Here’s why an ex-Army colonel and MBAs joined hands to launch India’s first polo startup
Often referred to as the “recreation of kings”, polo is one of the global’s oldest crew sports activities. Its origins may be traced to Persia (Iran) among sixth Century BC and the first Century AD, however very few may additionally recognize that the modern-day model of the sport has its roots in India.
And now, nearly one hundred sixty years later, 3 Indians – a former Indian Army colonel and two MBAs from Symbiosis – are trying to revive and promote the sport through what they are saying is “India’s first polo startup”, the Royal India Polo Club (RIPC).
Launched in January 2019 by using Colonel Tarun Sirohi, Vikrant Singh Mathur, and Krishan Ramawat, Gurugram-based RIPC is an invite-handiest individuals club.
Col Sirohi turned into the commandant of 61st Cavalry, the handiest horse-installed regiment of the Indian Army, in addition to the captain of the Indian polo team. He also served as the secretary of the Indian Polo Association (IPA). Vikrant comes from a sports management historical past, having labored carefully with polo players, team consumers, and sponsors for over a decade. Krishan has a corporate historical past with a long time of revel in senior leadership positions.
Krishan becomes Vikrant’s senior at the Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), and the two were buddies for 20 years. Col. Sirohi and Vikrant have regarded every for 12 years, having worked collectively with the Indian polo team on sponsorships, classified ads and so forth.
India and polo move again in an extended manner. British army officers took the game from Manipur to Britain in the 1860s, and then thru its diverse colonies spread the game around the arena in the late nineteenth and early 20th century. In fact, the first polo club in the global become established in Silchar, Assam, through some British officers in 1859.
The game is played on horseback among two groups comprising 4 gamers every. The gamers use mallets with long handles to force the ball into the other group’s aim to submit to score.
RIPC gives gamers all that they need to play the game – it has its own polo ground, horses, and stables in Gurugram. It is not affordability but accessibility that is stunting the growth of the sport, says Col Sirohi, and for this reason we concept of making RIPC.
“For polo, the main kit is the pony. Our contributors can get right of entry to our stables beside the membership’s horses. The club’s 14 horses are by and large for people who want to analyze the sport. We first educate them a way to experience after which how to play polo. Besides being a polo membership, we also are an enabler for humans to begin gambling the sport extra,” Vikrant says.
From young faculty kids to professionals, all membership participants are educated through polo gamers from the 61st Cavalry, with Col Sirohi overseeing the sports activities characteristic of the commercial enterprise, the RIPC founders say. They currently have 50 individuals on board.
RIPC may be very specific approximately who they bring in as a member. Speaking about the matters they look for, Vikrant says, “You need to be nicely knowledgeable with a positive amount of pedigree and lineage. Alternatively, you ought to be from a good enterprise faculty or an Ivy League institution.”
Every iciness, the club organizes traditional polo sundowners, luxurious evenings with loose-flowing champagne, single malt, cigars, jazz, and blues.
“There are a sacrosanct surroundings to these evenings and we would now not need any miscommunication there by using bringing in members who may not match that profile,” Vikrant says.