Sportskeeda has been an entrepreneurial dream for its Founder and CEO, Porush Jain, ever since he dropped out of his MBA placements. With the urge of starting up, Porush set out on his entrepreneurial journey with just a bucket idea full of ideas anda two-year work experience at Infosys.
Today, after 11 years of inception, Sportskeeda is one of India’s most successful and fastest growing sports news website for the sports enthusiast. The website in 2019 was acquired by Nazara Technologies but continues to be led by its visionary founder, Porush Jain.
In this Leaderspeak, Porush talks, about his journey, Sportskeeda’s journey and the big plans that they have for the upcoming IPL season that starts tomorrow.
Your LinkedIn profile beautifully describes that you combined your two passions, Sport and Entrepreneurship into one – Sportskeeda… Tell us about your journey and what made you drop out of your MBA placements to take the entrepreneurial route?
I had a strong urge to start a start-up while I was doing my MBA. I had a bucket full of ideas but no experience or capital. After dabbling a few months with few ideas, and trying to make a few websites I zeroed down to the idea of creating the largest Sports website for India. I saw a market gap and future potential and dived in.
Dropping out of MBA placements was not that difficult. The worst case scenario would be that I lose two years of salary, but i had an Engineering degree, an MBA degree and 2 years working experience in Infosys. So I decided to give myself two years to see if I can become an entrepreneur.
As the founder of Sportskeeda…How would you define the brand in say less than 100 words or so?
It is a place for hardcore sports fans! Our readers want to know each and every detail around the Sports and athletes they follow. The content is generated by like-minded journalists and experts who understand the audience very well. It’s these experts that have made the brand what it is now.
How has the platform performed in the lockdown when the sporting world literally came to a halt?
It is actually very easy to speak about it now! In the month of March till mid-April, we were seriously concerned about what is going to happen next as the sporting world came to a standstill. But I take pride in sharing that we took this challenge and converted into an opportunity to become the No. 1 E-sports and Gaming news site in India. Our daily users’ number jumped from 20k to 500k in just over 2 months! This led to an overall jump in MAU from approx. 10Mn in April to 30Mn in the month of July 2020.
Tell us about the team that’s running SportsKeeda? How big is your team and how did you keep them positive during the lockdown?
We are a team of 50 highly energetic individuals. It’s a lean team but highly focused. Our team has many Intrapreneurs, highly motivated and focussed on their goal.
Actually, the main advantage of working with a small team is that you are able to remain in touch with most of them on a regular basis. This helped us navigate through the negative thoughts during this pandemic.
How are you innovating on content, business models and growth strategy going forward?
Over the past few months, we have been able to grow both the top line and the bottom line. Currently instead of innovating on the content we are innovating on the processes to make them leaner and more efficient. We will remain focussed on the advertising model for the near future. We have few products at ideations stage for more global content, esports and cricket.
Your expectations from the upcoming IPL season?
I believe that IPL is a tournament that will bring smiles to people’s faces. It is a festival in India, and now that we are stuck with Covid-19, this will definitely be a stress buster. What it means to us is that conservatively, we are eying on 45Mn unique users during the IPL and will be serving 800Mn Ad impressions. I am hoping that we will see a lot of advertisers on platforms like us!
What has been the advertiser response to SportsKeeda?
We have seen an increase in the daily queries that we get from the advertisers. Our brand solutions team is leaving no stone unturned to give the best possible advertising solutions to potential advertisers. But, there’s no denying that the overall advertising industry is hit and we can sense that too.
How do you relax and unwind? Your go-to activities?
I am a chess addict and also have started playing a lot of Call of duty these days. But the best time i spend is the time with my friends.
Who in your early life was a great influence on you that has held you in good stead…
My father. Entrepreneur was a fancy word for that time, but he was very much a local entrepreneur in Delhi. The energy, the dream and the hard work that I saw inspired me and shaped much of my thought process.
Your learnings from running this business? And what would be your advice for youngsters who want to join the content business/blogging business or sports business?
Follow your passion and don’t give up. You will win a few times, lose a lot of times but you will move up steadily.
Content business is pretty rewarding and tough at the same time. I will advise them to think big.
Sports business is going to grow leaps and bounds in India. I feel it’s a very good place to be in.