1. The income one earns in this field keeps fluctuating, since everything is seasonal. On some days you may earn copiously and on others, you may encounter losses.
  2. The income also varies according to the location of their business, the number of contacts they’ve established, the intensity of competition between sellers, etc.
  3. A chief task is to make sure your inventory/stock comprises of products in different prices ranges, so as to satisfy every client’s hankerings and demands.
  4. The sports industry is never going to perish. It’s a pretty stable industry. Schools and colleges are encouraging students to connect with sports, hence business growth is pretty smooth.
  5. In order to survive in this field, it’s essential to follow and manifest 3 rules into your thought process: remain patient, engage in fieldwork and establish contacts with schools and colleges for bulk orders.

Profile Details

Name – Sanjeev Gulati

Profession – Owner of two sports goods shops

Gender – Male

Age – 48 years

City – Mumbai

Industry – Retail

Where were you born and raised?

I was born and raised in Mumbai. I completed my schooling and graduation in this city too. I’ve worked here throughout.

What is your family background like and who would you say, had a remarkable influence on you growing up and how?

We were a family of four, my parents, a younger sister and me. My mother was a homemaker and my father, a businessman.

Growing up, my father had a strong influence on me. Not only was he a diligent man, but extremely persistent too. He always strived for excellence!

Please give us a summary of your career.

Initially, I opened up a shop called “SportIt”, where we manufactured sports shorts. Following this, we started manufacturing and selling cricket pants and shirts. Later, we included swimming costumes too.

Simultaneously, I tried my hand at electronics, where I was importing computer parts such as “Computer IC’s”.

In 2001, I opened another shop called “Sporting”, where I sold all kinds of sports equipment, clothing, etc.

I attend to several aspects of running the business smoothly such as keeping track of our sales and profits, making sure all of my employees are efficiently handling customers, orders etc. I devote my substantial time in establishing contacts because bulk orders come from schools and colleges.

Which institutes, according to you, are the best for pursuing this career?

I did B.Com., but I believe that nowadays B.Com. has become very substandard unless done from a top college.

To run a business, I recommend pursuing BBA or BMS, which are more relevant for running and managing a business.

Honestly, where you secure these degrees from doesn’t matter much if you want to open up a shop. Trust me, I’ve walked this road! It’s your dexterity, persuasion, and contacts that’ll get you somewhere, someday.

Even then, in my opinion, most of the colleges under SVKM are pretty good, like Mithibai, NM, etc. Their syllabus comprises both theoretical and practical knowledge.

What is the expenditure associated with the education/training of this profession, approximately?

If you’re pursuing your B.Com/BBA/BMS, you’ll incur an expenditure of about 1.5–3 lakhs, depending on the college you’re attending and the course you’re opting for.

How does one manage to enter this field?

After completing your bachelor’s, you can start working with someone running a sports shop temporarily to attain an understanding of how things really work.

Once you’re sure of your potential in this field, you can set up your own business, i.e. open up a shop of your own.

Before taking such a huge step, one should take into consideration the location of the shop, the number of sellers involved in the same business in that area, etc.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?

Starting out – 2.5–3 lakhs per annum

5 years of experience – 6–7 lakhs per annum

10 years of experience – 10–13 lakhs per annum

15 years of experience – 17–20 lakhs per annum

20+ years of experience – 23–25 lakhs per annum

The above figures are subject to various factors like the location of your shop, the intensity of competition between sellers, your prices, the number of contacts you’ve made and most importantly, your skills as a salesperson.

Hence, income differs from person to person.

Describe your work, please.

Out of all my responsibilities, an essential task is attending to customer demands and complaints and preparing orders. I ought to make sure that the inventory is stocked up. I’m also required to keep a close tab on sales and profits on a daily basis.

Additionally, I’ve to keep a watch on my employees to make sure that everything is functioning smoothly. Hence, supervision is important!

Another principal task is to make sure my inventory/stock comprises of products falling in all prices ranges so as to satisfy every client’s hankerings and demands.

I spend about 8–10 hours at the shop and work all 7 days.

In your opinion, what are some benefits that would encourage an individual to consider a career in sports goods industry?

In comparison to the corporate job, I have lesser stress, but work-hours are longer. Work-hours can reduce drastically if one can build decent contacts and set up shop in an exceptional location.

If you’ve done enough field work, orders will keep rolling in. So, there’s a considerable prospect of growth in this field if you have what it takes to survive in this profession.

Also, the sports industry is never going to perish. It’s a pretty stable industry. Schools and colleges are encouraging students to connect with sports, be it cricket, football or tennis!

By establishing the right contacts, you may also be presented with the opportunity of interacting with cricketers or people from the film world as I have!

Can you mention a few challenges that you would want someone to be aware of if they’re considering a career in sports goods industry?

Everything is pretty seasonal, that is, inconsistent when it comes to this profession. On some days, the profits you earn may be prodigious while on other days, you might not make enough sales.

Growth in this field is not guaranteed. There’s unbelievable competition amongst sellers. In my case, there were about four shops in my area involved in the same business as mine.

You ought to engage in field work, that is, tie up with various schools, colleges, and coaching institutes. You cannot expect bulk orders if you don’t go the extra mile. So, an indispensable point is to make sure your personality can live up to these requirements.

What are some relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?

Like I’d mentioned, without contacts, your business just won’t take off. So that’s an integral part of setting up a sports shop. One should also have an idea of what prices to allot to different products if there are too many sellers in the same area. During season time, one should make sure they have everything a customer would desire, that’s how you earn profits.

What kind of a person, do you think, would be content in this field?

A very essential trait one should possess is patience because of the seasonal nature of this field.

Another trait required is the ability to socialize and interact with different types of people. So, if you’re an extrovert, you won’t have a problem with this part of the profession.

Also, this is largely a monotonous work; where each day is not very different from the other. So, if you seek adventure and new challenges, this may not be the line for you.

If you identify your personality with the points mentioned above, you’d definitely be content in this field.

Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I think I’d wanted to pursue event management, as I consider myself polished and social enough to thrive in this field.

Since I continued building my father’s legacy by walking his path, I didn’t really get the opportunity to explore enough to discover my interests.

What advice would you offer to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

Engage in ample field work, establish contacts and pursue with patience. You’ll strive if you follow these “three rules to success” principle.

Contributing Writer – Urvi Shah

You may also like to check out our coverage of another successful business owners here.