitwan Tigers from Nepal as a Coach and mentor and won the Everest Premier League (Nepal’s version of IPL) in 2022.
It was an amazing experience. Perhaps one of the most difficult coaching assignments as the squad was a mix of established international starts and local players who were knocking on the fringes.
These experiences as coach also showed me that we are not doing enough to get the ground level talent excited.
And that was one of the major coaching philosophies on which the foundations of PUSH Cricket Academy was based when I started PUSH Cricket Academy in 2016 with 02 Nets, 03 kids and 02 Coaches.
Fast Forward to 2022 and we have transformed into PUSH Sports Arenas Pvt Ltd. We are doing 3 Sports and are operating in Nine Locations and counting.
Kindly brief us about your company, its specialization, and the services that it offers
Puru Singh: ‘Push Sports’ is a leading enterprise that works to make Sports an integral part of the daily life of children—in partnership with schools and through stand-alone arenas with the best infrastructure, coaches and competitive exposure.
Incorporated in 2019, Push Sports is a start-up that primarily focuses on ‘Sports Education’ – catalyzing fitness through sports-led interventions, while also monetizing the physical sports infrastructure across education institutions and corporate sports houses to make it more sustainable.
Led by Puru Singh, ex-Delhi player and respected coach, the journey of Push Sports kicked off with the Cricket First Agenda.
His efforts were complemented wholeheartedly by Nitin Pahuja, co-founder & CFO alongside Mukul Grover, Co-Founder & Technology lead.
Apart from training the children, Push Sports also organizes field tournaments and matches. It has a subscriber base of 2000+ customers with 400+ sports education subscribers and 1500+ pay-to-play customers.
Push Sports focuses on expanding the ‘Sports Education’ by establishing and working on their own arenas including school grounds in post-schooling hours, thus connecting with the hyper-local community and encouraging kids to play.
They also conduct in-school teaching sessions where specialized coaches teach the students within school hours.
Push Sports has inked partnership with various academies in other sports like football, badminton and taekwondo apart from others to have access to top-quality professional coaches for various sports.
What is your biggest USP
Puru Singh: Ability to make Sports more accessible to the aspirants. Firstly, by establishing and working on their own arenas including school grounds in post-schooling hours, thus connecting with the hyper-local community and encouraging kids to play.
Secondly, as it refuses to compromise on quality, Push Sports inks partnership with various academies to have professional coaches available.
In this regard, Push Sports works with many establishments like Baichung Bhutia Football Academy and those providing expertise to sports like Taekwondo, Skating, Table Tennis and Badminton.
What made you choose this type of business?
Puru Singh: Love for Sports and Children. It is a combination that cannot fail. If a Child gets into physical activities like Sports.
It will benefit not only the physical aspect but also the mental well being. In the long term it can provide them a life long avenue to become a sportsperson.
What was your mission and vision at the outset?
Puru Singh: Mission: Push Sports primarily focuses on ‘Sports Education’ — catalyzing fitness through mind and body
Vision: Making sports an acceptable part of daily life of children
What is your Leadership Mantra?
Puru Singh: Choose the best for the Children. Offer them mentorship along with coaching that will help them get stronger mentally and physically.
What’s your company’s goals?
Puru Singh: Push the aspiring kids towards excellence and help them become their best version possible. Helping them give their best and instil the pride of achieving the goal.
What was the inspiration behind turning an entrepreneur
Puru Singh: As I said, the inspiration to work with kids and finding the loopholes to get more kids enrolled in sports at ground level was the biggest motivation to open PUSH Sports.
What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Puru Singh: I like trusting and investing in people and over the years not everyone has turned out the way it looked in the beginning but that has only made me wiser. I still invest in people but I don’t trust them blindly
Key things to consider before starting a Business?
Puru Singh: First, your own ability, skill and persistent levels to move the business. Second, finding like-minded people who are ready to believe in the cause and work for it tirelessly. And thirdly, not to get disheartened by failures.
What are some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
Puru Singh: I don’t consider anything a mistake because I have always been able to learn from it.
If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?
Puru Singh: Most important is to find what keeps the fire burning in your belly. Once you have figured it out always remember that problems and challenges will always be there.
Spend time finding solutions to those problems and challenges, rather than worrying about them and you will always find a way
Your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs
Puru Singh: Look at life like a Sport. Like in every match there will always be moments when one can turn it around. It’s crucial to make those moments count.
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