Coaches play a huge role in any team’s success. The efforts they put in off the mat are instrumental in the team’s success. But in PKL, where young players from small towns are put in front of a crowd of 5000-10000 people, it is the coach, who helps that young kid get over his fear and perform freely. While coaches continue to keep the performance levels high, owners have also played a huge role in Pro Kabaddi League’s success. The likes of Abhishek Bachchan, Ronnie Screwvala and others have used this platform to get more people interested in the game of Kabaddi. So let us take a look at Pro Kabaddi owners and coaches:
Bengal Warriors Owner: Future Group & Akshay Kumar
Future Group, one of the biggest Indian brands in supermarkets and fashion, entered the sports world by investing in Bengal Warriors. The Indian Retail King Kishore Biyani is CEO of the Future Group with the net worth $2.75b as of 2017. Akshay Kumar became the co-owner of the team in 2017. The Bollywood actor has a net worth of $65m, according to Forbes.
Coach: BC Ramesh
Former Asian Games Gold Medallist with the Indian national side, BC Ramesh is Bengal Warrior’s head coach for the seventh season. Ramesh has an ample experience of coaching in Pro Kabaddi league having worked with Puneri Paltan in 2017 and was the assistant coach of the title-winning Bengaluru Bulls side last year.
Bengaluru Bulls Owner: WL League Pvt. Ltd.
The ownership of the Bengaluru Bulls changed hands as Kosmic Global Media made way for WL League Pvt. Ltd. WL League is a Hyderabad-based construction company. Badri Narayan Choudhary Kota and Ananda Giri are the directors of the company.
Coach: Randhir Singh
A famous name in the Indian Kabaddi, Randhir Singh has been the head coach of Bengaluru Bulls since the first season. The Bulls are the only team to continue with the same coach for five consecutive years and it finally paid off as they claimed the first-ever title last season. Singh is one of the most decorated former player and coach in Kabaddi, winning 20 medals each, as player and coach.
Dabang Delhi Owner: Radha Kapoor
Radha Kapoor, founder of DO IT Sports Management Pvt. Ltd. is the only female owner in the Pro Kabaddi League. DO It Sports Management started its journey in sports with the ownership of Dabang Delhi and they aim to promote various sports and athletes around the country.
Coach: Krishan Kumar Hooda
Krishan Kumar Hooda, who helped Dabang Delhi to their first-ever play-offs appearances in the sixth season will continue as the head coach once again. Hooda has an experience of working as the coach of the Indian national team and has led the team to multiple SAF Games and Asian Championship victories.
Gujarat Fortune Giants Owner: Adani Wilmar Ltd
Most successful of the four new teams added Gujarat Fortune Giants are owned by the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group. At $27 billion in assets, Adani Group is one of the biggest multinational Indian company. Along with Kabaddi, the group has also started a new campaign named ‘Garv Hai’, for athlete’s preparation for the Olympic Games.
Coach: Manpreet Singh
Manpreet Singh will be leading the Gujarat team for the third consecutive season and will be eager to finally lift the trophy after two consecutive defeats in finals. Singh won the PKL title as a player with Patna Pirates in the third season. After hanging his boots, GFG’s debut season in 2017 was also Manpreet’s debut season as a coach. But he has quickly impressed everyone with defensive organization and results.
Haryana Steelers Owners: JSW Sports
One man ➡ Multiple roles
A Guru is someone who makes you meet yourself! ?
— Haryana Steelers (@HaryanaSteelers) July 16, 2019
JSW Sports, a part of the famous JSW Group, owns Haryana Steelers team as a part of their investments in sports. JSW Sports also owns Bengaluru FC in ISL and Delhi Capitals IPL. The company, at $14 billion in revenues, is one of India’s largest business conglomerates.
Coach: Rakesh Kumar
With 2 World Cups and 3 Asian Games Gold medals, Rakesh Kumar is easily one of the best Kabaddi players India has ever produced. Rakesh was the most expensive player during the inaugural PKL auction. The raider retired from the game after PKL Season 5 and will be making his coaching debut with Haryana this season.
