Ajinkya Rahane has done well to extend his shelf life with the national cricket team after India's successful tour Down Under, but the Test vice captain has already started planning for life after cricket.
Rahane, who as stand-in skipper, led India to a historic triumph in Australia in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, in a first has shared the details of his strategy behind him becoming a startup investor. Sports apparently has a special place in his investment portfolio.
According to a report by moneycontrol.com, Rahane had last year invested in two startups including the Mahindra-backed MeraKisan, an agri-tech startup, and Hudle, a digital platform for sports enthusiasts.
“As cricketers, we get into a focused lifestyle at a very young age and most of our efforts are about consistently playing cricket whenever possible. As I played more cricket, I also got a chance to travel, meet new people, and hear about interesting businesses that people have developed,” said Rahane when asked the reason behind this move.
“That’s when I had a chat with my business partner Akhil Ranade and decided that we should start exploring interesting opportunities where I can partner in certain interesting ventures,” Rahane pointed out that he was keen to partner interesting ventures that could become successful businesses in future.
“My first lookout before investing in any venture is if I relate to the core business of the company and how I can contribute to the business. It is crucial for me to meet the founders and know their vision for the company and how they plan to make use of me as a brand ambassador,” said Rahane.
“MeraKisan was because of my long-term inclination towards the agricultural sector. I wanted to be involved with a company that has the potential to be a sustainable, long-term player in the sector.” As for Hudle, Rahane said, “Whenever possible I try to play badminton, table tennis and football with my friends. I feel everyone should pursue some sport. And what Hudle does is that it makes it easier for non-professional amateur athletes and sports enthusiasts to find and book spaces to play sports.”
Among other Indian cricketers Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and recently Shikhar Dhawan too have invested in startups.