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Sourav Ganguly's new innings: Start-up investor

July 24, 2017 08:55 IST

The former Team India captain, who has invested in entertainment company Flickstree, in conversation with Romita Majumdar and Urvi Malvania.

Sourav Ganguly

IMAGE: Sourav Ganguly says he is not pursuing investments in digital start-ups aggressively: "It's all trial and error. Let's take one thing at a time." Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.


Sourav Ganguly is following the lead of his on-field mates Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar by investing in a digital start-up. The southpaw has invested in entertainment company Flickstree, a platform that aggregates content from various free platforms and customises it for users.

The company raised ₹3 crore from Venture Catalyst, Aditya Group (Kolkata) and Moksh sports, apart from Ganguly.

Ganguly will also be promoting the company.

The former Team India captain opens up about his innings as a digital start-up investor.

Edited excerpts:

Why did you invest in an entertainment-led venture and not sports-led? Are you looking at investments in digital start-ups aggressively?

Opportunity. That's the main thing.

I have been associated with Cricbuzz, but not as an investor. This is different. The opportunity came along and now let's see where it takes me.

The answer to the second part of the question is no. It's all trial and error. Let's take one thing at a time.

You've been a Team India captain and have had business ventures. How will you experience help this digital venture?

Previous business ventures have done well for me.

The restaurant did well.

I invested in education -- schools and universities.

In the past I invested my talent [while playing for Team India] and now, I am investing money. It's been a good learning experience, both times.

I'll try and help them [Flickstree] in any way I can. It's more technical, so it'll be a learning experience for me as well. But the basics are the same. Ultimately, what goes to the end-user and their experiences are important.

How do you choose brands to endorse?

Value, that's the main thing. And not just in money, but in terms of respect.

I had joined a brand back in 2007. Back then, their turnover was ₹25 crore. Today, 10 years later, the turnover is ₹800 crore. I am still their brand ambassador. And that satisfaction is very different.

It's a great feeling to know you've held somebody's hand when there was no guarantee of anything. What happens is that you develop a lot of respect for each other.

Now when they come back to me, it not about negotiations. The tenure [of the contract] finishes, they come to me, tell me they want me for three more years, and that's it. You need to have that kind of respect from the brand and for the brand. That's the reason I guess that most of my brand associations have been long term.

What has changed in the brand-endorser relationship today?
Also, are there any categories you would not want to be associated with?

I think the [younger] players today are much more aware. They also have more choice.

But, again, the basics remain the same. I've never endorsed alcohol and tobacco, and that's something I'll continue to stand by. I am a teetotaler myself, so I don't see myself endorsing something I don't consume.

Romita Majumdar and Urvi Malvania
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