The IPL has simply mesmerized the global cricketing fraternity. Ever since its inception, the league has engulfed the cricket viewers and has left a very strong impression indeed. Year after year, we have people waiting for the highly anticipated IPL to commence. However, like any other business activity, the IPL too has been plagued by a few major controversies. The most damaging controversy for the IPL was the corruption scandal, where the team owners of the Chennai Super Kings and the Rajasthan Royals were found to be involved in corrupt practices such as betting on the games.
The recent meeting within the BCCI circles led to the suspension of the two sides for the upcoming two editions. This means that the IPL Governing Council will place invitations for new bidders of franchises. As a result, once the Super Kings and the Royals are re- inducted into the IPL, the tournament will be a 10 team affair. Thereby, it becomes highly essential to gauge the likely individuals or organizations who could own IPL teams in the near future.
In this article, we analyze five such individuals or groups, who can own IPL teams in the future.
1. Lakshmi Mittal:
The steel tycoon residing in the UK has shown great interest in owning an IPL team. Mittal is at the helm of several businesses, spread across various sectors. As per sources close to Mittal, the steel baron now also wants to add the business of cricket in his vast portfolio. Mittal’s firm Arcelor Mittal already is the world’s largest steel empire as their business strategies involve buying cheap plants and transforming them into massive production hubs. Mittal’s involvement in the IPL will be a great boon to the league as he is known to be a very ethical business personality.
2. Venugopal Dhoot (Videocon Industries):
Videocon Industries that has endorsed the Mumbai Indians in the past too has shown a key interest in being directly involved with the IPL. Dhoot, an avid cricket fan himself, has indeed confirmed that if given the opportunity, he would love to own an IPL franchise. Dhoot once in a column for newspaper confirmed his interest in owning an IPL side and wrote, “We know one ultimate truth and that is: the 130-crore population of India may be following different religions but there is also another religion most of them follow and that is cricket. Cricket is like God in this country and a very big game and the actions of a few people will not affect the brand. While IPL teams and team owners may lose credibility, the game of cricket will not lose its attraction in the long run. For a consumer-facing company like ours, involvement with IPL and cricket will always make sense for brand-building. “
Paytm has taken the Indian business circle by storm with its aggressive business strategies. The mobile wallet company owners have hinted towards their interest in the massive Indian cricket market. There would be absolutely no better way to target the Indian cricketing market by getting associated with the IPL. “It’s a great opportunity to pick up a team at the moment and we are watching the space very closely,” said Shankar Nath, senior VP at Paytm. The IPL provides a great opportunity for unknown players in the market to build a brand. The last IPL worked very well for us. At present, we are waiting for things to unfold so that the issues become clearer. When the opportunity comes, we would definitely want to join the bidding process.”
4. E- Commerce giants (Amazon, Flipkart, Snapdeal):
E- Commerce has boomed massively in the last couple of years. The association with the IPL has further boosted the success of E- Commerce giants such as Amazon India, Flipkart, and Snapdeal. As per developments close to these E – commerce firms, the interest in owning an IPL team is very high indeed. “Cash isn’t a problem. There is immense competition in the online retail space as well and owning a team in the IPL could be a major differentiator. If the new teams come in cheap, we may look at the opportunity,” said a senior executive of a large online marketplace.
5. Sanjay Jindal (Jindal Group):
The India-based Jindal Group, owned by Sanjay Jindal too has shown signs of getting into the market for an IPL franchise. Sanjay Jindal in a recent interview confirmed about his interests in the IPL and said that money to buy a franchise also wasn’t an issue. “Cricket is the number one sport in our country, so there is an idea to acquire an IPL team,” Sajjan Jindal, chairman of the JSW group, told PTI. “But I cannot comment on which team it would be. I don’t think money is the issue; the idea is that we want to take some credible team so that we can promote sports,” said Jindal.