Looking at the volatility in the world markets, and given the 5 year long term horizon, I am apprehensive about investing in the equity markets. Given that today even countries are at the risk of defaulting on their sovereign debt, debt markets also seem a risky proposition. Thus I would like to invest the 5.0 million into a business which has strong fundamentals and a high growth potential. And what better business to invest in than your own!!!

Industry: Sports

What: Indoor cricket training facility:  http://www.devoncricket.co.uk/userfiles/image/Indoor%20Centre%20Photos/DSC00812.JPG:

  • Each facility will accommodate 4 full size nets (practice lanes) which can be rented out by the hour
  • Each facility will also accommodate a bowling machine which can be rented out by the hour (http://www.ha-ko.com/cricketbowling.htm)


  • Support preparation for the Kanga League: Kanga League is an intra-city club level tournament played during the monsoon season. The matches are played on the week ends leaving the weekdays for the players to practice. However due to the monsoons, the ground conditions are awful and one cannot practice regularly in the outdoors. This forces players to play matches directly without enough practice. The indoor cricket facility will allow players to practice indoors if the outdoor facilities are inaccessible.
  • Training facilities for corporates: There are various inter company cricket tournaments that take place each year. Many companies also organize inter-zone/branch/ division tournaments for their own employees. The indoor training facility will allow these players to be flexible in their practice sessions and train after office hours when outdoor practice would be infeasible.
  • Bowling Machine: The training facility will also provide a bowling machine which can be rented out by the players. This machine will allow the batsmen to carry out rigorous practice sessions and refine their technique.
  • Need for superior training facilities: I have played competitive cricket long enough to realize that training facilities in Mumbai are well below par. The training pitches on grounds are poorly prepared. The unevenness and abysmal quality of pitches also poses high risk of injuries.

Barriers: There aren’t many significant barriers to entry in this sector. In spite of this there is only one known indoor cricket facility in Mumbai at MCA, Bandra Kurla Complex. However this facility is open to only professional players and not accessible to the general public on rental basis. Hence this venture would definitely secure a first movers advantage.

Conclusion: In a country like India where cricket is so popular and so widely followed, investing in cricket is a pretty safe bet. And I would like to believe cricket is recession free!! Having played the game for so many years I do believe the demand for such a training facility does exist here. This idea is backed by a large market – right from young 14-15 year olds to office going individuals in their late 30s. There is no doubt that training outdoors on the actual pitches will give better match practice but given some of the constraints mentioned above the indoor facility will pose a strong alternative. As years go by I also believe this idea can be taken to other cities where the facilities are even worse.

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