It feels annoying when we hear about the plight of sports in India, doesn’t it? Some may even blame the government while others may reside to criticizing parents. But we seldom do or can do, much to bring a change in the country’s sports scenario.
Well, one person, sitting far away in the United States, did. This is the story of Azhan Ahsan, founder of Caanhub, who bid adieu to a fat-paying job in New York to bring about a change in Indian sports.
“I left my job and my life there to create India’s NCAA.” he fondly recalls.
The Creation of Khelo India
For the uninitiated, NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) is a not-for-profit organization that regulates athletes of over 1,268 institutions in North America. It netted a massive $1.1 billion in revenue last year.
Apart from its financial success, the organization is also effective in sponsoring and developing athletes at grassroot levels. In fact, NCAA is one of the most important reasons for the United States’ success at various international sports events.
India, on the other hand, lacked this particular system, a space that Ahsan viewed as an opportunity. With a vision to create India’s very own NCAA, he approached the country’s local administrators like Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Sports India (formerly Sports Authority of India (SAI)), and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS).
“My proposal to AIU, SAI, and MYAS led to the formation of Khelo India Games,” reveals Ahsan. Khelo India may be imagined as the Indian equivalent of NCAA. Its main aim is to discover sporting talent at a grass-root level and provide sponsorship to the tune of ₹ 5,00,000 per annum over a period of eight years.
Was it disheartening to see his dream-project being adopted by the government?
“Not at all. Even if I could not do it, I am extremely glad something positive could come out of my efforts,” he says proudly.
Creation of Caanhub
During his time in India, Ahsan discovered the multiple bottlenecks and bureaucratic hurdles that were prevalent in the sports ecosystem in India.
“I decided to help amateur athletes and competition organizers in a private capacity, and thus created Caanhub,” he informs.
Caanhub was founded with a vision of providing financial and technological empowerment to the amateur athletes & competition organizers.
“Biggest problem that the amateur athletes and small competition organizers in our country face is financial. Through our network of agents and sales representatives. We are primarily trying to solve this hurdle. Along with that, we also make free and easy to use technology for sports management,” explains Ahsan, who has an experience of over 10 years in the film and television industry as a producer/director.
Till date, the company has served over 35 fellows, 2,500 children in 3 districts. More importantly, it has raised over ₹50 lakhs in sponsorships.
Quip him about a particular case study he would like to point out to support his cause and he instantly responds back, “Several. I can write a book on the topic.”
“However, there is something striking that I am seeing these days. So many parents on a daily basis approach us to help them help their child make a career in sports,” he illustrates, “Of course, we as a country for too long have thought and believed that parents often do not encourage their children to take up a sport. To a large extent that’s true. But what is also true is the attitude is changing rapidly. Parents are very likely to support, provided they can see it going somewhere or can be guided. ”
From its humble beginnings, Caanhub has gone on to garner 5,000 registered users. The company has biggies like Patanjali amongst other brands on board.
Caanhub’s Partnership with KreedOn
Caanhub, a Mumbai-based sports management company, and KreedOn, an exclusive Indian sports media company, have signed a strategic MoU to connect brands with the right opportunities in the Indian sports ecosystem. The association will see both the companies working together in a variety of sports-related domains, most prominent of which being Sponsorship and Digital Marketing Projects.
Caanhub is a sports and competitions oriented social networking & management platform. It also provides Sponsorship Agency service to all its users. The services provided by Caanhub are completely free to use.
The landmark partnership will be music to the ears of the country’s young athletes, as it is expected to create more sponsorship opportunities.
The alliance is even more impactful since Caanhub caters to the needs of amateur athletes and small organizations while KreedOn serves the professional athletes and sports ecosystem. As a result of this, it is expected to cover a wide spectrum of sports individuals and organizations – right from those at grassroot level to the established ones.
Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan said, “As a 360-degree digital marketing service provider, I feel Kreedon are the best partners to associate with. They are a young team, that can think out of the box and implement ideas that can cut through the clutter and help any brand shine”
“I am certain this will be a mutually beneficial partnership, both of us together can deliver our clients/brands super large ROI’s,” he added.
Piyush Sharma, the founder of KreedOn, said, “I am really proud that we are associating with an organization of Caanhub’s calibre which is strongly connected with the brands and their needs. I hope that together, Caanhub and KreedOn touch new heights in the world of sports.”