Jaipur Pink Panthers Owners: Abhishek Bachchan
— L srinivasreddy (@Lsrinivasreddy9) April 8, 2019
Abhishek Bachchan, the owner of Jaipur Pink Panthers has not worked on improving his team but also the Pro Kabaddi League. More and more people started following the league, looking at Bachchan Jr. watching every Panthers game with passion, mostly with his star-studded family.
Coach: L. Srinivas Reddy
L Srinivas Reddy is the head coach of Jaipur Pink Panthers for the second consecutive season. Reddy has previously worked with Telugu Titans and Haryana Steelers as their assistant coach. But he has truly left his mark on the international scene, coaching South Korea, Australia, and India. Reddy helped South Korea win the bronze at the 2014 Asian Games and won the 2018 Dubai Masters with India.
Patna Pirates Owners: Rajesh V Shah
Rajesh V Shah, co-chairman and managing director of ‘Mukund’, is the owner of the most successful team in the Pro Kabaddi League. Mr. Shah is the alumnus of the famous Harvard and Cambridge University.
Coach: Ram Mehar Singh
Asian Games Gold medallist with India in 1998 and 2002, Ram Mehar Singh has been instrumental in Patna Pirate’s success in the past few years. The Arjuna award winner recently also coached the Indian National side to the bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
Puneri Paltan Owner: Insurekot Sports
Insurekot Sports, a firm founded by Rajesh Harkishandas Doshi, Sumanlal Babulal Shah, Nallepilly Ramaswami Subramanian is the owner of Puneri Paltan. The Pune franchise has taken up a number of initiatives like ‘Talent Hunt’ and ‘Little Puneri Champs’ to spread the game of Kabaddi.
Coach: Anup Kumar
The legendary name in the Indian Kabaddi, Anup Kumar is making his coaching debut with Puneri Paltan. Famously known as ‘Bonus Ka Badshah’, Anup has won the PKL title with U Mumba in 2015. The ‘Captain Cool’ has also bagged two Asian Games Gold Medal and 2016 World Cup with India.
Tamil Thalaivas Owner: IQuest Enterprises & Blasters Sports Ventures
Don’t get confused due to big names, just remember one thing – Sachin Tendulkar is the co-owner of Tamil Thalaivas. The legendary Cricketer is, of course, a part of Blasters Sports Ventures Pvt. Ltd. (Duh!) IQuest Enterprises, by an Indian industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, and famous names in Telugu film industry, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan &, Allu Aravind are part owners of the Thalaivas.
Coach: E Bhaskaran
Edachery Bhaskaran will be in charge of the Thalaivas for the second year in a row. Despite a disappointing last-place finish in the sixth season, a lot is expected from the coach. He has previously led U Mumba to a title in 2015.
Telugu Titans Owner: Veera Sports
The Titans are owned by Veera Sports – a group co-owned by a number of industrialists. Srinivas Sreeramaneni of Vaya Group, Goutham Reddy Nedurmalli of NED Group, and Mahesh Kolli of Greenko Group are the co-owners of Veera sports.
Coach: Gholamreza Mazandarani
The only team with a non-Indian coach, Telugu Titans has appointed Gholamreza Mazandarani as the head coach for the seventh season. The Iranian guided his national side to the Asian Games gold in 2018. He has also coached U Mumba in the sixth season.
U Mumba Owner: Ronnie Screwvala
Ronnie Screwvala, a famous figure in the Indian Cable Television and the Film Industry is the sole owner of U Mumba team. The franchise has started an initiative named U Sports, which focuses on the development of a number of sports in India. They also plan to build a residential academy for players named ‘U Mumba Gurukul’.
Coach: Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan
Sanjeev Kumar Baliyan has been appointed as Mumbai’s coach for the seventh season. Baliyan has previously led Patna Pirates to their first-ever league title in the third season.
UP Yoddha Owner: GMR Group
— UP YODDHA (@UpYoddha) July 8, 2019
GMR Group, Delhi-based Infrastructure Company is the owner of UP Yoddha. GMR is one of the biggest infrastructural company in India with a revenue of $1.9 billion in 2016. The group also co-owns the Indian Premier League team Delhi Capitals.
Coach: Jasveer Singh
Jasveer Singh will be the head coach of UP Yoddha for the second consecutive season. He led the team to play-offs last season, won two eliminators only to lose the second qualifier. But Jasveer will be looking to change it this season with a much-balanced squad.